Cory Harris ~ Cedric Watson
Corey Harris was born in Denver, Colorado to parents from Texas and Kentucky. He is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work.
He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris' maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar.
With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Henry Butler, R.L.Burnside, John Jackson, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Mattews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, Natalie Merchant, and others. His additional recordings include Fish Ain't Bitin' (1996), Vu-Du Menz (with Henry Butler, 2000), Downhome Sophisticate (2002), Zion Crossroads (2007), blu black ( 2010 ), Fulton Blues (2013), Live from Turtle Island (2015), Live at New Orleans Jazz Fest (2016), Live in Vienna, Austria (2016), Free Waterway (2018), and Louisa County Blues (2019).
In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, "Feel Like Going Home," which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship commonly referred to as a genius award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The annual grant, which recognizes individuals from a wide range of disciplines who show creativity, originality and commitment to continued innovative work, described Harris as an artist who forges an adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism. That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine.
Spearheading the emerging generation of Cajun and Creole musicians, Cedric Watson is a fiddler, vocalist, accordionist and songwriter of enormous talent and potential.
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole resurrect the ancient sounds of the French and Spanish contra dance and bourré alongside the spiritual rhythms of the Congo tribes of West Africa, who were sold as slaves in the Carribean and Louisiana by the French and Spanish. Injecting a healthy dose of his own personality and ingenuity, Cedric has been exciting an ever-broadening audience with his unique take on traditional Creole music, and with his new compositions that expand the genre while still respecting its roots.
In the few years since he assumed the role of bandleader, all of his albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards. Moving with ease between fiddle and accordion, and adding his strong blues-inflected vocals, Cedrics albums are a tapestry of pulsing rhythms and Creole poetry, and his live performances are unforgettable, at once progressive and nostalgic.
The FRONTROOM (View)
910 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610
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