Executive Producer of JazzSplash: It Must Have Been Something In The Water: The Jazz Genius of PittsburghTM 2021


Sharynn Harper with Jazz Legend Guitarist George Benson

Sharynn Harper writes
on the music business

Harper with a Production Assistant-a part of her world wide network

Harper as Talent Manager

Harper on TV interview discussing jazz

The notion of the Jazz geniuses that have emerged from the steel city of Pittsburgh has suddenly caught on like a firestorm. New York based independent producer/businesswoman Sharynn Harper has gone back to the origins of many of these jazz legends and traced the earlier musical development in the "steel city" that would give birth to their renown, catapulting these jazz icons to the helm of the jazz world.

The musical genius and talent of native Pittsburgher, pianist Ahmad Jamal would eventually command the attention of the American and international jazz scene. Miles Davis once said of Jamal, "I live for his next album to come out". Somewhere in the world every hour one can hear the musical strains of Billy Strayhorn's "Take The A Train" being played. Strayhorn was not only Duke Ellington's arranger for nearly thirty years, but also the composer of many of the classics associated with the Duke Ellington songbook. The international diva Dame Shirley Bassey has gone on record saying that the legendary baritone, balladeer and bandleader Billy Eckstine was one of her earliest musical influences as a young singer in her native Wales in Great Britain. Many legends of jazz came through Eckstine's band including Dizzy Gillespie and the great jazz singer Sarah Vaughn whom he discovered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The name of the legendary guitarist George Benson is on par with that of Segovia. Benson has been hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of our time. Jazz luminary and innovator Wynton Marsalis began his professional career with Pittsburgh native, master drummer Art Blakey when he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The genius of pianist Erroll Garner is unparalleled and his highly recognizable composition of "Misty" will probably be played throughout the history of civilization. Film director, actor, Clint Eastwood titled one of his films, Play Misty For Me, after this time honored classic. The sound of the tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine is totally distinctive—no one can compare. He has been credited with much of the early popularization of what is now referred to as "cool jazz".

Sharynn Harper grew up in a musical family of jazz musicians in Pittsburgh and left as a teenager after high school. As the daughter of the late Pittsburgh iconic jazz pianist/nightclub owner Walt Harper, she was exposed at an early age to the wonderful tapestry and cultural landscape of the jazz world and the behind the scenes interactions of many of the world's greatest jazz luminaries. As Harper remembers, "Between my dad, Walt Harper—who made a major impact on the Pittsburgh jazz scene very early on in his life and career—my uncle, Nate Harper who was a talented saxophonist in his own right, and my uncle Ernie Harper, a long time well known presence on the Chicago jazz scene...everyone in the jazz world who was significant became family friends through this musical association. Jazz Greats such as Carmen McCrae, Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine, Erroll Garner, Ray Brown, Cannonball Adderly, Stanley Turrentine were all guests in our living room in the upper Hill district whenever they were in Pittsburgh. While in town performing at The Crawford Grill, or Walt Harper's Attic and other venues, they all stopped by for dinner and of course the occasional jam session."

Writer, Executive producer Sharynn Harper brings to this documentary project years of experience in the entertainment business. Currently, she is owner of Sharynn Harper Marketing & Productions. She has been active in various capacities being at the helm of her own talent agency. She has written on jazz, has been a speaker/educator, music teacher and for a brief time a stand-up singer. She has contributed her writing talents to many literary projects and has been called upon as a media planner and cultural programmer. She is a member of many professional organizations including ASCAP. As owner and president of Sharynn Harper Marketing Productions, Inc., she oversees several entrepreneurial businesses. Harper refers to herself as an "internationalist". She holds several advanced degrees in the field of international studies from Columbia University, speaks French and has a global network of production assistants, consultants and friends who work with her worldwide on her projects in destinations such as France, England, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Austria, Italy, Beijing, Tokyo, Bombay and other locations. As she says, "The music that we refer to as jazz is a time tested common denominator and the appreciation of this wonderful American art form is universal."

Jazz legends to be discussed are: George Benson, Art Blakey, Ray Brown Kenny Clarke, Billy Eckstine, Roy Eldridge, Erroll Garner, Walt Harper, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Phyliss Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Dodo Marmarosa, Dakota Staton, Billy Strayhorn, Maxine Sullivan, Stanley Turrentine, Tommy Turrentine, Mary Lou Williams...and others.

For further information on this documentary project "JazzSplash It Must Have Been Something In the Water" or to contact Sharynn Harper for speaking engagements or presentations please email her at Contact@SharynnHarperJazzSplash.com.

Affiliated web sites:

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Manchester Craftman's Guild

Sharynn Harper with Jazz Master Pianist, Ahmad Jamal.

Sharynn Harper at home in Manhattan

Sharynn Harper in France with French record producer

Sharynn at a tribute for her favorite jazz musician-pianist Walt Harper-her father

Sharynn as vocal teacher

Harper in radio interview

Impresario, Management and Booking. Harper with entertainer

Sharynn Harper has been active
on New York's nightclub scene

Harper with the legendary saxophonist Stanley Turrentine

Sharynn Harper performing as a stand-up singer
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As an educator: giving a lecture on jazz

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