Manhattan School of Music Director, Vibraphonist
Stefon Harris’ passionate artistry and astonishing virtuosity have propelled him to the forefront of the jazz scene. Heralded as “one of the most important artists in jazz” (Los Angeles Times), he is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award, the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, has earned four GRAMMY nominations, and has been named Best Mallet player eight times by the Jazz Journalist Association. He was also chosen Best Vibes in the 2018 and 2017 Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll, the 2016 Jazz Times Expanded Critics Poll, the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll and the 2013 Downbeat Critics Poll. NPR’s All Things Considered praised Mr. Harris’ audacious CD Urbanus, which also earned a GRAMMY TM nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, as one of “The Year’s Best New Jazz” recordings. As a member of the SFJAZZ Collective, their 2014 CD, Wonder: The Songs of Stevie Wonder, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album.
Mr. Harris received his Bachelor of Music degree in classical music and Master of Music degree in jazz performance at Manhattan School of Music where he currently serves as Associate Dean and Director of Jazz Arts. Mr. Harris was Visiting Professor at Rutgers University and served on the jazz faculty of New York University for the past decade. “The Art of Listening,” part of a series of documentaries focusing on Harris’s community work in arts education in Kalamazoo, won 3 Gold Camera awards and 3 Michigan EMMY nominations. More recently he was the subject of a documentary, The Sound of New York, viewable on QwestTV and produced and directed by Italian filmmaker Gloria Rebecchi. His recent album Sonic Creed has been named album of the year by WBGO, the world’s leading jazz radio station. Most recently, Mr. Harris served as Montclair State University’s Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence for the month of February 2022.