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Grammy nominee Harris wins prestigious arts award

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 28, 2018) – Grammy-nominated jazz artist Stefon Harris (Albany High School ’91) on Tuesday was named a recipient of a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award – one of the most prestigious arts grants in the country – for his continuing contributions to jazz.

 

Harris is one of seven performing artists that will receive $250,000 in flexible funding, along with up to an additional $25,000 to encourage contributions to retirement savings. 

 

Other award-winners include Dee Dee Bridgewater and Regina Carter for jazz, Michelle Dorrance and Okwui Okpokwasili for contemporary dance, and Muriel Miguel and Rosalba Rolón for theater.

 

“For us, it’s pretty simple: Like our programs in medical research, child well-being and the environment, we recognize that the arts also are critically important to our communities. And at the heart of the arts is the individual artist. This award frees artists to be artists by providing them with the financial security to take risks and to make great work,” said Edward Henry, CEO of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

 

The Los Angeles Times called Harris one of the most important artists in jazz. A vibraphone virtuoso, he is a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, has earned four Grammy nominations and has been named best mallet player eight times by the Jazz Journalist Association.

  

Following his graduation from Albany High – where he also served as captain of the wrestling team – Harris earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from

the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. While there, he secured his first professional gigs with legendary artists Max Roach, Wynton Marsalis and Cassandra Wilson. He has played with several jazz luminaries, including Kenny Barron, Steve Turre, Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter.

 

Harris was inducted into the City School District of Albany Hall of Fame in 2009.

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves about 9,500 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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