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Seeing Jazz with George Wein: Stefon Harris
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 04/08/2010 at Symphony Space.

Only at Symphony Space! Jazz impresario George Wein (founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival) projects images from his extensive historic photo album, shares anecdotes about a life lived in jazz, and welcomes leading jazz artists who perform a set on stage in the intimate Leonard Nimoy Thalia. The spotlight's on Stefon Harris, vibes virtuoso.




Interview with George Wein


My Foolish Heart


Whisper Not


Some Day My Prince Will Come


Interview with Stefon Harris and Jacky Terrasson

+ About the Artists

Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (The Los Angeles Times,) and he is unquestionably developing what will be a long and extraordinary career. Mr. Harris’ passionate artistry, energetic stage presence, and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him into the forefront of the current jazz scene. Widely recognized and lauded by both his peers and jazz critics alike, he is committed to both exploring the rich potential of jazz composition and blazing new trails on the vibraphone.

Mr. Harris is a recipient of the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and has earned back to back-to-back Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Album, including The Grand Unification Theory (2003) and the 2001 release Kindred; his 1999 release of Black Action Figure was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. North Sea Jazz (Netherlands) named him for the prestigious International 2002 Bird Award for Artist Deserving Wider Recognition. He has been voted Best Mallet Player by the Jazz Journalist Association (2003, 2002, 2001 & 2000), Debut Artist of the Year by Jazztimes, Downbeat’s Critics Poll Winner for Vibraphone and Rising Star, Vibraphone (2003) Newsweek’s Best Jazz CD, Best New Talent, and 1999-2000 Readers Poll Best Vibraphonist by Jazziz Magazine and Chicago Tribune’s Debut of the Year.

Mr. Harris has performed at many of the world’s most distinguished concert halls, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, UCLA’s Royce Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, and The Sydney Opera House. He has toured and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and performed his original compositions with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra in Den Hague. He has toured South Africa, Brazil and Europe performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival, and the Umbria Jazz Festival among others. In 2001 he premiered The Grand Unification Theory, a full length concert piece commissioned by The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, which was later presented at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He has also appeared at the legendary Playboy Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. He has also recorded and toured with many of music’s greatest artists, including Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Buster Williams, Kenny Barron, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Coleman, and Steve Turre among many others.

Jacky Terrasson, winner of the distinctive Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and two time Grammy nominee, was acclaimed by The New York Times Magazine as “one of 30 artists under the age of 30 most likely to make an impact on American culture in the next 30 years.” Since his 1994 Blue Note debut, Jacky Terrasson, he has earned phenomenal worldwide response, ranking among Time magazine’s Top Albums of 1995 and establishing him as a creator of new standards. Los Angeles Times heralds Mr. Terrasson as “a pianist with a shining improvisational imagination, Terrasson seems clearly determined to follow his own path.” That path has criss-crossed the Atlantic from his native France where at age 12 he discovered his mother’s jazz collection, inspiring him to depart classical piano for the “freedom of expression in improvisation.” While studying at the prestigious Lycee Lamartine, Mr. Terrasson became a protégé of Francis Paudras, whose experiences with Bud Powell became the basis for the film ‘Round Midnight and who encouraged him to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. A year at the famed conservatory introduced Mr. Terrasson to Javon Jackson who years later invited the pianist to perform on his Blue Note debut, produced by Betty Carter. In quick succession, Carter hired Mr. Terrasson as her pianist—his first gig with her coming the day after he won the Monk Competition which itself spawned a bidding war for a major recording contract, landing him on Blue Note. Blending elegance and exuberance with improvisational mastery, he recorded two more projects (Reach, Alive) with his trio of Ugonna Okegwo and Leon Parker forming one of the most distinctive sounds of modern jazz. New York’s Newsday was prompted to declare “It is hard to think of another trio that creates as much high drama.”

Mr. Terrasson has collaborated with some of the most noted vocalists in jazz recording Rendevous (1997) with Cassandra Wilson and serving as arranger and accompanist with Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Scott and Betty Carter, who called him the most challenging pianist she had ever worked with. He has also played with Ray Brown, Art Taylor and recorded two albums with Ry Cooder. In 2010 he will make his Concord Records debut, featuring his trio of Ben Williams and Jamire Williams.

Mr. Terrasson has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals and halls including The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, McCarter Theater in Princeton, National Concert Hall in Tapai, China, Sumida Tripony Hall in Tokyo, Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival Perugia Jazz Festival in Italy, Montreal Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival among many others.

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