Les Harris Jr.: Featured on I Want to Be Happy (4), Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (8)
Les Harris Jr.
is a 1983 graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Les is a music faculty member at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Southern Maine, Phillips Exeter Academy and the Amesbury Public Schools, teaching drums and ensembles. Les is the son of retired Berklee College of Music professor and jazz drummer Les Harris Sr.
Les Harris Jr. began playing the drums at a young age under the tutelage of his father. He was sitting in with jazz greats Herb Pomeroy, Bob Wilber, Dave McKennna, John LaPorta, and Teddy Wilson by the time he was 14 and began playing professionally at the age of 15, working weekends with pianist/vocalist Annie Bosteels and her trio. While attending Berklee, Les studied with Joe Hunt and Robert Kaufman and upon graduation, he studied extensively with legendary drummer and educator Alan Dawson. From 1983-1995, Les was the drummer with the jazz vocal group, "The Ritz", appearing on seven recordings,(five on the Denon label, two on Pausa). As a member of The Ritz, Les performed at The Sea Jazz Festival in Finland, The Blue Note Jazz Clubs in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Jakarta and NYC, The New Morning Club in Paris, George Wein's "Newport Jazz Festival in Japan" as well as engagements in Singapore, Italy, Germany, Morrocco, Vienna, and throughout the United States and Canada. Les has toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra,(under the direction of Dick Johnson), and with tenor saxophone great Scott Hamilton, including performances with Scott at The Subway Club in Cologne and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
In the early 90's, Les worked with Diana Krall and her trio in Boston and in 2001 he toured with "Moxie" featuring Cheryl Bentyne, Janis Seigel and Laurel Masse' of The Manhattan Transfer which included performances at the famed Birdland jazz club in NYC. Les was a longtime member of Seacoast Jazz great Tommy Gallant's Trio and has had the opportunity to play with some of the best known artists in jazz, including Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Annie Ross, Teddy Wilson, Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Marian McPartland, Jimmy Heath, Ken Peplowski, Al Grey, Marshall Royal, Buddy DeFranco, Bud Shank, Harry Allen, and Charlie Mariano.
Along with his busy teaching schedule, Les is one of New England's first call drummers performing with many of the areas top jazz artists including Herb Pomeroy, Donna Byrne, Gray Sargent, Dick Johnson, Ray Santisi, Rebecca Parris and Marshall Wood. He is also a regular member of the Paul Broadnax Quintet, the Jim Howe Trio and the Mark Kleinhaut Trio. Les also participates in many recording projects with Boston jazz artists and some of his latest recordings include; "FRIENDS" with the Paul Broadnax Quintet, "STERLING!" with the Jim Howe Trio and Herb Pomeroy, "A BALANCE OF LIGHT" with the Mark Kleinhaut Trio and Bobby Watson,"TRIO 2000" with the Jim Howe Trio and Fred Haas, "THE DREAMER" with Kathleen Kolman, "TRUMPET 101" with Trent Austin, "BABY, I'M FINE" with Wendee Glick and Ken Peplowski, and "TOMMY GALLANT AND FRIENDS, LIVE AT THE PRESSROOM", with jazz greats Al Cohn, Jimmy Mosher, Al Grey and Bud Freeman. ∞Les's Site∞