Joel Harris is a professional saxophonist and music educator who has worked throughout the Southeastern United States and the state of Colorado. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, where he studies saxophone with Doctor Andrew Dahlke and frequently performs with UNC Jazz Lab Band 1 under the direction of Professor Dana Landry. During Harris's time in Lab 1, the band received the Downbeat magazine award for best graduate jazz ensemble. Additionally, Harris has completed a two week tour of China and performed at the Telluride Jazz Festival, UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival, KUVO, and New West Festival as a member of Lab 1.
Harris received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Alabama in 2009. After graduating, he worked as a production show musician for Royal Caribbean International, performing daily for thousands of guests and backing up internationally renowned guest artists.
Harris has performed throughout the Southeast with artists including Dennis Edwards's The Temptations, The Supremes, and the Black Jacket Symphony. A versatile musician, he remains an in-demand saxophonist for jazz, Motown, and rock styles. Harris maintains a busy performing schedule in Colorado and has played with artists including Mark Sloniker, Jim White, Matt Smiley, Steve Kovalcheck, Patrick Atwater, Kelsey Shiba and many others.
Joel has a passion for high quality music education. He teaches saxophonists at all levels through private studio instruction in both jazz and classical styles. Harris has directed large jazz ensembles and small jazz combos at the University of Northern Colorado, and all of his groups have performed at the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival. Joel produced and released the self-titled, debut album The Cairn Project in August, 2015 in collaboration with drummer Brian Claxton.
Photographer: Stephanie Burchett