A virtuoso guitarist and composer with a fast, classically proficient fingerstyle technique, Lawson Rollins rose to popularity in the early 2000s as one-half of the guitar duo Young & Rollins, whose cross-genre aesthetic brought together elements of Latin jazz, Brazilian music, Eastern music, flamenco, and rock. He later launched a successful solo career with albums like 2008's Infinita, 2013's Full Circle, and 2017's 3 Minutes to Midnight.
A native of North Carolina, Rollins studied at Duke University before earning his graduate degree from the London School of Economics. In 1998, he relocated to Washington, D.C., where he formed the Latin fusion duo Young & Rollins with guitarist Dan Young. The duo released several well-received albums, including 2000's Salsa Flamenca, 2001's Sevilla, 2005's Esperanza, and 2006's Mosaic. In 2007, Rollins moved to San Francisco to pursue a solo career. He released his debut solo album, Infinita, in 2008, launching his own label, Infinita Records, as well. Two years later, he returned with Espirito, followed in 2011 by Elevation. Throughout each of his albums he fused a wide range of elements from Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Arabic, jazz, rock, and Latin traditions. Rollins delivered his fourth solo album, Full Circle, in 2013, while 2015 saw the release of two albums: the brand-new Traveler and Infinite Chill, a collection of remixes of tunes from previous albums. Following another solo outing, 2017's 3 Minutes to Midnight, he collaborated with Israeli singer/songwriter Idan Raichel on the 2018 album, And If You Will Come to Me. That same year also saw the release of Airwaves, a greatest-hits collection of Rollins' solo work. Dark Matter: Music for Film was released in 2019. ~ Matt Collar