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Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. American jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, arranger and educator.
He is an exponent of the bebop style. Harris began learning the piano at the age of four. His mother was a church pianist and had asked if Harris was interested in playing church or jazz music.
Having picked jazz, he was influenced by Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell’s music. He went to public areas to play dances for clubs and ballrooms. Harris learned the bebop styles largely by ear, imitating the solos played by Bud Powell in his teenage years.
Harris was based in Detroit through the 1950s and worked with musicians such as Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt and Thad Jones. He also performed in place of Junior Mance, who was Gene Ammons’s regular pianist for his group frequently. Harris performed with Cannonball Adderley’s quintet and even had a chance to do a television stint with them.
Harris relocated to New York City in 1960, where he became a performer as well as a jazz educator. During his time in New York, Harris collaborated with Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Yusef Lateef and Hank Mobley through performances and recordings. Between 1965 and 1969, Harris performed extensively with Coleman Hawkins at the Village Vanguard.
During the 1970s, Harris lived with Monk at the Weehawken, New Jersey home of the jazz patroness Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, and so was in an excellent position to comment on the last years of his fellow pianist. Harris also sat in for Monk for rehearsals at the New York Jazz Repertory Company in 1974. By the mid-1970s, Harris and his band members gave concerts in European cities and Japan.
In Japan, he performed at the Yubin Chokin concert hall in Tokyo over two days and his performance were recorded and compiled into an album released by Xanadu Records. Between 1982 and 1987, Harris took charge of the Jazz Cultural Workshop on the 8th Avenue in New York.
Since the 1990s, Harris has collaborated with Toronto-based pianist and teacher Howard Rees in creating a series of videos and workbooks documenting his unique harmonic and improvisational systems and teaching process. In 2000, he was profiled in the film Barry Harris – Spirit of Bebop. Harris continues to perform and teach worldwide.
When he is not traveling, he holds weekly music workshop sessions in New York City for vocalists, students of piano and other instruments. Harris has recorded 19 albums as a lead artist. This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources.
Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately. Larry Ridley, Barry Harris, Jim Harrison, and Frank Fuentes were partners in creating the Jazz Cultural Theater beginning 1982. Located at 368 Eighth Avenue in New York City in a storefront between 28th and 29th Streets in Manhattan, it was primarily a performance venue featuring prominent jazz artists and also hosted jam sessions.