(at Baltimore Avenue)
Philadelphia, PA 19143
As a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and band leader, Corey Harris is both a leading voice of the generation of acoustic blues musicians that came of age in the 1990s and an innovative composer exploring the connections between blues and other musics of Africa and the African diaspora. He has recorded many traditional classic while creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
Harris began his career as a street musician in New Orleans and travelled throughout the southern US playing music. In his early twenties he spent a year in Cameroon, which has had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded fourteen albums and worked with BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Ali Farka Toure, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, and others. In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a “genius award” by the MacArthur Foundation in recognition of his adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism.” That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by Bates College, his undergraduate alma mater.