Stephen Ulrich studied music with Jazz legend Sal Salvador at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City. He also attended New York's Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies. After graduating in 1981 he took his Art-Rock band Skunkadelique (Virgin Records) on a year-long sojourn in Paris. Returning to New York, he formed Big Lazy and pursued a musical career with his band, working alternately as a billboard painter in Times Square, a session musician, and in a Broadway pit orchestra.
Simultaneously noir and pastoral, gothic and modern, Ulrich's compositions dwell in the unmistakable landscape of gritty yet gracefully crafted American music conjuring images of everything from big sky country to seedy back rooms.
“Big Lazy, the elegantly gritty instrumental trio led by the extraordinary guitarist Stephen Ulrich, plays stunningly beautiful music that evokes everything from truckers' romps to the haunting film scores of Bernard Herrmann.”
“The Big Apple Creme de la Creme: an instrumental trio that doesn't so much balance jazz dexterity and rock aggression as stick 'em both in your ear. Right, they're suitable for soundtracks. But anybody who wants to call them ambient better talk to me first.”
Ulrich Ziegler has been voted 2012 Album of the Year by New York Music Daily. Stephen Ulrich and Itamar Ziegler have released their debut album - Ulrich Ziegler. The band made its performance debut at the Museum of Modern Art in August of 2012. The album features an international line-up of musicians including Tamir Muskat and Peter Hess (Balkan Beat Box), Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire), and Mick Rossi (Phillip Glass), as well as members of the Cuban National Orchestra.
Backroads, director Katja Esson’s informative 5-part documentary series on American backroads, premieres on the Franco-German TV network ARTE on February 4th, 2013. Featuring music by Stephen, Ulrich Ziegler, and Big Lazy.
Stephen has scored season one and two of the HBO series Bored To Death, starring Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis. The noir-comedy chronicles the misadventures of an unlikely (and unlicensed) Brooklyn detective who lives his life as a character from a Raymond Chandler novel.
Miao Wang’s film Beijing Taxi features an original score by Stephen Ulrich and Itamar Ziegler. The critically acclaimed feature documentary examines life in the New China through the windshields of three city cab drivers.
American Masters - Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides with original music by Stephen Ulrich.
The album Shotnez was released April 5, 2011 on JDUB Records. A collaboration between Stephen and members of Balkan Beat Box, the album boldly mixes punk rock minimalism and Middle Eastern complexity. It's “pure madness,” says The LA Weekly, ”a whole new way to play music.”
Stephen recently played guitar on several tracks for an upcoming Iggy Pop release. Details soon.