When the unmistakable musical influences of Thelonious Monk, Danilo Perez, and Charlie Parker intersect with J.S. Bach, Scott Joplin, and the folkloric rhythms of Cuba, could one possibly conceptualize the celebration that occurs at that intersection? Boston/New York-based jazz pianist Kevin Harris plays a distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary music that seeks to explore such a crossroad.
Fred Hersch talks of Kevin 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.”
One of the captivating elements of his ensemble is the level of comfort and understanding they have with one another as they dive into sincere musicalal conversations as well as playful exchanges. Both his live performances and his recordings reflect Harris’s determination to capture his audience through thoughtful interactions and very complex solo sections.
Among his most recent collaborations are: Greg Osby, Avishai Cohen, Eddie Gomez, Carlos Averhoff, Richie Barshay, Ben Street, Ralph Peterson, Ralph Bowen, Jason Palmer, Jerry Bergonzi, Cecil McBee, Bob Moses, George Garzone, and Terri Lyne Carrington.
With his 4th album as a leader, ‘Museum Vol’ released in 2013, Kevin presents a personal collection of concepts in song form. DownBeat gives it three stars and describes it as “overall smart, lyrical and engrossing”. The Phoenix chooses it as the “Editor’s Pick” and highlights “the tight/loose elasticity, the tension between form and freedom that was the hallmark of so many Miles Davis sessions with Shorter and Herbie Hancock . . . calm and collected, but also loose and full of surprises." The initial release tour brings the ensemble to Panama, Copenhagen, Lima, Boston, New York, with thriving performances for both new and established fans.