Hailed as one of the forefathers of both ambient electronic and new age music, Laraaji performs a special show at National Sawdust. A performer of both piano, mbira, and his own custom-designed electronic zither, Laraaji is best known for his 1980 collaboration with Brian Eno, “Ambient 3: Day of Radiance.”
Born in 1943 as Edward Larry Gordon, Laraaji attended Howard University in Washington D.C. on a scholarship to study composition and piano. He later spent time in New York pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian and actor. In the seventies, Laraaji began his lifelong study of Eastern Mysticism, was initiated as a swami, and merged music with spiritual practice.
Following an intuition, he bought a zither from a local pawn shop, converted it to an electronic instrument, and, while busking in Washington Square Park, Laraaji was discovered by Brian Eno who offered to produce him on the spot.
His recordings can be found on WARP records, All Saints records, GLITTERBEAT, Numero Group, Stones Throw, Leaving Records, and Soul Jazz.