Craig Harris

Craig S. Harris (born September 10, 1953) is a jazz trombonist who has been a major figure in avant-garde jazz since working with Sun Ra in 1976. He also has worked with Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Lester Bowie, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Charlie Haden. He has recorded since 1983 as leader for India Navigation, Soul Note and JMT. For the latter he recorded with two groups. The Tailgaters Tails was a quintet with clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Eddie Allen, Anthony Cox on double bass, and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. His large ensemble Cold Sweat was a tribute to the music of James Brown.

Craig Harris
Craig Harris in 2007
Background information
Birth nameCraig S. Harris
Born (1953-09-10) September 10, 1953
Hempstead, New York, U.S.
InstrumentsTrombone, didgeridoo
Years active1976–present
LabelsIndia Navigation, Soul Note, JMT
Associated actsAbdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Lester Bowie, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Muhal Richard Abrams and Charlie Haden.

He is a graduate of the music program of State University of New York at Old Westbury and was influenced by its founder and director Makanda Ken McIntyre. Harris's move to New York City in 1978 established him with trombonists Ray Anderson, Joseph Bowie, and George Lewis.[1]

He first played alongside another of his teachers at SUNY, baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick, in Sun Ra's Arkestra for two years. Harris than embarked on a world tour with South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) in 1981. While on tour in Australia Harris discovered the indigenous Australian wind instrument the didgeridoo, which he added to the collection of instruments he plays.


As leader

As sideman

With Muhal Richard Abrams

With Ray Anderson, George Lewis and Gary Valente

With Ayibobo

  • Freestyle (DIW, 1994)

With Billy Bang

  • Hip Hop Be Bop (ITM, 1993)

With Lester Bowie

With Don Byron

  • Bug Music (1996)

With Carla Cook

With Lena Horne

With Dollar Brand

  • African Marketplace (1979)
  • Dollar Brand Live at Montreux (1980)

With Joseph Jarman & Don Moye

With David Murray

With The Roots

With Sekou Sundiata

  • Blue Oneness of Dreams (1997)
  • Long Story Short (2000)

With Sun Ra

With Henry Threadgill

With the World Saxophone Quartet

With The Young Lions

  • A Concert of New Music Played by Seventeen Exceptional Young Musicians – The Kool Jazz Festival June 30, 1982 (Elektra Musician, 1982)


  1. Craig Harris Bio Archived March 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
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