JazzTimes is honored to present the video premiere of “Run Through America,” a new song by vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Allan Harris. A contemporary protest song written in support of Black Lives Matter, it was originally prompted by the Georgia shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in February but also refers to various other examples of racial injustice in recent memory, including the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Harris says “Run through America” is “a song that says now, more than ever, I am tired of running towards hatred and fear in this country. I truly hope and pray that on November 3rd we will Run Through America with love and compassion. To quote the late Eddie Van Halen, we have been too long Running with the Devil.”
Besides Harris on vocals and guitar, “Run Through America” features ArcoIris Sandoval on piano, Hammond B-3 organ, and other keyboards; Marty Kenney on bass; Shirazette Tinnin on drums; Jhair Sala on percussion; and Carolyn Leonhart on background vocals.
Through most of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York City-based Harris has been performing twice-weekly online “Harlem After Dark” livestream concerts on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons, accessible on his Facebook page and YouTube channel. “Run Through America” made its debut in July during one of these concerts, and the response to it was so positive that Harris decided to release it as a single in anticipation of his upcoming album, Kate’s Soulfood. Produced by Grammy-winner Kamau Kenyatta (best known for his work with Gregory Porter), the album features 10 new Harris originals and is slated for a January 2021 release.
This coming Tuesday, October 20, Harris will be doing “Harlem After Dark” as usual from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. EDT, but with two slight differences: First, you’ll also be able to watch it via the JazzTimes Facebook page; and second, at 8:30 p.m., following his performance, Harris will engage in a candid conversation about race in America and in the arts, led by broadcast veteran Mark Ruffin (program director of SiriusXM Real Jazz).