Students Contact


The 9th Annual
Gene Harris
Jazz Festival

April 6- 9, 2006


The Festival


The Gene Harris

Artists Bios
& Info
and Clinics

2006 Gospel

Gene Harris

At The Festival



Elegant Soul
By Janie Harris
with Bob Evancho

Press Box

Other Jazz

The 2006 Gene
Harris Jazz Festival Sponsors include:

media sponsors
for the 2006
festival include:







The Gene Harris Legacy

See also, A note from Janie Harris

Gene Harris' signature hard-swinging, soulful, blues-drenched piano style made him one of the most exciting and accessible pianists in jazz. Gene Harris set a high level of musical excellence that was both inspiring and influential. After leading the definitive soul jazz trio "The Three Sounds" from the late '50s to the late '70s, Harris had retired from touring, settling in Boise, Idaho. After a few years out of the spotlight, Harris was persuaded in the early '80s by bassist Ray Brown to travel again. The pianist, for a time, was a member of The Ray Brown Trio before forming his own quartet, showing that his powerful blues-based style was still very much in its prime. After triumphantly returning to the jazz scene, Gene Harris recorded many albums for Concord Records in settings ranging from quartet outings (The Gene Harris Quartet) to big band dates (The Gene Harris All-Star Big Band and The Philip Morris Superband) to all-star aggregations (featuring the likes of Stanley Turrentine, Red Holloway, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Kenny Burrell and others) to a set of unaccompanied piano solos (Vol. 23 of the acclaimed Maybeck Recital Hall Series).

Gene Harris, the "Blues Man From Boise," as the Wall Street Journal once called him, died at the start of the new millennium, but he left a legacy of music that will outlive us all. He played on more than 80 recordings and shared the stage or recording studio with such luminaries as Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Benny Carter, BB King, Aretha Franklin, Herb Ellis, Oscar Peterson and Nancy Wilson.
A luminous figure himself in jazz and blues, Harris was a Grammy Award-nominated pianist who performed in the world's most famous clubs and festivals.
While in Boise, Harris met and married the love of his life, Janie Hewitt, the daughter of a local banker who had grown up listening to jazz. Soon after that, Harris settled into regular performances at a local Boise hotel. For the next 20 years, he became the musical Pied Piper of Idaho, a beloved cultural figure in Boise's Treasure Valley - the friend of governors and the common folk alike. While his sudden death at age 66 sent a chill through a jazz world already mourning the loss of such 20th century giants as Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Charlie Byrd, Joe Williams and Betty Carter, there was consolation: Concord Jazz had his master tapes from a couple dozen albums. And music, especially his kind of bluesy grooves, clearly will outlast any test of time. 


this page last updated March 23, 2005 - contact webmaster