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Watermelon Man

Donald Harrison

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2012 Gulf Coast Ethnic &
Heritage Jazz Festvial


Donald Harrison Jr. performs a second line rendition of a Herbie Hancock classic in Mobile, Alabama at the 2012 "Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage Jazz Festival."

New Orleans alto saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. studied at Southern University and Berklee College of Music and played with jazz artists including Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Terence Blanchard, Jack McDuff, and Don Pullen during the 1980s.

He captured the sound and culture of Congo Square with his 1991 recording "Indian Blues", and is also credited with merging swing and traditional New Orleans rhythms with popular modern dance; creating the "Nouveau Swing" style.

During the 1990s he also played with the re-formed "Headhunters" band.

Harrison's New Orleans roots go deep. His father was a central figure in the city's unique Mardi Gras Indians culture as the Big Chief of the Guardian of the Flames.

Donald Harrison Jr. has been Big Chief of The Congo Square Nation since 1999, a big cultural and community responsibility.

In addition to that Harrison co-founded and became the artistic director for the Tipitina’s Intern Program, and The New Jazz School that teaches jazz theory, music and history to students 13 to 21.

He was recently appointed Jazz Artist in Residence at New Orleans Tulane University.

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