The Burt St. BoysThe 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
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: 2005 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 2009 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.