School of Music

Les Harris Jr.

Artist Faculty in Jazz Percussion
Les Harris Jr.

Office Location

Corthell Hall

Phone

207-780-5265

Academic Degrees

  • Bachelor of Music, Berklee College of Music

Profile

Les Harris Jr. is a 1983 graduate of the Berklee College of Music and is currently a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Southern Maine, and Phillips Exeter Academy. 

Les is the son of retired Berklee College of Music professor and drummer Les Harris Sr. and he began playing the drums at a young age under the tutelage of his father.  He was sitting in with jazz greats, Herb Pomeroy, Phil Wilson, John LaPorta, and Teddy Wilson by the time he was 14 and began playing professionally at 15 with Annie Bosteels' trio.

While attending Berklee, Les studied with Joe Hunt and Robert Kaufman and upon graduation studied with legendary drummer and educator Alan Dawson.

From 1983-1996, Les was the drummer with the jazz vocal group, "The Ritz", appearing on seven recordings and performing worldwide including engagements at The Sea Jazz Festival in Finland, The Blue Note Jazz Clubs in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Jakarta and NYC, The New Morning Club in Paris, The Village Vanguard and the Newport Jazz Festival in Japan.

Les also toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra,(under the direction of Dick Johnson), saxophonist Scott Hamilton, (including performances at The Subway Club in Cologne and the Montreal Jazz Festival), and worked with Diana Krall's trio in Boston throughout the early 90’s.

In 2001 he performed with Cheryl Bentyne, of The Manhattan Transfer at Birdland in NYC, The Egg in Albany, NY and Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Les was a longtime member of the Tommy Gallant Trio, the Paul Broadnax Trio and has played with some of the best known artists in jazz, including Clark TerryMilt JacksonPhil WoodsArt FarmerAnnie RossHank JonesMilt HintonRay BrownMarian McPartlandJimmy Heath,  James Moody, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan and Bobby Watson.

Les currently performs throughout New England with many of the areas top jazz artists.


updated September 2018