The Burt St. Boys

The Burt St. Boys is the jazz ensemble (and family) headed by Lars Erickson,piano, and Lisa Erickson, flute. Two boys, Alek 18, on bass, and Adam, 11 years old, on the drums round out the rhythm section.

In 2008, Helen became a full fledged member of the Burt St. Boys. At 15, she started exhibiting signs of sax soloist, and since about the spring 2008, she has played regularly with us. Above you see us at a party in the studio of world famous artist, Kent Bellows, summer 2008.

The 2007 year brought a new level of energy to the Burt St Boys performances. After looking for a venue in the neighborhood, we played regularly at a bar/restaurant called Trovatos. Trovatos was smoke free and give us a chance to take more liberties, play louder. A bar is not the ideal atmosphere for the us, but the freedom to try out different things and improve the groove is high on our list, and the patrons were very appreciative.

Another new aspect of our ensemble in 2007 was the addition of the girls, Emma, 14, and Helen, 12 who played for the first time at the UNMC Music as Medicine concert! Emma played cello for several years in Omaha Public school and also the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra conservatory group where she was assistant principal.

Helen started playing clarinet in 2005 and was first chair in the her schools band.

The repertoire consists of three broad categories, original instrumental songs, selections from original compact disk releases, jazz standards, and other types of music arranged for jazz. The result is a very listenable and interesting mix of songs you may recognize, and some you may not. For example, you are as likely to hear Bach's "Prelude in C" played in 7/4 time as you are to hear "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", a standard like "Satin Doll" or an original of Erickson.

The ensemble has grown out of years of jazz performances and a professional composition career which occasionally included smaller, flute/piano, duets of originals and jazz. Eventually, the desire for a top notch jazz ensemble was fulfilled with bass and drums supplied by the boys, Alek, now 16, and Adam, 9.

Lisa Erickson has played flute for many years with the Nebraska Wind Symphony, Alek, who is mostly self-taught on the acoustic bass, also plays in the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, and jazz band programs at Central High School. Adam, who exhibited an uncanny ablity to keep a beat at a very early age, now does so whether playing in standard time signatures or odd, such as 7/4 or 5/4. His ability and finesse are that of a mature musician --while retaining the undeniable fresh approach of his youth.

The Burt St. Boys have played professionally for 4 years as of May 2007, and regular engagements have helped prepare them for more visible performance events such as small concert series, festivals and the like. They have performed in both Joslyn Castle's, "Concerts at the Castle" series, and in The Joslyn Art Museum Witherspoon Hall.

The Burt St. Boys played regularly as a trio in Nebraska City. The group's name came about as a result of living, in the case of the boys, their entire lives on Burt St. in Omaha, Nebraska. The role of father/son, bandmates, co-workers, but most of all, friends, has made working and forging a living out of music both enjoyable and rewarding. The high ideals of the organizations which hire the Burt St. Boys, and the camradery of the family group help make performing and creating music a joy. We sincerely hope that you will also soon experience that joy at the next Burt St. Boys event.

Upcoming concerts and events include: 


First Central Congregational Church     June 22   2005(outdoors/evening)
Lakes Art Center (Okoboji, Iowa)        July 14   2005
Touchstone Arts Council ( Red Oak,IA)   Nov   8   2005
St.Paul UMC  (Lincoln,NE)               Jan   6   2006
Trovato's                               Nov  30   2006
Trovato's                               Jan  12   2007
Trovato's                               Feb   1   2007
Music As Medicine                       Feb  15   2007   
First Central Congregational Church     Feb  18   2007


Lied Lodge and Conf. Ctr.(Nebr.City)    Jan   2   2009
UNMC Music As Medicine Concert Series   Feb  19   2009
Restore Omaha Party                     Feb  27   2009

Ericksons releases include: THE BIG BANG, 1988, TIME CIRCLES 1989, SMILE FROM A STRANGER, 1992, THE PI SYMPHONY, 1994 and ALTERED INVENTIONS, 2002.