Washington, DC area and internationally known jazz pianist Bill Harris brings “a return to elegance”. Back to the ambiance of yesteryear by adding singing to his musical skills, he adds yet another sophisticated dimension to the melodies and lyrics of the Great American Songbook, as well as many jazz standards. Inspired by Frank Sinatra, Shirley Horn, Nat “King” Cole and the enduring Tony Bennett, Bill is planning a piano with vocals recording.
Bill is listed in Washingtonian Magazine’s “Best of Jazz in DC” and won the Hennessy Cognac “Best of DC Jazz Competition”. His many performance venues include the Smithsonian, Blues Alley, the Kennedy Center, Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Snug Harbor in New Orleans and numerous jazz festivals. He has had the pleasure of playing with many jazz stars including The Heath Brothers, Bucky Pizzarelli, Tim Hagans, John Heard, as well as local luminaries Keter Betts, Buck Hill, Chuck Redd, Marshall Keys, Tommy Cecil, James King, David Jernigan, Tony Martucci, Tom Baldwin and many others. Bill is known in DC by many for his former house pianist gig (almost 20 years) at the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel; in the Nest and the Willard Room. Bill’s CDs “Invitation”, “Solo + One”, “Encompass Quartet” (Albert “Tootie” Heath and Herman Riley are featured) and “Holiday Improvisations” have all received critical acclaim.
Bill Harris is originally from Long Island, NY and has resided in the DC metro area since 1965. He has studied with numerous teachers, including local masters John Eaton and Les Karr, as well as attending jazz master classes in New York City taught by jazz piano legend Barry Harris. Bill also cites the influences of Bill Evans, Oscar Petersen, Wynton Kelly, Reuben Brown, Fred Hersch, Marc Copland, Cedar Walton, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Stanley Cowell, Red Garland and many other jazz greats.