Harrison Goldberg

Harrison Goldberg

Musicians | Instrument: Saxophone | Location: Santa Rosa

Harrison Goldberg stopped by the other day, 30 minutes Max. When he left I felt consumed, yet energized, by the pulse of his everyday reality. And all I did was listen. [...] He is a jazz musician and writer of music and stories. He is entrepreneurial as a wine consultant, graphics designer, and collage artist. Each endeavor holding to its own vitality and direction; yet all within the confluence of his being.

—Coast & Valley Magazine

Updated: December 6, 2023

Born: November 5

Harrison Goldberg is a progressive multi-saxophonist and visual artist living in Gualala, northern California. An alumnus of Boston's Berklee College of Music and a frequent and popular performer and prolific recording artist with a variety of bands at venues along California’s Mendocino-Sonoma coast, Harrison makes regular appearances at the annual Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival and its educational program for young people, Jazz For The Schools. Besides his music activities he is recognized as an award winning visual artist whose pieces and unique wine label designs have found their way into corporate and private collections worldwide.

Following a series of successful music workshops for children, Goldberg has developed an epic musical edutainment story for young people, ...& Music Was King™, which is in the process of being scripted for theater performance. He is also the creator of a cross- cultural music workshop project titled Tapestry International: Celebrating the Living Fabric of Cultures Entwined, and its companion performance venue A Sound Vision, which showcases the artistic contributions of children in Tapestry International's host countries.

Playing professionally since age 17, Goldberg enjoyed 12 years in the vibrant Newport, Rhode Island jazz scene, augmented by stints in Miami and on Carribean cruise ships, before relocating to northern California in the 1980's. Here his expansion beyond mainstream jazz began in 1992 with formation of the performance art collaborative Tabula Rasa. This four piece ensemble undertook an intentional regimen of mental and musical exercises designed to reach beyond the players' traditional “programming” as jazz musicians, and augment it with the ability to create new music purely by inspiration... through attentive, intuitive listening. (See NeonEgypt.com: Intuitive Music) This thread was later carried forward and expanded with other players in the group Cloudfire (cloudfiremusic.com), and in partnership with computer-electronic musician and visual artist Simon Burnett as Lavender Fog . Harrison's latest group, BAKU, is dedicated to the art of spontaneous composition, combining contemplative, ambient structures and melodies with a strong, yet relaxing rhythmic pulse. Their "Jambient Soundscapes" embody a fusion of jazz, Afro beat, Middle Eastern, and other world influences and rhythms.

Goldberg continues to explore common ground between jazz music and the visual arts, collaborating with other mainstream and experimental artists around the globe from his home north of San Francisco. As he explains in his essay ImproVart: Jazz Musician As Painter, "As a practitioner of the musical and the visual, I embark on a dual creative journey. When I begin a painting I eagerly anticipate connecting heart and soul with a rich inner music. While creating, I observe, and at the same time listen to the painting to hear its underlying melody, allowing shapes, forms and colors to begin their inspired dialogue. And as in true jazz, a song soon emerges."

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- by David Steffen in The Lighthouse Peddler, June 2016:
Musicians of all kinds can be impressive but it’s clear I’m a sucker for the Saxophone. In the 1970s and 80s I worked with a long list of marvelous musicians in pop, Americana, R&B, AC (adult contemporary), jazz, classical and more. And I collected vinyl records and CDs for years. But like music lovers of all genres, I had my real favorites and surprisingly (to me) I had a respectable jazz collection of a couple of hundred titles.

The appreciation for jazz began with a visit to a record store in Chicago’s Old Town and the random purchase of a used vinyl gem: Jazz Workshop Revisited, a live album by saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on the Riverside label. Some weeks or months later there was the purchase of the new John Coltrane album, A Love Supreme. Music is at once both personal and social, and finding common ground as listeners or as performer and audience, plays on our emotional component. Moving to the coast I’ve made any number of new friends. And one of them is a particularly impressive musician.

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