Winard Harper

My Jazz Story

What playing in Harlem means to me... Harlem is a little like Sacred Ground, when I think of the incredible vibe that has inspired some of the greatest American artists and Harlem residents. When I came to New York in the early 80's, Harlem was abuzz with great Jazz clubs, so many of them closed now, but I feel the same thrill playing at Minton's and Ginny's Supper club nowadays. Through my work with Dr. Billy Taylor I got involved with the Jazzmobile and some of my most memorable performances, first with the Harper brothers, then with my own Sextet and my current band, the Jeli Posse, took place with Jazzmobile up at General Grants National Memorial, playing under the stars, in the Summer heat, on the steps of the rotunda, to the most excited and exciting audience, always sheer magic.

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