December 8, 2021
Contact: Karin Venegas,, 347-361-7049

Goodbye to Jazz Master Barry Harris

Barry Harris in his final, public performance at Flushing Town Hall in November 2021

The following is a statement from Executive & Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek and Jazz Producer Clyde Bullard on behalf of Flushing Town Hall in response to the passing today of jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and educator NEA Jazz Master Barry Harris:

“We knew it was an honor to have pianist Barry Harris grace our stage last month when he performed in our 15th annual NEA Jazz Masters Concert. We didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the final, public performance of his legendary career. Master Harris died today at the impressive age of 91.

Among the many honors and recognitions he received during the course of his life, Harris was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

He first joined Flushing Town Hall’s NEA Jazz Masters series in 2007 alongside Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, and Benny Powell. When at times health challenges prevented his participation in subsequent concerts in our series, he generously invited NEA Jazz Master pianists Jo Anne Brackeen and Kenny Barron to take his place, helping bring more living legends to our beloved corner of Queens.
We also had the privilege to present pianist Valerie Capers and Barry Harris playing together in 2014, just the two of them, in a rare and special collaboration.

Barry Harris was America’s oldest, living jazz professor and was said to be the world’s jazz professor, as he demonstrated his theories and methods in workshops and seminars across the globe and online.

He was loving, caring, and considerate to all those who were kind to him and would freely offer a theoretical explanation to any question one posed about jazz music and its history.
Flushing Town Hall will always hold him dear in our hearts and memories.”

About Flushing Town Hall
Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.

Land Acknowledgement:
Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.

For more information:
(718) 463-7700 x222
137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11354