Allan Harris; Monday, April 14, 2014
Monday, April 14
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
“…one of the three best male jazz vocalists in the country.” – CNN
“A suave baritone crooner who’s also a fine guitarist and songwriter with a yen for the blues, Allan Harris is an underappreciated master with an impressive coterie of fans, including Tony Bennett. ” –Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News
Perhaps best known for his interpretations of jazz standards, Allan Harris’s smooth vocals and guitar styling’s easily cross genres, from jazz to soul to blues. A three-time winner of the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist,” the Miami Herald writes that Harris’ voice and demeanor “project the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat King Cole.” His talent-laden band features Santa Cruzan Pascal LeBoeuf on piano, Leon Boykins on bass, and Jake Goldblas on drums.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Harris was meant to be a musician. His mother was a classical pianist, and his Aunt Theodosia was an opera singer. Because Aunt Theodosia attracted the attention of famed music producer Clarence Williams, he became a regular dinner guest and often brought along other performers such as Louis Armstrong. One evening even saw Armstrong babysitting the young Harris, who was terrified of Armstrong’s “frog like voice.” Harris’ Sunday afternoons were often spent at the Apollo Theatre matinees, which was across the street from his Aunt Kate’s Soul Food restaurant, where he got to meet many of the artists who played the Apollo.
As a teenager, Harris moved to Pittsburgh where he worked with bands around the area and learned to play many different styles of guitar from country to soul music, and ultimately found his niche in jazz. Early on in his career he was known as a guitar player who sang, but as audiences began hearing his voice he became more focused on singing. While his style was influenced by rock musicians of the day, his voice always was most comfortable singing the Great American Songbook. Harris subsequently moved to Atlanta and then to Miami where he continued developing his voice and stage presence. It was in Miami that he first met Tony Bennett, who encouraged him to return to New York in 1991.
Bennett has since called Harris his “favorite singer” and The New York Times’ Stephen Holden raves about “the protean talent that is Allan Harris.” Harris has cultivated a global following, playing for packed audiences and receiving outstanding reviews throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and the Far East. His latest album, Cross That River is now a full-scale musical celebrating the Old West as told through the words and music of a black cowboy, which has played to rave reviews during the 2009 New York Musical Theater Festival and is currently in pre-production for a long-term run in early 2014.
Allan Harris Band
DATE: Monday, April 14, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $20/Adv $25/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
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