Much of Lantz Lazwell’s winter has been spent playing at the Thunder Saddle, the Corner Pocket or the 7800 Bar & Grill.
Lazwell has made seven trips to Kirkwood Mountain Resort either to perform with Eric McFadden’s band Tasty Face or his own band, Lantz Lazwell & The Vibe Tribe, which played at the 7800, the popular restaurant in Whiskey Tower. Thunder Saddle and Corner Pocket, of course, are expert ski runs.
Some musicians who perform in mountain towns stay off the slopes to avoid an injury that might prevent performing. “That’s bullshit,” Lazwell said.
“I feel like being exposed to the elements that nature gives out only makes you stronger,” Lazwell told Tahoe Onstage. “Shielding yourself from those elements creates a weak body and a weak mind and also creates depression. It’s very important to be connected with nature and realize our place in nature and realize how powerful nature is. And to sometimes feel that power and test ourselves against it.”
Lazwell also has an aggressive and adventurous approach to rock ‘n’ roll and performance art, which is to be expected of someone who toured with George Clinton’s wild troupe.
Lazwell grew up in Cameron Park in western El Dorado County, competing on his high school ski team that trained at Kirkwood. Although he was classmates with another future professional musician, Jackie Greene, the two never played in the same band. Lazwell was inspired to pursue music by his father and grandfather, both professional musicians. But from ages 18 to 24, he spent winters skiing near his home in Truckee and summers in Coloma, where he worked as a river raft guide. He also rode professionally for Vision Snowboards for a year before pursuing music full time.
After playing in a couple of local bands, the Pimptations and the Freaks of Nature, Lazwell moved to Los Angeles to pursue a solo career. His first year down there, he was awarded as Los Angeles’ Best Rock Vocalist of 2007.
He teamed up with Kim Manning of George Clinton’s P-Funk Allstars to form the band Wanderlust, which opened for Clinton’s group.
That’s when he befriended Clinton’s guitarist, Eric McFadden, as well as other P-Funk members.
“I learned a lot from those guys,” he said. “I was fortunate that they took me under their wing. It really helped shape me musically.”
His latest group, Lantz Lazwell & The Vibe Tribe, plays rock and soul with world beats and includes Jayna Manoushe, a dancer who sometimes balances swords during her performance. Fearlessness is a staple here.
A new album is in the works this summer, along with more appearances in the Lake Tahoe area. For Lantz Lazwell, the exciting ride continues.