Barry Harris Birthday Broadcast

Barry Harris Birthday Broadcast
Friday, December 15, 2023 - 12:00am to Saturday, December 16, 2023 - 12:00am

Barry Harris’s passing left a deep hole in the jazz community. One New York Times article famously reads “He played with Charlie Parker. For 15$ he’ll play with you.” This article of course describes the Barry Harris Tuesday workshops that he held for about 50 years in NYC which has been revered by jazz musicians and listeners as THE class for learning how to play the music. The school of Barry Harris goes far beyond his masterclasses; his concepts are not merely an approach, but an ocean of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic ideas which one must chart out for themselves in order to understand and play bebop.
Barry dedicated a massive part of his life to helping others internalize his passion for bebop, music, and life. In our effort to honor Barry, his overall legacy, and what he provided for the New York jazz community, WKCR is excited to announce our first Barry Harris Memorial Broadcast a week from today on December 15th, which will feature 24 hours of preemptive broadcasting. Throughout the day we will be joined by very special guests that knew Barry well to share stories about Barry and his music. In addition to the interviews we may also feature live performances of Barry Harris’ music, in studio. More details will be announced soon regarding this.
Barry Doyle Harris was born in Detroit on Dec. 15, 1929, the fourth of five children born to Melvin and Bessie Harris. His mother, a church pianist, started giving him piano lessons at age 4. Among the many musicians that he mentored and came up from his direct influence and teaching were trumpeter Donald Byrd, bassists Paul Chambers and Doug Watkins, trombonist Curtis Fuller, and saxophonists Pepper Adams, Charles McPherson and Joe Henderson.
Through his extensive career, Harris made many essential recordings as a leader, and also appears on plenty of canonical records as a sideman, which our 24 hour broadcast on the 15th will delve into, framed by the musicians who have stories about these specific dates and periods in Barry’s life.