Born in Detroit, MI,
Robert Harris’s musical career started at 12 when he began studying
trumpet in junior high school. Harris began playing guitar at 16, and
was soon playing at coffee houses and lounges in the Detroit area. When
he was 20, Harris joined a seven-piece R&B group as the lead vocalist
and rhythm guitarist, playing covers by Tower of Power, Chicago, Earth
Wind and Fire, and other groups.
Leaving Detroit for Seattle, Harris toured the West Coast with a band
called Vocal Point. He was soon joined by drummer and friend Steve
Takahashi, who became Vocal Point’s drummer. Harris and Takahashi
relocated to Los Angeles, where Harris formed a group to showcase his
original compositions. Harris was quickly signed to West Records and his
first CD, “I’m Coming Back” was slated for distribution through Qwest
Records. But, as often happens in LA, the deal did not come to fruition.
Undaunted, Harris worked as a studio musician, performed at various
venues in LA, and expanded his musical talents. Now also a producer and
arranger - and the head engineer at the control panels – Harris produced
several well received independent label projects. In 1985, Harris
founded Fast Trak Recording Studios and spent the next five years honing
his producing, arranging, and engineering skills. Harris sold FastTrak
in 1991 and moved to Central Florida, stating, “I really enjoy the
engineering side of the business, but not as much is I enjoy playing and
writing music.” In between his own recording and performing schedule,
Harris continues to produce an occasional independent project in his
state-of-the-art digital recording studio.
Although mostly self-taught, for the last 25 years Harris has studied
guitar through the National Guitar Workshop, including studying several
Jazz curriculums in chord harmony, improvisation, and theory that were
developed by Jody Fisher. Harris was fortunate to have had the
opportunity to be tutored by George Peckam, one the worlds most renowned
The Robert Harris Group is one of the premier Jazz / R&B groups in
central Florida. In addition to their regular club dates, they have
performed at the New Smryna Jazz Festival, the Winter Park Art Festival,
The Seminole Jazz Series, and the Kissimmee Jazz Festivals, and recently
The Daytona Jazz Festival where they opened for Walter Beasley, Spyro
Gyra, and Jean-Luc Ponty. This year Robert opened for Mindi Abair at the
Art and Music Festival at Lake Eola in Orlando, and Richard Elliot at
the Winter Park Art Festival.
They are currently scheduled for several national festivals next year.
ie: Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, Berks Jazz
Fest, Atlanta Jazz Festival, and more. The Robert Harris group has been
asked back to perform at several concert events hosted by Orlando’s
premiere smooth jazz station WLOQ 103.1, and Tampa Bays WSJT, and WGRV
the Groove Florida’s east coast station. .
A few years ago Robert had the privilege of playing with Kirk Whalum and
Warren Hill’s band on Warren Hills smooth jazz cruise. You can also see
Robert playing an acoustic duet with Peter White @ roberharrismusic.com
Robert’s debut CD “Cool Breeze” was featured on smoothjazz.com for
several months and as a result was picked up by several radio stations
around the world. Robert recently released his 2nd smooth jazz CD “City
Light” which has been well received by his fans, and selling well at
live events. One of his songs “Monaco” is scheduled to releases
nationally on the radio this summer.