Mosesian Center for the ArtsJazz at the Mosesian, Featuring the Kevin Harris Project
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In its 11th season, Jazz at the Mosesian, featuring Berklee faculty artists, continues with the Kevin Harris Project in a concert honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
The West African griot often is a historian, poet, teacher, advisor, ambassador, and storyteller. In his second installation project, Griot Footsteps, Vol. 2, Harris explores the powerful message and musical interpretation of King, one of America’s most formidable griots. Joining Harris (piano) for this exciting interpretation are Jason Palmer, (trumpet), Ron Mahdi (acoustic bass), and Ron Savage (drums).
When the unmistakable musical influences of Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker intersect with J.S. Bach, Scott Joplin, and the folkloric rhythms of Cuba, what celebration occurs at that intersection? Harris plays a distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary music that seeks to explore such a crossroad.
Harris performs at renowned national and international venues, including Blue Note, Smalls Jazz Club, Mezzrow Jazz Club, Jazzhus Montmartre, and Wally’s, to name a few. His ensemble also has participated in jazz festivals in Cuba, Panama, Italy, Denmark, and the United States, among other countries.
As a leader, Harris has released five albums. DownBeat defines his compositions as “overall smart, lyrical and engrossing,” and the Phoenix 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."
Harris is in demand as a clinician and collaborates with public and private education institutions nationally and internationally. He is currently an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches piano, jazz ensembles, and theory classes; he also is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology–affiliated artist.