February 18, 2024 @ 6:00 PM PST
Originally a drummer, Harris didn’t seriously approach the piano until his 20s, when New Orleans jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis heard him play at Virginia Commonwealth University and suggested he take up the piano full time. Studies with Geri Allen and Dr. Billy Taylor and steady work in Virginia led to tours with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and a role as second pianist with the great Marcus Roberts in the 1990s, and collaboration with horn giants Kenny Garrett, Joshua Redman and Roy Hargrove soon followed. Inspired by Nat “King” Cole, Harris began singing in the mid-90s and his 1996 debut, Stepping Stones, showed the young musician to be a remarkably assured, fully developed master of the swing tradition.
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