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Jazz and Contemporary Music Visiting Artist Concert • WHEN WE PERSIST • featuring Kevin Harris, piano

Thursday • March 9, 2023   |   8:00 pm

Free – $20.00
While this event is open to the public, you must pre-register in order to gain access in person. No walk-ups will be allowed at Longy for performances.


Jazz pianist, composer and educator Kevin Harris shares the stage with Longy faculty and student ensembles in a program of original compositions, interconnected by themes of perseverance and hope. DownBeat Magazine writes, “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.” In this program, Kevin leads multiple ensembles, from duet to septet, through a stylistically varied set that twists and turns through intricate grooves and soulful swing; always with a deep commitment to both the traditions of jazz and the unbounded potential of improvisations to come.

Kevin Harris, piano
Noah Preminger, JCM faculty
And several JCM student groups

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A distinctive trait of internationally acclaimed 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.


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Thursday • March 9, 2023
8:00 pm
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and their “Card to Culture” program, Longy School of Music of Bard College can offer free tickets to many of our diverse and innovative performance offerings. See the full list of participating “Card to Culture” organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.