Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival Donald Harrison
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In the classic jazz genre, Donald Harrison is the originator of the nouveau swing style, which merges acoustic swing with modern r&b, second-line, hip-hop, New Orleans African American roots culture, and reggae rhythms. Harrison is a proven master of many musical genres and has written and performed many innovative classic jazz compositions. Some of his compositions are now part of the standard repertoire of jazz. He has also written and performed as a hip-hop MC. His influence on the whole rap culture as an early mentor of the Notorius B.I.G. on the science of rap and life was documented on VH-1. He is also a master singer/dancer in traditional New Orleans culture.
Today the 47-year-old saxophonist is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of these times, yet he remains inextricably tied to his New Orleans roots. Harrison has also discovered and nurtured some of the finest young jazz musicians like the young trumpeter Christian Scott, Mark Whitfield, Dwayne Burno, Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut, as well as rap icon the Notorious B.I.G.—his neighbor in Brooklyn for eight years. In the new millennium, Harrison has written and performed major orchestral works. Recently he has performed with his own groups as well as with the Head Hunters, Jennifer Holliday, Larry Coryell, and the Art of Four with Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, and James Williams.
See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.