ARI LEHMAN is the actor/singer who has the unique honor of havingplayed the role of the First Jason Voorhees in the Paramount ClassicHorror Film "Friday the 13th" (1980). The original "Boy In The Lake"himself, Ari played a crucial role in the film's famous final scene, inwhich he suddenly emerges from the icy waters of Crystal Lake. Workingwith Special Effects Master Tom Savini at an early age gave Ari a deepappreciation for the Horror Greats including Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi,Boris Karloff and Vincent Price.
A native New Yorker, Ari grew up in Westport, CT, where he trained inClassical music and Jazz Piano. Recognized at an early age for hismusical abilities, Ari was presented with an All-State Award forExcellence in Jazz Piano and a generous scholarship to Berklee Schoolof Music by the famous jazz educator, Dr. Billy Taylor.
Also actively engaged in performance and theatre, Ari heard about anaudition being held in Westport, for a new movie, "Manny's Orphan's",about a group of inner-city orphans who play Soccer, directed by SeanS. Cunnngham. Ari snuck into the audition and landed the 80-line roleof "Roger", a pre-pubecent comic character who is obsessed with girls.This role led to Ari getting the call to play Jason Voorhees in "Fridaythe 13th" from Sean S. Cunningham himself, who famously asked him "Canyou swim?", Ari replied "Yes!" and the rest is Horror History.
After the release of "Friday the 13th", Ari returned to New York Citywhere he studied Jazz Piano in its breeding ground with the greatJoanne Brackeen and enrolled in NYU studying Big Band Orchestration andJazz Piano with recognized Masters Jim McNeely and Vladmir Shafranov.Interestingly, Ari's career led him to become a prominent touringKeyboardist for some of the top names in Reggae and African music, withwhom he toured throught the US, Europe and West Africa, working for BobMarley's own Tuff Gong Records and Interscope Records.
As a seasoned recording artist and professional musician, Ari went onto receive acclaim with his own World Rock and Reggae band, when, uponmoving to Chicago in late 2002, he was contacted by Horror fans whoeagerly invited him to attend an East Coast Horror Convention. Inresponse to their enthusiasm, Ari became a regular on the HorrorConvention Circuit, and immediately saw a great opportunity to giveJason Voorhees a musical voice on the Punk and Metal scene. Ariproceeded to draw upon his 20 years' experience as a professionalmusician and recording artist and created FIRSTJASON specifically forHorror Fans, especially the fans of Jason Voorhees and "Friday the13th".
FIRSTJASON has performed in Punk/Metal clubs, Film Festivals, andHorror Conventions throughout the United States. The engagingshowmanship and superior musicianship have consistently receivedenthusiastic response and have developed a strong following. Here is anexerpt from a recent review of a show on their 11-city Midwest tour inthe Early Spring of 2009:
"Like young Jason rising from the deep to take his prey, First Jasoncaught me by surprise. Lehman didn’t just play the keytar, he meltedthat motherfucker. He didn’t just sing songs about Jason, he sang themwith a passion and a power that was above and beyond what the subjectmatter called for. When, toward the end of the set, he threw a Jasonmask my way, I put it on and started banging my head, smiling like amaniac. I was glad I stuck around."
(MP Johnson - FREAK TENSION MAGAZINE)
FIRSTJASON has performed at HORRORHOUND WEEKEND, FANGORIA WEEKEND OFHORRORS, ROCK AND SHOCK, TEXAS FEAR FEST, and FLASHBACK WEEKEND HorrorConventions, as well as THE MILWAUKEE METAL MASSACRE and many of thetop Punk/Metal venues throughout the MidWest. ARI LEHMAN has appearedin E!, Entertainment Weekly, Blender Magazine, Chicago Reader, TheChicago-Sun Times, Illinois Entertainer, Denver CBS4-TV News, andFangoria Radio. He has also appeared at Horror events in Germany,Holland and the United Kingdom.
Ari has also composed, performed and recorded a number of soundtracksfor independent films, including Alexia Anastasio's criticallyacclaimed all-female "SALOME", and VAMP FILMS "VAMPIRA THE MOVIE" whichreceived the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for the Best IndependentFilm of 2007.
(FIRSTJASON, and www.FirstJason.com, are in NO WAY affiliated withParamount Pictures, or New Line Entertainment. All rights reserved(2005 Ari Lehman).)