A distinctive trait of New York/Boston-based jazz pianist Kevin Harris is his desire to constantly grow, evolve, improve, and advance. Harris plays a distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary music that seeks to celebrate the musical influences of Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, and intersects with J.S. Bach, Scott Joplin, and the folkloric African rhythms of the Caribbean. Among his most notable collaborations are with Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, Francisco Mela, Avishai Cohen, Eddie Gomez, Duane Eubanks, Richie Barshay, Ben Street, Jason Palmer, Rudy Royston, Frank Lacey, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Curtis Lundy, Eric McPherson, Dayna Stephens, Ralph Peterson, and Terri Lyne Carrington. 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 performs at renowned national and international venues, including Blue Note (NYC, Boston, Milan, Beijing), New York's Smalls, Mezzrow, and 55-Bar; Copenhagen's JazzHus Montmartre; and Boston's Wally's Jazz Cafe, to name a few. His ensemble has also participated at Havana's Jazz Festivals in Cuba, Panama Jazz Fest, Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, Winter Jazz Fest in Denmark, Lima Jazz Fest in Peru, Levontin Fest in Israel, and various festivals in the US. One of the most captivating elements of the Kevin Harris Project is the level of comfort and understanding they have with one another as they dive into soulfully expressive conversations and playful exchanges of ideas. Both live and recorded performances reflect Harris's determination to capture his audience through exploratory interactions that Terri Lyne Carrington describes as "an exciting commitment to quality."
Photo at top by Luisa Harris.