About P.J. Morgan
Paul Lawrence Morgan (aka PJ Morgan) is a veteran keyboardist, songwriter, arranger, producer, and educator. He is best known as the "organist’s organist" for his command of the Hammond B-3. His combination of fleet, flowing arpeggios and funky left-hand bassline flourishes, has brought him to the attention of jazz and gospel audiences and critics. In various roles, he has appeared on dozens of albums, working with Dorothy Norwood, Ben Tankard, William Becton, and Maurette Brown-Clark, to name a few. As a touring sideman, his credits include work with Najee, Bobby Jones, Karen Clark Sheared, Yolanda Adams, and many more. During the '90s, Morgan was thrice-nominated for the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, including Producer of the Year. He has amassed numerous television credits, including penning the title and cue music for BET's Lead Story.
A Washington, D.C. native, Morgan grew up in a musical family and studied piano from a young age. His initial exposure to the Hammond B-3 organ was at a small Pentecostal church where his family served. He graduated from Bowie State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Technology, and a minor in Classical Piano performance (Magna Cum Laude). He teaches composition and theory at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. He also serves as band director at Reid Temple AME, one of the nation's largest mega-churches with over 20,000 members.
After years of performing and playing for services, Morgan got his break via gospel producer (and former NBA player) Tankard; he was asked to fill in for a keyboardist who was unable to perform. Impressed by his creativity as a soloist and arranger, Tankard convinced Morgan to relocate to Nashville as his music director and to assist him in building his record company. Morgan eventually returned to the D.C. area, where he remains a sought-after talent by some of the most recognizable artists in the music industry.
Though he has spent more than two decades working professionally, Morgan released his debut album the Transparency Project in 2018 on the 1DMV Music Group label. He was accompanied by bassist David Dyson and drummer Jay Williams. Melding vocal tracks with instrumentals, originals, and thoroughly revisioned hymns, Morgan seamlessly threaded contemporary jazz grooves through 21st century gospel dynamics as evidenced by the set's two advance singles, "Hit the Floor" and "Closer." The depth of his experience playing in church was revealed through organ-centric arrangements of the legacy hymns "Yes, God Is Real" and "As the Deer." Vocalist Antonio McLendon assisted him on the ballad "How," while John Stoddart lent his voice to "All Out of Tears." Released in June, The Transparency Project entered the Jazz Album chart at number 14 a month later.
- Washington, DC