Biography

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone with him.  From the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, and into the confrontational expressionism of the ’60s avant-garde, Craig handled the total vernacular the way a skilled orator utilizes the spoken word.

He has performed with a veritable Who’s Who of progressive jazz’ most important figures – including Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Abdullah Ibrahim,  Jaki Byard, Muhal Richard Abrams, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Lester Bowie, The WORLD Saxophone Quartet, The Roots, RAKIM and the list goes on and on – his own projects displayed both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of  musical expression. And it’s those two qualities that have dominated Craig’s past 15 years of activity, bringing him far beyond the confines of the jazz world and into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator and artistic director. Projects like, Souls Within the Veil, composed to commemorate the centennial of W. E. B.  Du Bois’  The Souls of Black Folk.  Brown Butterfly, a multi-media work based on the movement of Muhamed Ali with video, dance, and music. God’s Trombones, based on James Weldon Johnson’s classic collection of poems that refigure inspirational sermons by itinerant Negro preachers.

FESTIVALS

Kool Jazz Festival, “The Young Lions”, Carnegie Hall, NYC
Camden Jazz Festival, England
Heineken Jazz & Blues Festival, San Sabastian, Spain
American Center, Paris, France
International Jazz Festival, Saalfelden, Austria
Newport Jazz Festival, RI
Paris Jazz Festival, France
Berlin Jazz Festival, Germany
Zurich Jazz Festival, Germany
North Sea Jazz Festival,
Willisau Jazz Festival, Switzerland
Perugia Jazz Festival,
Chicago Jazz Festival, IL
Atlanta Jazz Festival, GA
Boston Globe Jazz Festival, MA
Montreal Jazz Festival, Canada

VENUES

Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
Real Artways, Hartford, CT
D.C. Space, Washington, DC
Smithstonian, Washington, DC
Darthmouth University, NH
Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Carnegie Hall, NYC
Aaron Davis Hall, NYC
Harlem Stage at the Gatehouse, NYC
The Apollo Theater, NYC
Town Hall, NYC
Sweet Basil, NYC
Village Vanguard, NYC
Iridium, NYC
The Knitting Factory, NYC
Joe’s Pub, NYC
The Jazz Gallery, NYC
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem, NY
Rubin Museum, NYC
Summer Jazz at The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY
Prince Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
York College, Queens, NY
Center for the Emerging Arts, Philadelphia, PA
University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Penumbra Theatre, St, Paul MN
Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, OH
Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton OH

GRANTS

Guggenheim Fellowship
Meet the Composers New Works Commission
Rockefeller Foundation MAP
Mary Flager Cary Charitable Trust
National Endowment for the Arts
Lila Wallace Readers Digest Award
The Ford Foundation
The William Penn Foundation
Creative Capital Award
The Nathan Cumming Foundation
Jerome Foundation
National Endowment for the Humanities
Arts International
New York State Council of the Arts