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  • 7/6/17 – Jeanette Harris & Jay Rowe

  • Jeanette Harris and Jay Rowe to Team Up at the Branford Jazz Series on July 6th
    One was raised in the West- Coast post-gold rush town of Fresno, the other born on the east coast in Milford, Connecticut. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from the Berklee College of Music in Boston while he received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory. Together, saxophonist Jeanette Harris and pianist/keyboardist Jay Rowe will share their sensational jazz supremacy on Thursday, July 6th starting at 6:30 p.m. as part of the 2017 Branford Jazz Series.

    Harris was born and raised in Fresno, California, in the center of Joaquin Valley, where her mother, Annette and her church organist father, Floyd Harris- both of deep spiritual faith and intense believers in the art of music – shared their passion in music with Jeanette and her older brother, Michael.
    At the early age of five, Jeanette was graced with a guitar by her dad only to eventually switch to piano. Years later, while getting a ride to her fourth grade classroom, Harris’ mom was playing a cassette of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. and the rest, as they say, “was history.” Jeanette played saxophone and piano from grade school to high school and later in the Fresno City College jazz band while she was still attending high school. She won numerous awards and accolades, which led to a scholarship to attend Berklee in Boston, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance.
    Back in Fresno, Jeanette recorded her first self-released CD, “Here and There”, grabbing her brother, Michael to play drums, with Patrick Olvera on bass. She recorded her official debut album, “Reflections” followed by “Smooth Holiday Greetings.” Citing her influences as saxophonist Richard Elliot, composer Stevie Wonder and guitarist Norman Brown, Jeanette crossed paths with the latter musician to co-write a song that became the title track of her fourth CD, “Saxified.” Brown recorded the song on his Grammy nominated CD, “24/7” , with a different title, “The Best is Yet to Come”, featuring Gerald Albright.
    Jeanette has played major events from The Coombs River Band Ranch Festival to festivals in Japan and London. She has also performed as a side musician with Howard Hewett and Deniece Williams and has opened shows for greats ranging from smooth jazz stars Kirk Whalum, Najee, and The Rippingtons to R & B stars Babyface, Phil Perry and KEM. The most amazing person to come along in the course of Harris’ career thus far is singer/songwriter Marie, who hired her unheard/unseen in a destiny-streaked leap of faith totally befitting Jeanette’s life and beliefs.
    Now with her fifth and finest CD, “Chocolate Vibez” bowing with her own signature Chocolate Vibez perfume to match, Jeanette is unquestionably the next “Starchild of the Saxophone,” touching hearts with every breath she takes.
    “I am very excited to perform at the 2017 Branford Jazz Series! This will not only be my first time performing at this amazing series but also my first time performing in Branford,” said Harris. “I look forward to meeting everyone and of course having a funky good time!”

    Well-known Jay Rowe hails from Milford, Connecticut, where the pianist/keyboardist has performed and recorded with artists such as Marion Meadows, Nelson Rangell, Ken Navarro, Chieli Minucci, and Special EFX, Chuck Loeb, Paul Jackson, Jr., Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, Eric Darius, Rick Braun, Bobby Caldwell, Phil Perry, Peter White, Euge Groove, Steve Cole, Jessy J and Pat Dinizo. Jay has performed regularly at many jazz festivals in the United States as well as at festivals in Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Norway, Holland, Germany, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia.

    As a solo artist, he has recorded and released six cds “A Dream I Had” (1994) , “Jay Walking” (1997), “Laugh Out Loud” (2001), “Red, Hot and Smooth” (2006), “Live At Daniel Street” (2011), and “Smooth Ride” (2016). He is the founder of Smooth Jazz For Scholars Inc., a non-profit organization which puts on fund raising concerts to raise money for public school music education.
    “It is always an honor and a pleasure to perform at the Branford Jazz Series because I feel that this series represents the best of all styles of jazz”, said Rowe, a returning Branford Jazz Series performer. “Also, the Branford Jazz Festival has been responsible for introducing many new jazz artists to this part of the country by providing a large built-in audience that is important for building a substantial following among jazz fans.”

    For questions about the series, please call 203-488-8304 or email to: branfordjazz@gmail.com