Alan Harris

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With so much music and so many musicians swirling around Alan Harris while growing up, a career in music was virtually predetermined. His mother was a classical pianist and his aunt a classical singer…
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With so much music and so many musicians swirling around Alan Harris while growing up, a career in music was virtually predetermined. His mother was a classical pianist and his aunt a classical singer who turned to the blues and was eventually produced by the famous Clarence Williams, who was Bessie Smith's producer and accompanist. Harris studied both classical piano and classical guitar as a youngster. His family was part of the Harlem scene from the 1920's to the 1950's where his Aunt had a soul food restaurant on125th street near the Apollo Theater. At his family's eatery, he met many of the jazz greats as they came in after their gigs. Louis Armstrong even baby sat him on one occasion. But it was after hearing Sarah Vaughan at the Apollo that convinced him a jazz vocal career was his future. This influential environment and musical training have stood him well as he has developed into a fine male vocalist.

Harris moved with his family to Pittsburgh where he gigged with drummer Roger Humphries. He has opened for Tony Bennett, who provided early encouragement, Dionne Warwick and Melissa Manchester. Harris has gigged with an impressive list of musicians including Jon Hendricks, Jon Faddis, Clark Terry, and Stevie Wonder. His albums - all for Germany's Mons Records - include Setting the Standard, Here Comes Alan Harris with the Metropole Orchestra and It's a Wonderful World where he joined with outstanding jazzers Benny Green, Mark Whitfield, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton and Claudio Roditi for a memorable session.

Harris continues to visit the recording studios, and tour in the United States and Europe with several major projects planned for the new millennium. With a voice bearing elements of Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis, Jr, combined with a stylistic indebtedness to Johnny Hartman and Tony Bennett, Harris' future as a major jazz singer continues to be bright.