Violinist born in Torrington, Connecticut, who started to learn the violin when very young, taking later studies at the Eastman School of Music where he graduated wth his artist’s diploma and Bachelor and Master’s degrees. During that time he was the concertmaster of the Eastman Orchestra and also played with the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra.
He entered the army after graduating and became a member of the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 1957. After discharge he moved to Los Angeles where studied for his doctorate at USC and after graduating became an Adjunct Professor of Violin, Chamber Music and it’s history and literature. He also went on to become a classical musician and valuable session man.
On 27th April 1964, he performed a live concert of William Grant Still’s “Danzas de Panama” as a member of the Spinoza Paeff Quartet at the Lindy Opera House in Los Angeles, California. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, he became involved with the South Bay Chamber Music Society, Inc. On 21st September 1969, along with pianist Carolyn Brown, he performed an SBCMS program that consisted of Bela Bartok’s “Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano”, Cesar Franck’s “Sonata in A Major”, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sonata in G major, K. 301”. The pair reunited on 2nd December 1971 for another SBCMS event, this one an all-classical affair featuring violin sonatas of Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart.
In the 1970s, recording studios sought out Harris’s services as a session violinist. A couple of his early credits include Earth, Wind & Fire’s Spirit and Johnny Hammond’s Forever Taurus, both released in 1976. In 1977, he appeared on Sonny Criss’s album, Warm & Sonny. He rejoined EWF for All ‘n All in 1978, a year that also found him an erstwhile member of the Sunset Bombers on their album, Sunshine Bombers, and in the studio with Stan Getz for Children of the World. In 1979, he was back with EWF on their album, I Am, and was one of a myriad array of musicians on Frank Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy.
The turn of the decade found him in the string section on EWF’s LP Faces and Tavares’s Supercharged, both of which hit the shelves in 1980. Harris would also do his share of film work, including Lalo Schifrin’s soundtrack of the Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact, recorded in 1983. In 1988, he appeared on Patti Austin’s LP, The Real Me.
He opened the ’90s accompanying another pair of sirens, Natalie Cole on Unforgettable: With Love in 1991 and Shirley Horn on Here’s to Life in 1992, the same year he appeared on Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. In 1993, he reunited with Frank Sinatra on Duets. Next up for Harris were a pair of 1994 albums, Luis Miguel’s Segundo Romance and John Tesh’s holiday offering, A Family Christmas. In 1995, he appeared on Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Let’s Go Bang, Phyllis Hyman’s I Refuse to Be Lonely, and Stevie Wonder’s Conversation Peace. He helped Michael Bolton ring in the Yuletide in 1996 with This is the Time: The Christmas Album. In 1997, he performed on Harry Connick, Jr.’s To See You and K-ci & JoJo’s Love Always. He closed out the decade on Ricky Martin’s self-titled debut.
In September of 2001, he participated in the 50th anniversary reunion of the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra in Lancaster, New Hampshire. In 2003, he was part of the strings on Jim Snidero’s Strings. He was back in the movie studio for 2004’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. On 6th March 2005, The Goldman-Brown Duo reunited for a free concert of Beethoven and Mozart. The pair also released recordings of Robert Linn’s “Vino” and William Kraft’s “In Memoriam Igor Stravinsky for Violin and Piano”. Other artists and groups with whom Harris recorded with include Air Supply, Elmer Bernstein, Neil Diamond, David Foster , Dean Martin, Harry Nilssson, Linda Ronstadt, Jim Self , and Mason Williams.
Harris’s projects also included performing on the soundtracks of the Ratatouille video game and the 2008 film, Pineapple Express.
He passed away in Los Angeles in 2011 when he was 78 years old.
Heres’s Johnny Hammond’s “Cosmic Voyager” from his Forever Taurus album which Harry performed on….