Craig Harris

June 25, 4pm
Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City
At the Pavilion in Rockefeller Park. Enter from River Terrace near Chambers Street.

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All events in the River To River Festival are free and all are welcome.

BREATHE is the creation of trombonist/composer Craig Harris, who comes from a tradition of using art as a cultural facilitation to help promote change. BREATHE is performed by a large ensemble of musicians making a sonic statement in response to the long- term and current injustices inflicted upon African American people. BREATHE is offered to support the community in staying resilient and persistent in fighting for justice.


Presented in partnership with Battery Park City Authority

Front Panel Final

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire
history of the jazz trombone with him. From the growling gutbucket intensity of
early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the
modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, into the confrontational expressionism of the
‘60s avant-garde, Craig handled the total vernacular the way a skilled orator utilizes
the spoken word. He has performed with a veritable Who’s Who of progressive
jazz’s most important figures and his own projects display both a unique sense of
concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of musical expression. It is
those two qualities that have dominated Craig’s forty-plus years of activity, bringing
him far beyond the confines of the jazz world into the sphere of multimedia and
performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, music curator, and artistic
director. Coming from a tradition of using art as a cultural facilitation to help
promote change, Craig continues to exercise his musical voice to comment on social
injustice with major works including God’s Trombones, based on James Weldon
Johnson’s book of sermons; Souls Within the Veil commemorating the centennial of
W.E.B. DuBois’s seminal work; TriHarlenium, a sound portrait and 30-year musical
time capsule of Harlem; Brown Butterfly, a tribute to the exquisite movements of
Muhammad Ali; and BREATHE, a sonic statement in response to the long term and
current injustices inflicted upon African American people. An award-winning
composer, Craig’s recent projects include the premiere presentation of Craig Harris’
FESTAC ’77 as a 2019 Vera List Fellow and Harlem Sonic Communiversity, a music
residency series featuring open rehearsals and free public concerts. Nominated by
the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album, Craig
is co-composer of the score for the 2020 Oscar-winning film Judas and the Black
Messiah. Craig’s newest release, Managing the Mask, is available on Bandcamp and all digital music platforms.