Donald Harrison Jr
Donald Harrison, Jr. is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of our times, yet he remains inextricably tied to his New Orleans roots. The son of late great Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr., he began working with Roy Haynes at age 19 and Jack McDuff at age 20. He joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers at age 21. A few years later, he co-led a band with Terence Blanchard that had an enormous impact on the development of the "neo-conservative" movement. After that group split in 1989, Harrison became a prodigious leader releasing a number of well-received records. 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 BIG who was his neighbor in Brooklyn for eight years. He also worked throughout the 90's with a wide variety of world-class talents. Such notables include Lena Horne, Spike Lee, Latin jazz giant Eddie Palmieri, and the smash hip-hop groups, Jazzmatazz, The Notorius BIG, and Digable Planets. All of this diverse experience fuels Harrison's dynamic sound. In the new millennium, Harrison has written and performed major orchestral works. Recently he has performed with his own groups as well as The Head Hunters, Jennifer Holiday, Larry Coryell, and The Art of Four with Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, and James Williams.
He is one of the few musicians who can play it all - from traditional New Orleans, to swing, bop, post-bop, modern, smooth, avant-garde, and beyond. Yet, Harrison has developed his own personal style that traverses and synthesizes all these mediums with great success. Through talent and perseverance, Harrison has developed into one of the most significant artist to emerge in the last twenty years