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Kevin Harris Project

June 23, 2023 @ 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

A distinctive trait of internationally recognized jazz pianist Kevin Harris is his desire to constantly grow, evolve, improve, and advance. His interest to interweave traditional and contemporary music styles, visual arts, electronic media, science, and language, is what distinguishes his music and what renders his performances unique experiences, meant to activate the audience’s senses and personal curiosity.

“Participation,” Harris says, “is what keeps our souls alive.” As a leader, Harris has released six albums. Both live and recorded performances reflect Harris’s determination to capture his audience through explorative interactions that Terri Lyne Carrington describes as “an exciting commitment to quality.”

Harris’ music education has its foundation in the degrees he has received, but equally importantly in Black Gospel and Afro-Caribbean styles of music. He possesses the unique ability to compose complex, uplifting, tempestuous, and deeply stimulating notes.

One of the captivating elements of his ensembles, from duet to orchestra setting, is the level of comfort and understanding they have with one another. Harris is known for his diving into soulfully expressive conversations and playful exchanges of ideas with his musicians, while always providing the space to improvise in the moment.

Fred Hersch talks of Harris as one who “plays and writes with flair and real soul” and DownBeat Magazine writes that “Harris’ compositions deal with themes of strength, love, courage, and self- awareness. It’s a heavy task he’s set up for himself, and he meets the challenge gracefully.”

Harris’ most innovative project as a composer is “Roots, Water and Sunlight: A Contemporary Octet Expedition through the Expressions of James Baldwin”.

He is presently completing a commissioned work entitled “Pulse”, a work for oboe, violins, cello, acoustic bass, and piano, to be released in 2023.

Among his most notable collaborations are Dayna Stephens, Ralph Peterson, Ameen Saleem, Greg Hutchinson Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Curtis Lundy, Caroline Davis, Bill Pierce, Francisco Mela, Avishai Cohen, Eddie Gomez, Duane Eubanks, Richie Barshay, Ben Street, Jason Palmer, Rudy Royston, Frank Lacey, Eric McPherson, and Terri Lyne Carrington.