Litchfield Jazz Festival & Jazz Camp

Festival History

Winard Harper Sextet

Winard Harper Sextet

Photo: Richard Galosy

”As tasteful a drummer as one could ask for,"

Inspired by the musicianship of greats such as Max Roach, Cannonball Adderley, Art Blakey and Billy Higgins, drummer Winard Harper has been the leader of a vibrant sextet for almost a decade. Although clearly the dominant force behind this extraordinarily gifted ensemble, Harper has surrounded himself with superbly talented young jazz musicians who are as entertaining to watch as they are to listen to.

Born in Baltimore in 1962, Winard began playing at the age of five and started working professionally at the age of ten. He has become one of the most celebrated drummers in jazz leading the Harper Brothers Band for years, and currently the Winard Harper Sextet. In addition to his work as a band leader, he has worked as a sideman recording and touring with many of the greatest musicians of our time, including Dexter Gordon, Betty Carter, Joe Lovano, Pharoah Sanders, Clifford Jordan, Jimmy Heath, and Dr. Billy Taylor.

His newest CD, “Make It Happen” (Piadrum), goes further than any of his previous six releases to highlight his talent as drummer, composer and bandleader. The Sextet is gaining increased air play around the globe, and regularly appears on festivals, jazz cruises, in concert halls and in top jazz clubs.

The Winard Harper Sextet is Winard Harper on Drums, Bruce Harris on Trumpet, Alioune Faye on African Percussion, Jon Notar on Piano, Ameen Saleem on Bass and Stacy Dillard on Tenor Sax.