STEFON HARRIS AND BLACKOUT
Led by classically trained and forward-thinking vibraphonist Stefon Harris, Blackout is a collaborative outfit of brilliant musicians from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom contribute to both the performance and composition of original works. NPR calls Blackout "a troupe of music mercenaries adept in the language of jazz, the strut of soul music, and the raucous ruckus of breakbeats, go-go and new-jack rhythms...This is what the next generation of jazz masters sounds like today."
Stefon Harris, vibes
Casey Benjamin, alto saxophone
Marc Cary, piano
Ben Williams, bass
Terreon Gully drums
Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is heralded as "one of the most important young artists in jazz" (The Los Angeles Times). Harris' passionate artistry, energetic stage presence, and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him into the forefront of the current jazz scene. Widely recognized and lauded by his peers and jazz critics alike, Harris is committed to both exploring the rich potential of jazz composition and blazing new trails on the vibraphone.? A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he received a B.A. in Classical Music and an M.A. in Jazz Performance. He is a recipient of the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and a three-time Grammy nominee. He has been voted "Best Mallet Player" by the Jazz Journalist Association, "Debut Artist of the Year" by JazzTimes, Downbeat's Critics Poll Winner ("Talent Deserving Wider Recognition"), Newsweek's "Best Jazz CD," "Best New Talent" and "Readers Poll Best Vibraphonist" by JazzIz Magazine, and Chicago Tribune's "Debut of the Year."
Harris has performed at many of the world's most distinguished concert halls, including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, San Francisco's Davies Hall and Herbst Theater, UCLA's Royce Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center, Detroit's Orchestra Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. He has toured and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and performed his original compositions with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra in Den Hague. He has also performed at the world-renowned Village Vanguard and at Troy Music Hall.?Stefon Harris has led his quartet at several music festivals and performance centers throughout the world. He toured Europe performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival, and the Umbria Jazz Festival. Harris has also appeared at the legendary Playboy Jazz Festival and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. He tours worldwide with his band Blackout and the San Francisco Jazz Collective; teaches at New York University; and has been Artist-in-Residence at Fontana Chamber Arts (Kalamazoo), The Lied Center (Lincoln, NE), and San Francisco Performances. Harris has served on the Executive Board of Directors for Chamber Music America and was the first musician elected to the WBGO-FM Board of Directors.