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Guest Artist: Gene Harris


Guest Artist Gene HarrisSuccess came early for jazz pianist Gene Harris. A child prodigy, he was playing professionally at age seven. By the time he was twelve he had his own radio show. Since that time he has become an established jazz figure known throughout the world and has received numerous awards from France, Germany, Japan, and the U.S.

For the past 19 years Harris has lived in Boise, Idaho. "If you haven't seen Boise," he said, "you don't know what heaven is." From there he tours around the world and continues to add to his over 90 albums, most recently recording for the Concord label.

He has recorded many albums with the Gene Harris Quartet (the latest album being It's The Real Soul), the Ray Brown Trio, Benny Carter, Joe Williams, B.B. King, and many others. He has also recorded and toured the world as leader of the Gene Harris-Phillip Morris SuperBand and the Gene Harris All Star Big Band, which was nominated for a Grammy in 1988. Selections from tonight are from these three highly acclaimed albums.

Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal said, "Harris is known to jazz aficionados, and to his peers, as one of the greatest blues pianists in the world. I never cease to marvel at the joyous might of Gene Harris." The London Times hailed him as "one of the world's most exciting blues-based pianists."

His swinging and expressive style is the result of his great love for jazz and for the piano. Says Harris, "When I play the piano, I play from the heart."