Barry Harris

Barry Harris is an Internationally renowned Jazz Pianist, Composer and Teacher. Dr. Harris is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University. He has received the Living Jazz Legacy award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Association, and an American Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, Dr. Harris received the Manhattan Borough President Award for Excellence. This award was given for recognition of his devoted public service and in honor of excellence in the field of music. He received the 1999 Mentor award for his work with youngsters at the Manhattan Country School in NYC.

Dr. Harris has devoted his life to the advancement of Jazz and in the 1980’s founded the Jazz Cultural Theatre. For the past several decades Dr. Harris has been an exponent of the classic Jazz style that was developed by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Coleman Hawkins.

Dr. Barry Harris receives frequent requests to appear as a guest lecturer by Universities and various musical venues all over the world. His lectures and interactive instrument and vocal workshops focus on the complete aspects of music including improvisation, harmonic movement and theory. His schedule includes lectures in the United States, Holland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Japan. When he is not travelling, Dr. Harris holds weekly music workshop sessions in New York City for vocalists, students of piano other instruments.     Learn more at

Winard Harper


Inspired by the musicianship of greats such as Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Cannonball Adderley, and Billy Higgins, Winard Harper has been a bandleader for over twenty years. His considerable talent and musicality landed him gigs with leaders Betty Carter, Johnnie Griffin and Dexter Gordon. Those pivotal early years on the road made a lasting impression on his decision to lead and develop bands. Harper muses, “You can hear it and feel it when musicians have shared the vision and experiences that distinguish a band from a gig. The relationships, the cohesion, the sacrifices and growth. It all comes through.”

The Baltimore native, born in 1962, displayed an early affinity for rhythm. His father observed him beating on cans when he was three years old and encouraged him to take up drumming. His mother quipped, “I have no idea what we would have done with all that energy had it not been for that outlet.” By five years old, he was making guest appearances with older brother Danny's rock band. He made a lasting decision when he heard a Clifford Brown and Max Roach recording. "I was fascinated hearing Max do the things he did with percussion of all types," he recalls. “I knew I had to play jazz.”

Harper has played and recorded internationally with some of the most renowned jazz figures of his lifetime. His musical companions have included Dr. Billy Taylor, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McRae, Pharoah Sanders and numerous others. Beginning in the late 80’s, he co-led the widely acclaimed Harper Brothers band with brother, Phillip. In the 90’s, Harper branched out on his own with a dynamic sextet configuration that has produced seven recordings. In the essential tradition that nurtured him, and countless other stand-outs, Harper keeps "jazz academy" in session by spotlighting exceptional young talent. Learn more at

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Vishnu Wood

Vishnu Wood combines his work as a performing musician with multicultural education programs in an effort to help adults and children understand the roots of America’s classical music JAZZ. His career includes national and international concerts and performances as a jazz bassist and national and international educational programs through Safari East Cultural Programs, the organization he founded in l973.

Mr. Wood is a native of Detroit who came up in the bebop era at the feet of jazz greats such as Barry Harris, Elvin Jones, Clifford Jordan, Randy Weston, Yusef Lateef. After a long New York – based career, Mr. Wood has added a second residence in Amherst, Massachusetts where he combines country life with an active musical career. Learn more at

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Kiane Zawadi

Kiane Zawadi is a New Yorker originally from Detroit and comes from a family whose tradition is rooted in music. Mr. Zawadi has performed and recorded with many legendary musicians, including his mentor, Barry Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Roland Alexander, Freddie Hubbard, Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet, James Moody, Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster, Aretha Franklin, Clifford Jordan, Wynton Marsalis Live at Lincoln Center, Rodney Kendrick, Archie Shepp, Randy Weston, McCoy Tyner, Larry Ridley, Yusuf Lateef, Sun Ra and Dexter Gordon.

Kiane was voted Downbeat Magazine’s “Artist Deserving Wider Recognition” and received a National Endowment for the Arts Performance grant. His teaching experience includes Jazzmobile, NYC Housing Authority After–School program; Washington Irving HS Music in the Schools program, The New School Jazz Studies program, The Crown Heights Youth Collective, and Duke University’s Master Music Performance Program. Learn more

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