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August 7, 2007

Winard Harper Sextet at the Cellar

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz concerts, Canada


Winard Harper Quintet
Fri & Sat, Aug 17 & 18
Cellar Jazz, Vancouver

Hard Bop Drummer Learned About Business From Vocalist Betty Carter

Jazz drummer and bandleader Winard Harper brings his sextet to the Cellar Jazz stage on Friday & Saturday, August 17 & 18th for a weekend of hard bop.

The dominant force behind the ensemble, Harper, who is considered a virtuoso on the drum set as well as the balafon, the West African equivalent of the marimba. For his sextet project, he has surrounded himself with talented young guardians of the jazz tradition, including Lawrence Clark, Ameen Saleem, Josh Evans, Stacy Dillard and Alioune Faye.

Harper’s first major gig was with Dexter Gordon in 1982, and shortly thereafter with Johnny Griffin. That was followed by four years working with Betty Carter’s band, emerging from the experience with understanding of the business end of music courtesy of Ms. Carter, who shared the inside track on bookings and other valuable contacts.

Planting the seeds for his sextet in the 80’s while working as a sideman on stages with such notables as jazz legends as Ray Bryant, Abdullah Ibrahim, Pharoah Sanders and Clifford Jordan, he and his brother Philip launched The Harper Brothers Quintet, hitting the international touring circuit and #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart in 1991.

Leading the Winard Harper Sextet over the last decade, the drummer and bandleader and his ensemble appear regularly throughout the U.S. from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to Yoshi’s, the legendary West Coast jazz club, as well as major clubs and festivals around the globe.

Friday & Saturday Aug. 17 & 18
Winard Harper Sextet
Cellar Jazz, Vancouver

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