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Allan Harris: Singers, Cowboys & the State of the Jazz Industry

Video interview with jazz singer/songwriter during the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival

Allan Harris, Newport Jazz Festival 2015

During the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio backstage inside the old barracks of Fort Adams. During three afternoons, a succession of artists-including Mike Stern, Bria Skonberg, Arturo O’Farrill, Scott Robinson, Pat Bianchi, Fred Hersch, Kate McGarry, Billy Childs, Emmet Cohen and many others-came in to talk about the festival, jazz education, their creative process and their own projects. You can also see more of these video interviews at the JazzTimes YouTube channel.

In this interview from Newport, singer and songwriter Allan Harris talked about his evolution as a musician and singer. He discussed his fascination for African-American cowboys of the American West and the creation of his Cross That River project. He also reflected on the relationship between singers and instrumentalists and what each can learn from the other. Finally he talked about the current challenges faced by the jazz industry.

Interview by Irene Lee. Video production by Paul Park. Editing by Lee Mergner.

The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival will take place July 29-31.

Allan Harris on his early musical development:

Allan Harris on his creative process and music he’s rediscovered:

Allan Harris on his “Cross That River” project:

Allan Harris on what singers and instrumentalists can learn from each other:

Allan Harris on the challenges faced by the jazz industry:

Originally Published