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Big Jay Harrison

Jay Harrison is a highly successful musician and entertainer. His ensembles have dazzled audiences throughout Canada and abroad for over twenty years. Having backed such artists as Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, Bob Hope, Engelbert Humperdinck, Kenny Rogers and The Platters, Jay is a highly experienced pro with groups that impress. For your special event, look no further than the Jay Harrison ensembles!

Musical Biography

Jay Harrison has been a successful professional Bandleader/Musician for over twenty years. While residing in Ottawa, Jay was extremely active in a variety of musical ensembles. From 1977 until 1980, Jay Harrison was a member of The Ottawa Symphony, The Nepean Symphony and The CBC Recording Orchestra. From 1980 until 1994, Sgt Harrison held the position of Principal Trombonist, Vocalist and Musical Director of the Ambassador’s Dance Orchestra of the Central Band of the Canadian Forces in Ottawa. In this capacity, he performed at State Functions, Diplomatic Receptions, Military Balls, Festivals and Concerts throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and Europe. During this period, other ensembles led by Jay Harrison were featured at the Montreal Jazz Festival (eight consecutive years), the Ottawa Jazz Festival (fourteen consecutive years), the Quebec Worldbeat Festival and the Hull, Quebec Festival of Jazz and Blues. Jay's Jazz Quintet, Duo Bone, was twice recorded by the CBC for subsequent broadcasts on the National Network's Jazzbeat. He also recorded with Solid Brass, the Champ Champagne Orchestra, the Vernon Isaac Big Band, the Rejean Gauvreau Big Band and the Bill Jupp Big Band. As a member of Stevens and Kennedy, Ottawa's premiere Dance/Show Band, Jay worked throughout the Capital Region as well as in Toronto, Montreal and Bermuda. As a freelance trombonist, Jay Harrison performed with such acclaimed artists as: Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, The Canadian Brass, The Platters, Sonny Stitt, The Four Freshman, Bob Hope, Engelbert Humperdinck, Rob McConnell, Red Skelton, Valdy, Peter Appleyard, Michelle Wright, Wayne Ronstad, Guido Basso, Maureen Forrester, Kenny Rogers, James Moody, Martha Reaves, and the Vandellas. In 1994 Sgt Harrison re-located to Winnipeg as the Principal Trombonist, Vocalist and Musical Director of the Rhythm in Blue Dance Orchestra and Jazz Septet of the Air Command Band of Canada. In 2000, Jay completed his service with the Air Force Bands of Canada. Since arriving in Winnipeg, Jay Harrison has been extremely active in the local music scene. Jay is the lead trombonist with the Ron Paley Big Band, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra as well as the Salsa Band, Combo Latino and is featured on the latter group’s CD entitled “Ritmos Calientes”, recorded in collaboration with the CBC. Jay Harrison also leads a number of his own popular ensembles including: The Jay Harrison Big Band Dance Band and Jazz Quartet, Big Jay and the Jive Flyers, The Dixie Demons

During the summer of 2001, Jay released his debut solo CD entitled “Soon” in conjunction with the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. On this recording, Jay is featured on vocals, alto, tenor and bass trombones, trumpet and flugel. Jay Harrison is formally the Vice-President of the Ottawa/Hull District Federation of Musicians’, Local 180 and is presently the Vice-President of the Winnipeg Musicians’ Association, Local 190. In this capacity, Jay is a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Member's Committee. Jay Harrison also sits on the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra and is a member of the Outreach and Education Committee for the Jazz Winnipeg Festival.

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