Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Eric Harland

Eric Harland is one of the top young drummers in jazz today and has already worked with many of the jazz immortals. He was born in Houston in 1978 and drum giant Elvin Jones was his early hero. While Harland learned orchestra percussion, much of his jazz playing was originally self-taught. He locked himself in a room and played along with John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme for hours. Harland began playing professionally in 1993 and attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He met Wynton Marsalis, who encouraged him to study further in New York. Harland attended the Manhattan School of Music but collapsed from exhaustion (due to being overweight), returning home. He temporarily switched course, studying theology at Houston Baptist University and working hard to lose all of his excess weight. Returning to New York, Harland became greatly in demand almost immediately. He has worked with Betty Carter (for several years until her 1998 death), Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Stefon Harris, Joe Henderson, Greg Osby, Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker, Ravi Coltrane, Geri Allen, Jason Moran, John Patitucci, Jacky Terrasson, Gregory Tardy, Mark Shim, Aaron Goldberg, John Swana, Jimmy Greene, 3 Cohens, Taylor Eigsti, Kurt Rosenwinkel and many others. His best-known associations have been with McCoy Tyner, the SF Jazz Collective, Dave Holland’s sextet and big band, the Joshua Redman Trio and the Charles Lloyd Quartet. Eric Harland has already been on over 30 important jazz albums and he is getting better known every day.