BRANDON, MB — Jazz faculty members, saxophonist Greg Gatien, percussionist Eric Platz and two of their senior students, guitarist Josh Winestock and bassist John Baron will share the stage with acclaimed pianist, John Harmon. The Wisconsin-based musician is also a prolific composer of works for orchestra, wind ensemble, choirs, chamber and jazz groups.
“I remember studying John’s recordings and compositions when I was a student at Eastman a long time ago,” said Gatien. “He’s not as well known as he should be, having chosen to settle in Wisconsin, but he is a truly remarkable musician. Hearing him play is going directly to the source. Getting to hear him live, getting to play his compositions here in Brandon is a remarkable opportunity.”
A student of the late, world-famous jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Harmon co-founded Matrix, a jazz nonet. With that group, he contributed to five recordings and countless live performances. Since the early 1980s, the pianist has also been focused on music education. He has been the Director of Jazz Studies at his alma mater, Lawrence University. For almost two decades, he was the music director of the Fox Jazzfest.
Nicknamed ‘Wisconsin’s Gentle Poet of Jazz’, Harmon’s work underlines his concern for the environment and his interest in Native American culture. He has received many awards for his musical achievements. These include an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (Lawrence University); fellowships from the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters and Culver Military Academy (IN); Distinguished Service Awards from both the International Association of Jazz Educators and Wisconsin State Music Association; the Jazziz Award, and many others.
Harmon will join the Brandon University musicians on Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m., in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall. Admission to this performance is free and everyone is welcome to attend.