Corey Harris has led the life of a musical explorer, traveling
and listening all over the world. He's performed at many
of the world's most prestigious venues, including the
Montreux Jazz Festival, London's Royal Albert Hall, New
York's Lincoln Center, Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy
Center, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and Tennessee's
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. As the star of Martin Scorsese's
segment of the PBS series, The Blues, Harris traveled to Mali
to play with Ali Farka Toure, a voyage he repeated for his
album of field recordings called Mississippi to Mali, in which
he explored the connections between African music and the blues.
Born in Denver, Colorado in 1969, Harris made two extended
trips to Cameroon after graduating from college. He came home
from Africa determined to make his way as a blues musician, while
he taught French at a rural Louisiana middle school. "Blues
was what I understood deepest in myself," says Corey, "It
wasn't a stretch for me to understand what was going on,
even though it took me a while to be able to play it."
Harris has shared the stage with BB King, Tracy Chapman, Natalie
Merchant, the Wailers, Burning Spear, The Dave Matthews Band,
and Ben Harper, among many others. In addition to extensive touring,
Corey has composed music for HBO's acclaimed series, "The
Corner", as well as for the PBS documentary, "The
Rise and Fall of Jim Crow."
A musician since childhood, Harris began his career as a traditional
blues singer and guitarist. From these simple beginnings he has
built a worldwide following among musicians and fans alike. Rolling
Stone gave his rocking 2002 release, Downhome Sophisticate four
Acclaimed film director Martin Scorcese tapped Harris to star
in and narrate the documentary film, "Feel Like Going Home." Filmed
in Mississippi and Mali, West Africa, it tells the story of the
blues from African origins, through slavery to todays blues and
roots music. Broadcast in America on the PBS network and released
in theaters internationally, the film features Harris' collaborations
with a number of American and Malian musicians, most notably
Taj Mahal, Ali Farka Toure, and Kora master Toumani Diabate.
From this experience came the critically acclaimed album, Mississippi
to Mali (Rounder), which was recorded in both locations and features
many of the same artists appearing in the film.
In 2005, Harris released Daily Bread, an album that synthesized
various shades and dimensions of African and African-America
music - blues, reggae, ska and even rap.
Harris joined the Telarc label in the summer of 2007 with the
release of Zion Crossroads, an album that reflects some of hiss
recent travels to Ethiopia – bringing
the reggae sensibilities of that culture to the forefront of his music.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/coreyharrismusic