Queens College, City University of New York
Harris Simon, pianist, has had extensive experience performing in clubs and jazz festivals in North America and Europe. These include: Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., the Village Vanguard in New York City, Fasching Jazz Club in Stockholm, Sweden, the Pori Jazz Festival and the Imatra Jazz Festival in Finland, the Cork Jazz Festival in Ireland, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival in Scotland, the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree in Poland, Jazz Fiesta in Parnu, Estonia, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Over the years Mr. Simon has performed or recorded with many well-known jazz musicians including: Sonny Fortune, Clifford Jordan, Sal Nistico, Michael Brecker, Art Farmer, Ted Curson, Claudio Roditi, Red Mitchell, Mark Johnson, Ray Drummond, Bob Moses, Harvie S, Roseanna Vitro, and Adam Nussbaum.
In the Williamsburg area Mr. Simon has appeared as a soloist at the Hampton Jazz Festival, and with the York River Symphony, Edgar Williams, conductor, performing his own compositions arranged for jazz piano and string orchestra. With bass and drums, as the Harris Simon Trio, he has appeared for the past eight years at An Occasion for the Arts. He has appeared on the Wednesday Morning Music Club Concert Series; at the Little Theater, Hampton, VA; and was featured in All That Jazz, with the Williamsburg Women’s Chorus, Cindy Freeman, conductor. In Norfolk he has played at the Chrysler Museum, in a Benefit for WHRO at the Naro Theater, and at the Town Point Jazz Festival. Elsewhere on the Peninsula he has appeared at Hampton University, and with “Gerri Hollins and Friends” at the Peninsula Community Theater in Newport News.
Areas of Specialization
Harris Simon, pianist, is a native of New York City. He divides his time between New York and Williamsburg, Virginia where he teaches jazz piano, harmonica, and coaches the Student Jazz Combo at the College of William and Mary. At William & Mary, Mr. Simon performs frequently on the Ewell Concert Series. He has been featured soloist with the William and Mary Jazz Ensemble on both piano and harmonica. He can be seen at Aromas Coffeeshop in Williamsburg on Tuesday evenings. He has given Jazz Lecture/Performances at the DeWitt Wallace Gallery, and the Williamsburg Regional Library.
Mr. Simon has been known to occasionally give his fingers a rest and put a harmonica to his lips. He is a founding member of Top Brass Reedsters, the Professional Harmonica Club of New York, NY. Mr. Simon has appeared with the Richmond Symphony playing the solo harmonica part in the silent film The General.
He has released four albums with his own group: Short Conversation, Swish, New York Connection, and Tuesday Night at Cary Street.
Honors, Prizes, and Awards
In 1983, Mr. Simon was the First Prize Winner at the Kalisz International Jazz Piano Competition in Kalisz, Poland. He is an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.