Joel Harrison Quartet featuring Don Byron

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Joel Harrison – guitar

Don Byron – woodwinds

Gary Versace – keyboard

Jeff Siegel – drums

Guitarist, composer, arranger, lyricist, writer, educator, and vocalist Joel Harrison has “created a new blueprint for jazz” (New Orleans Times-Picayune). Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Competition and has appeared repeatedly on DownBeat Magazine’s “Rising Star” poll.
His twenty-two releases as a leader showcase his prowess as a shapeshifting composer whose music may be founded on jazz but veers into classical, rock, country, and all manner of American roots music. Succinctly described by the New York Times as “protean… brilliant.”

For well over a decade, Don Byron has been a singular voice in an astounding range of musical contexts, exploring widely divergent traditions while continually striving for what he calls “a sound above genre.” As clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and social critic, he redefines every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, rhythm & blues, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge downtown improvisation. He has been consistently voted best clarinetist by critics and readers alike in leading international music journals since being named “Jazz Artist of the Year” by Down Beat in 1992. Acclaimed as much for his restless creativity as for his unsurpassed virtuosity as a player, Byron has presented a multitude of projects at major music festivals around the world.

Keyboardist Gary Versace was able to rise to the top of the contemporary jazz scene in scant few years, yet the journey to prominence was hard fought and deservedly won
Since moving to New York City in 2002. In the ensuing years, Versace has become one of the most prominent, in-demand organ players in contemporary jazz, working with the Grammy-award winning big band of Maria Schneider, and the Nuttree Quartet with Jerry Bergonzi. The small ensembles he has worked with include fellow keyboardists Andy LaVerne and Frank Kimbrough, as well as John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum, Eliot Zigmund, Lee Konitz, Dick Oatts, Seamus Blake, John Hollenbeck, Tim Ries, Donny McCaslin, Rich Perry, Jonathan Kreisberg, Adam Rogers, Tom Guarna, John Ellis, Scott Wendholt, Steve LaSpina, Loren Stillman, Jason Marsalis, Joey Baron, Tom Rainey, Tony Reedus, Clarence Penn, Danny Gottlieb, Matt Perrine, Drew Gress, Brad Shepik, Peter Bernstein, Ingrid Jensen, and Joe Magnarelli.Versace earned three consecutive placings as a Rising Star in the Down Beat Magazine Critics Poll from 2006-2008.

Drummer/Composer Jeff “Siege” Siegel is a veteran of the New York Jazz scene and has worked with a virtual “who’s who” of artists. A member of the Sir Roland Hanna Trio from 1994-’99, Siegel’s diverse career has also led him to perform and/or record with legends such as Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Jack DeJohnette, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Helen Merrill, Mose Allison, John Medeski, Arthur Rhames, Dave Douglas, Stefon Harris, Pat Metheny, Kurt Elling, Ravi Coltrane, Ryan Kisor, Lee Shaw, Levin Brothers, John Medeski, Dena DeRose, Lee Shaw and many others. He has worked in the avant garde world as well with Wadada Leo Smith, Baikida Carroll. He’s performed over 30 European tours including four as leader of the Jeff “Siege” Siegel Quartet and several others as co-leader. The Jeff “Siege” Siegel Sextet performed a 3 week tour of Africa in the summer of 2019. Other recent tours include The Levin Brothers Japan, Mexico, Canada and the US west coast and Midwest as well as South & Central America. His 2017 CD release “King of Xhosa” features South African trumpeter Feya Faku and is on the ARC label. His most recent release with his quartet is the 2018 release on ARC entitled “London Live” and “When You Were There” (2019) with Hetko, Syracuse & Siegel.

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