Anthony Lai is a multi-faceted musician from Dearborn, Michigan. Though a child of the 80's, it was the music of the 60's and 70's that really formed his musical identity. His work as a bass player is most heavily influenced by Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, and he has studied their approach extensively. Other notable influences include the music of Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and several classical composers. After years of informal study/obsession with the music of the Beatles, he went on to earn degrees in music composition and orchestral conducting from Wayne State University.
Anthony has performed in rock groups, jazz bands, and classical ensembles as a vocalist, guitarist, bassist, percussionist, and conductor throughout Metro Detroit and abroad, and he has collaborated with many notable musicians. With the Henry Ford Big Band, he performed at the 2015 Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy and also at the 2009 Michigan Democratic Party's inaugural ball for President Obama in Washington DC. He joined with arranger and conductor Ed Lojeski in 2016 for a 4th of July performance aboard the USS Missouri in Honolulu. In 2012, he worked with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd in Nashville to record downriver native Sarah Sherrard's EP Where I Come From.
In addition to his work as performer, Anthony is a professional composer and arranger. Nominated as "Outstanding Classical Composer" in the Detroit Music Awards in 2017, 2015, 2014, and 2012, his work has been commissioned by several notable parties including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Red Wings, and University of Michigan professor Donald Sinta, a leading performer of contemporary classical saxophone repertoire. Anthony's orchestrations have been performed by the DSO, Wayne State University Orchestra, Studio 110 Jazz Orchestra, and the Flux Quartet. Most recently, he scored string arrangements for Jena Irene Asciutto, a former American Idol contestant and runner up.
Anthony is also the music director for the Seaway Chorale and Orchestra in Trenton, Michigan and an instructor at Henry Ford College, where he teaches music theory, music technology, and the history of Rock and Roll. His original music, performed by The Anthony Lai Band, can be found on Pandora, iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
Learn more at anthonylaimusic.com.