Donald Harrison Jr.’s Story

2022 NEA Jazz Master Big Chief Donald Harrison Jr. is a musician/composer dedicated to mastering every era of jazz, soul, and funk and composing orchestral classical music. He has been called a “One man music festival” because his performances cover the history of American music and show that is the basis for his innovations. According to geniuses Eddie Palmieri, Nicholas Payton, Carl Allen, and Mike Clark, he is a genius.

In 2021 Harrison received an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College. He appeared as an actor in nine episodes of “Treme,” where director David Simon created two characters to portray how Harrison innovated music. He was an actor and musician in director Johnathon Demme’s film “Rachel Getting Married and Marvel’s “Luke Cage.”He played himself in Spike Lee’s historic HBO documentary “When The Levees Broke,” and Netflix’s documentary “I Got A Story To Tell,” about The Notorious BIG.

Harrison is the recognized Big Chief of Congo Square in Afro-New Orleans culture, where he keeps alive one of the root contributors cultures to Traditional jazz. Harrison was made a Chief in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, and is the only major jazz artist who is Chief on two continents.

Harrison honed his craft by playing with Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Eddie Palmieri, Dr. John, Lena Horne, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Chuck Loeb, The Headhunters, hip-hop greats Digable Planets, Guru’s Jazzmatazz, The Notorious BIG, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and over 200 jazz master innovators of every era and style.

He has also played with the master innovators of blues, funk, soul, hip-hop, classical, and New Orleans music. He has innovated three influential jazz styles. In 1979, at nineteen, Harrison brought a modern jazz twist to New Orlean’s second-line music. By the mid-80s, he created “Nouveau Swing,” a concept that blends classic jazz with hip-hop, funk, and soul music. In the ’90s, Harrison made smooth jazz hits and began exploring quantum music in 2000. He began composing and orchestrating classical music for symphonic orchestras in 2013. Harrison also mentored diverse artists Christian Scott, Johnathon Batiste, Esperanza Spaulding, Trombone Shorty, multiple Grammy-winning platinum hip-hop producer Deezle, and The Notorious Big. Jonathon Batiste say’s, “I consider Donald Harrison one of the greatest teachers of the last fifty years because he teaches all the music.”

The 30th Annual Capital Jazz Fest Is Set For June 2nd – 4th

Capital Jazz Fest, one of the premier black music events in the U.S., is now in its 30th year. The 2023 staging is all set for June 2nd through the 4th at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. It will feature over 30 live acts in three days!

Patrons will be treated to contemporary jazz, R&B, and soul music from both established and emerging performers. The lineup includes: Fantasia, Joe, Kevin Ross, George BEnson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Robert Glasper, Kandace Springs, Jamison Ross, Johnny Britt, Ne-Yo, Stokley, Kenny Lattimore, Lyfe Jennings, Conya Doss and many more.

Catch Digable Planets At House Of Blues New Orleans On May 4th (@digableplanets)

80s hip-hop trio, Digable Planets – which is made up of members Butterfly, Ladybug Mecca and Doodlebug – will perform at the House of Blues – 225 Decatur Street – in New Orleans, Louisiana on Thursday, May 4th.

The group is expected to pull both jazz and hip-hop lovers to their 8pm show. Tickets start at $40 USD, and is available now via the venue’s website.

The Tobago Jazz Experience Returns In April

After a three-year hiatus, the Tobago Jazz Experience returns in April, and will run from the 20th to the 23rd at three different locations.

Gospel Night, which will be on the 20th, will be at the Shaw Park Complex; Jazz Night is on the 22nd at the Speyside Recreational Grounds; and International Night (the 23rd) will be at the Parade Grounds next to Dwight York Stadium.

The line-up features Grammy Award winners Boyz II Men and Koffee, as well as established performers Everton Blender, Richie Spice, Theron Shaw, Tony Paul, Vaughnette Bigford, and many more. Get tickets here.

Eric Darius Sells Out Yoshi’s (@ericdarius)

Saxophonist, vocalist, songwriter, producer, and educator – Eric Darius – has two sold out shows at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, this Friday, March 3rd. The performances are at 8 and 10pm.

Darius recently released his new album, Unleashed, which was produced by Grammy Award-winning musician, Philip Lassiter. It features Eric Roberson, Justin Lee Schultz, MonoNeon, Metropole Orkest, Rebecca Jade, Paul Jackson Jr. and Josje. These concerts are in support of the new record.

DLO3 Will Be At The Lodge Room On Feb. 22nd (@dlo3music)

American soul-jazz group Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, also known as DLO3, will perform at the Lodge Room – 104 N Ave 56 2nd floor – in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday, February 22nd.

The event, which is being presented by Artsdontsleep, is a part of the Jazz is Dead series. This is an all ages show that’s scheduled to begin at 7pm. General admission is only $20.

Musiq Soulchild Joins The Soul II Soul Tour (@MusiqSoulchild)

On Friday, February 3rd, Musiq Soulchild will join Grammy winner Ledisi, and R&B singer Kem, as a special guest on their Soul II Soul Tour.

There are a total of twenty-four confirmed shows announced for major cities across America: Columbia, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Oakland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Memphis, etc. The tour will end on May 12, at the Raising Canes River Center Arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Get additional information from thesouliisoultour-dot-com.