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JIM HARRISON, THE WARRIOR JAZZ IMPRESARIO DIES AT 88; TULIVU DONNA-CUMBERBATCH SONG STYLIST DIES AT 71

JIM HARRISON, THE WARRIOR JAZZ IMPRESARIO DIES AT 88; TULIVU DONNA-CUMBERBATCH SONG STYLIST DIES AT 71
Written by Publishing Team

Jim Harrison, the pioneer jazz promoter, jazz publisher, advocate and mentor to musicians and many others in the jazz community, died January 19, at St. John’s Hospital in Queens, New York. He was 88.

His daughter-in-law Rene Harrison confirmed his death and stated heart complications as the cause.

During his esteemed six-decade career Harrison received many awards some of which included: in 2019, he was awarded with Jazzmobile’s Jazzy Award; that same year he was honored as a Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2018 Harrison had a choice client list with jazz vocalist Antoinette Montague, pianist Lisle Atkinson and Jazzmobile. During an interview with the Amsterdam News he laughed, “Over the years I had an extensive client list but at 86 years old, I have cut back the fast-paced life for something a little more manageable.”

Harrison’s dedication to presenting and promoting jazz in a swift and professional manner became a staple for many jazz greats. In some instances, his contacts helped advance some careers while he was the personal promoter for Art Blakely, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Charles Tolliver, Billy Taylor, Barry Harris, Frank Foster, Mary Lou Williams, Jimmy Heath, Hank Mobley, Irene Reid , Chris Anderson, Frank Foster, Houston Person & Etta Jones. He is featured in Maxine Gordon’s biography “Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon” (University of California Press, 2018).

As an effective promoter during the 1950s and ’60s, Harrison got the word out with flyers and posters. He handed out flyers to people on the street and used selected locations for drop-offs such as Showman’s Café, Lenox Lounge, lobbies of The Lenox Terrace, restaurants, Penn Station and Grand Central Station.

“Jim Harrison: the heart, mind, body & soul of our music”. Jazz. He brought to Sistas’ Place in the latter part of his life his presence. We were rewarded, we were recognized, by Jim. Speak his name; jazz lives,” said Viola Plummer, Sista’s Place, owner.

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