Jazz artists Stefon Harris + Blackout live in free show at Alys Stephens Center on April 9 – News

Harris, billed as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” by the Los Angeles Times, will perform in a series of free concerts broadcast live by UAB’s Alys Stephens Center.

Jazz artists Stefon Harris + blackout star in a free concert on April 9, broadcast live by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

Harris, educator, vibraphonist and composer, has been touted as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” by the Los Angeles Times. The 7 p.m. CT live virtual concert is free and open to anyone who signs up. Reserve your spot to AlysStephens.org.

Four-time Grammy nominee, Harris is:

  • Seven-time best mallet player by the Jazz Journalist Association
  • Lincoln Center Martin E. Segal Award Recipient
  • Winner of Downbeat Critics’ Poll for Vibraphone in 2013, 2015
  • 2014 Extended Critics Poll for Jazz Times Vibes
  • Recipient of a 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album for “Wonder: The Songs of Stevie Wonder” as a member of the SF Jazz Collective.

From his new jazz album “Sonic Creed”, Harris calls it “an album that tells the story of a people and their time on the planet. It is a reflection of African-American life at the end of the century. 20th and early 21st century. Plus, it’s a sonic manifestation and credo of family, community and heritage. The album once again explores the music of masters such as Bobby Hutcherson, Abbey Lincoln , Wayne Shorter and Horace Silver.

British Vibe Jazz Critic Alan Musson proclaimed “Sonic Creed” 5 out of 5 stars. If you only buy one jazz album this year, make it this one.

Harris received degrees in classical percussion and jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He toured around the world with his bands Sonic Creed, Blackout and Ninety Miles. Harris teaches at New York University and is the artistic director of Jazz Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He also teaches at the Brubeck Institute through its distance learning program and at the institute’s Summer Jazz Colony. Harris’ iconic TED talk, “There are no mistakes on the Bandstand,” was the most viewed in its 2011 version, and has been viewed over 500,000 times.

Harris will be hosting a 12:20 pm masterclass workshop titled “Harmony Cloud” for Music Majors, presented by the Music Department at UAB College of Arts and Sciences. Harris will perform and practice during Friday performance hour, said associate professor of jazz studies Steven Roberts, DMA.

“The great thing about Stefon Harris is that he’s not only a virtuoso, but he’s also dedicated his life to teaching,” said Roberts. “His TED talk has excited UAB students and they are eager to ask him questions about jazz, musical careers, and the life of a musician in general.

Ada J. Kenney