NEA Jazz Master Donald Harrison Jr. Back After Heart Attack

Derek Bridges New Orleans, LA – Donald Harrison, Jr.

NEA Jazz Master Donald Harrison Jr. is back in New Orleans doing the work that brings him joy – sharing his love of music with aspiring musicians and audiences alike. An internationally recognized composer and jazz saxophonist, Harrison was performing at the Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival in Hawaii in early June when he suffered a heart attack and underwent successful surgery.

After a short recovery period in Hawaii, Harrison opted to return to New Orleans for the start of the annual Louis Satchmo Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp. Harrison served as an artist-in-residence at the camp in the early years and became Artistic Director after the illustrious Kidd Jordan retired. Harrison is also the Big Chief of Congo Square in Afro-New Orleans culture.

“I have always been an educator at heart and want to give students the tools needed to perform in multiple professional settings, so they are able to play any style of music they love at their highest level, and earn an income doing it. I could not miss the opportunity to work with these talented young people,” said Harrison.  Harrison is teaching his class and in the rehearsal hall with the students several hours each day. 

“We have a great group of students this year who are fully engaged in their studies which include traditional jazz, composition, vocals, swing and second-line dance, and Hip-Hop which is being taught by Grammy award-winners Adam “BlaqnMilD” Pigott and Darrius “Deezle” Harrison. 

Dr. Eddie Henderson is the 2023 Jazz Icon Instrumentalist Artist-in-Residence. One of the great trumpeters in the jazz pantheon, Dr. Henderson has many distinctions that include being taught by Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. He is a medical doctor and was an Olympic-class ice skater. Dr. Henderson’s history of performing with the who’s who of the greatest jazz artists is evident in every note he plays. 

The students will be featured in an ensemble performance at the Jazz Camp’s fundraiser on July 5 at the George and Joyce Wein Center, 1225 N. Rampart Street and in a Culminating Concert Friday, July 7 at Loyola University Roussel Hall.

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