Talkin Jazz with Drummer extraordinaire Winard Harper

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Inspired by the musicianship of greats such as Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Jackie McLean, Cannonball Adderley, Dr. Billy Taylor, Art Blakey and Billy Higgins, Harper has been the leader and musical inspiration for a vibrant sextet for almost a decade. The group appears regularly all over the United States from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to Yoshi's, the legendary West Coast jazz club. Harper's first major gig was with Dexter Gordon in 1982, and shortly thereafter with Johnny Griffin. It wasn't long before his drumming skills captured the attention of He spent four years working with Ms. Carter's band, inevitably honing his jazz-as-entertainment sense of showmanship. "With Betty I learned consistency and persistence," Harper recalls. During the 1980s while Winard worked as a sideman to such jazz legends as Ray Bryant, Abdullah Ibrahim, Pharoah Sanders, Clifford Jordan, he also laid the foundation for what would become The Harper Brothers band. He and his brother Philip launched a band that would blaze a brilliant trail both on the charts and on the international touring circuit. Winard Harper is one of the hardest working drummers in jazz today, not only leading his very exciting and hard-swinging sextet, but also continuing as an in-demand sideman. When not touring with his band, Harper continues to work and record with such artists such as Joe Lovano, Avery Sharpe, Steve Turre, Wycliffe Gordon, Frank Wess, Ray Bryant, and Jimmy Heath. His newest CD, Make It Happen, goes further than any of his previous six releases to highlight his talent as drummer, composer and bandleader. And now the Winard Harper Sextet moves to a new level of success. Not only is the band gaining increased air play around the globe, they regularly appear in festivals, on jazz cruises, in concert halls and in top jazz clubs, the Winard Harper Sextet is doing their part to bring the power of jazz to audiences everywhere.

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