Jason Harnell is a master jazz drummer, educator, composer & bandleader whose unmistakable sound & style, as well as his boundless creativity & enthusiasm have made him a major contributor to the Southern California jazz scene for over 25 years.
Jason Harnell is a world-renowned jazz drummer, educator, composer and bandleader whose
unmistakable sound and style, as well as his boundless creativity and enthusiasm have made him a
major contributor to the Southern California jazz scene for over twenty five years. Coming from a
musical family, Jason was practically born with drum sticks in his hands and started playing at age
six when close family friend and legendary drummer, Louie Bellson gave Jason his first drum set.
Jason is consistently creative and swinging whether playing straight ahead jazz or free
explorations. He has performed, recorded and toured with many of the world's top jazz musicians
including Larry Goldings, Ben Monder, Bob Sheppard, Dave Douglas, Anthony Wilson, Alan Ferber, Kate McGarry,
Steve Cardenas, Theo Bleckmen, Joel Harrison, Ben Wendel, Rick Margitza, John Beasley, Bruce
Forman, John Pisano, Alan Pasqua, Walter Smith III, Kei Akagi & Maynard Ferguson. Jason is also a
member of the long established Los Angeles Jazz Quartet featuring Larry Koonse, Chuck Manning
and Darek Oles.
Jason is also the co-leader of four separate critically acclaimed original bands. Formed in 2002,
JoE-LeSs ShOe” is an eclectic, bass-less trio featuring Matt Otto on saxophone and Jamie Rosenn
on guitar. JoE-LeSs ShOe has three albums out on Jazz Collective Records and a fourth one on the
way. 3-ish, the adventurous chord-less trio co-lead by bassist Ryan McGillicuddy, Matt Otto and
Harnell has been together since 2004 and has two albums out on Jazz Collective Records. Sigmund
Fudge is an electric modern jazz quartet formed in 2010 featuring Joe Bagg on Fender Rhodes,
Jamie Rosenn on guitar and Ryan McGillicuddy on bass. Sigmund Fudge released their debut, self
titled album in October of 2016. Jason's latest collaborative effort is the daring keyboard/drum duo
project known as, GO SHLOMO! GO SHLOMO! released their first album in 2014 on Fboo records
and features Grammy Nominated keyboardist, Adam Benjamin. All four of these bands focus on
original compositions, with each group displaying a unique ability to traverse boundaries while
exploring the very deepest levels of empathetic group interplay and improvisation.
In 2017, Jason launched his most ambitious and creative endeavor to date, the Jason Harnell Solo
Drum Experience. Jason's solo drum concerts are consistently sold out, multi media events that
tantalize the senses and explore rhythm, sight and sound in a completely unique and personal way.
The JH Solo Drum Experience has been called super inspiring, entertaining, musically
interesting and quite often, funny (in a good way!) Jason's very first solo album, TOTAL
HARNAGE was just released in May 2019 on Fboo Records!
Jason is also one of the most in demand drum set educators in his field and is on faculty at both
University California Irvine, (2004-present) Cal State University Northridge (2019-present) and
Musicians Institute in Hollywood (2005-present) and has performed clinics, workshops and master
classes all over the world. In recent past, Jason has appeared as a guest lecturer/clinician at such
fine institutions as Cornell University, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), University
Nevada/Reno, University of Kansas, Morehead University/Kentucky, University California Los Angeles
(UCLA), University Southern California (USC) and Cal State University Northridge (CSUN).
Jason has appeared in numerous national publications as Modern Drummer, DRUM, Jazziz and
Downbeat and can be heard/seen in the Clint Eastwood film J.Edgar, the Judd Apatow film
Funny People and the Ridley Scott film American Gangster. Jason's work can also be heard on the
television shows Tosh.O, Married with Children, Beverly Hills 90210 and on commercials for
Verizon, Nissan, Chili's, Cheetos, the Houston Chronicle, Taco Bell and Suntory Royal Whisky.
Jason proudly plays and endorses Yamaha Drums, Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads and
Vic Firth Drumsticks.
Jason's (selected) recorded discography:
Los Angeles Jazz Quartet: Live at Jazz Nad Odra (2019); Jason Harnell: TOTAL HARNAGE (2019);
Jamie Shew: Eyes Wide Open (2018); Sigmund Fudge: Sigmund Fudge (2016); Trio Eclectic: Trio
Eclectic (2014); JoE-LeSs ShOe: MidSole (2013); 3-ish: Events (2013); GO SHLOMO: GO SHLOMO!
(2013); Matt Otto: Broken Waltz (2012); Duane Allen: In Transit (2O11); Mike Scott: Fallen Peach
(2011); Lulee Fisher; The Great American Songwriters (2011); Matt Otto: La Commune (2010); JoE-
LeSs ShOe: Outsole (2010); Innocent When You Dream: Celebrating the Music of Tom Waits (2010);
3-ish: Baobab (2009); Los Angeles Jazz Collective: Sampler Vol. 1 (2008); Roger Cairns: Let’s...
(2008); Kimberly Ford: Songs in the Key of Sea (2007); JoE- LeSs ShOe: JoE-LeSs ShOe (2007);
Ronnie Crumbly: Like Father, Like Son (2004); Robert Kyle: Northern Roads (2003); Steve Venz:
Scoop (2003); Lulee Fisher: In Love Again (2002); Bill Fulton: Time (2001); Jonathan Dane: From All
Sides (2000); Kenny Kotwitz: The Moon is Blue (2000); Keiko Matsui: Light Above the Trees Concert
Video (1999); Robert Kyle: Blue Winds (1999); Levi Chen; Liquid Gardens (1999); Mark Chosak:
Perception (1998); Four Feet Down: The Fire Between Us (1998); Robert Van: Penumbra (1997);
Debby Yeager: Mood Swings (1996); Robert Kyle: That Other Place (1996); Maynard Ferguson: These
Cats Can Swing (1995); Charlie Lustman: The Golden Road (1994); Steady Fready: Collective Cuts
(1993); The University of South Florida Jazz Ensemble I: Suncoast '90 (1990).