Associate Dean and Director of Jazz Arts (College)
Stefon Harris’s passionate artistry and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him to the forefront of the jazz scene. Heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (Los Angeles Times), 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 seven times by the Jazz Journalist Association. He also won the Downbeat Critics Poll for Vibes in 2013 and the Jazz Times Critics Poll for Vibes in 2014. His recent CD Ninety Miles (Concord), an acclaimed collaboration with David Sanchez and Christian Scott, was chosen by NPR as one of the year’s top releases, and his 2014 CD with the SF Jazz Collective, Wonder: The Songs of Stevie Wonder, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album. In 2018, he was selected as a Doris Duke Artist, a prestigious award presented by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
A passionate educator, Stefon Harris assumes the position of Associate Dean and Director of Jazz Arts at Manhattan School of Music in July 2017. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in classical music and Master of Music degree in jazz performance at Manhattan School of Music and joined the School’s Artistic Advisory Council in 2015. Mr. Harris is currently Director of Curriculum Development at the Brubeck Institute, Artistic Director of Jazz Education at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), and Visiting Professor at Rutgers University, as well as teaching throughout the world through his Distance Learning Lab. He has been on the faculty of New York University for the past decade.
Mr. Harris has recorded as part of the Classical Jazz Quartet, with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Lewis Nash, and toured worldwide with his bands and as a member of the SF Jazz Collective, as well as recording and touring with many of music’s greatest artists, including Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Milt Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Bobby Hutcherson, Cassandra Wilson, Dr. Billy Taylor, Max Roach, Cedar Walton, Mulgrew Miller, Benny Golson, Bobby Watson, Chaka Khan, Kurt Elling, Buster Williams, Dianne Reeves, Charlie Hunter, Yakub Addy Odadaa, Common, and Pablo Ziegler.