Copy into your RSS Reader
Copy into your Podcast App
"You have to love this art form," Stefon Harris says. "It's one of the only opportunities in the world where we really can be purely honest and in the moment, and let the music unfold and reveal itself."
Courtesy of the artist
March 23, 2012 Harris showcases his fiery work on the vibes through a polished set of standards and originals.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/145639771/149215643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Christian Scott's collaborative album, Ninety Miles, comes out June 21.
Courtesy of the artist
June 12, 2011 On their first collaborative album, the three jazz musicians follow in the footsteps of Nat King Cole, Tito Puente and other American artists who've traveled to Havana and immersed themselves in Cuban clave rhythms.
Stefon Harris & Blackout.
February 4, 2010 At the Kennedy Center Jazz Club bandstand, Harris' vibes run parallel to the edge of the stage and perpendicular to his marimba. Like a boxer in the ring, he works the corner where the keys meet. Hear Harris and his band Blackout pound on OutKast and Jackie McLean in two sets.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123345938/129747106" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Stefon Harris Blackout performs at WBGO.
Josh Jackson/See More Photos
August 25, 2009 Five years ago, vibraphonist and marimba player Stefon Harris started Blackout. It's a troupe of music mercenaries adept in the language of jazz, the strut of soul music and the raucous ruckus of breakbeats, go-go and new-jack rhythms. Hear Blackout bring swagger to modern jazz in a session from WBGO.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/112204305/112203181" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Lionel Hampton was the first musician to use the vibraphone on a jazz recording.
Reg Davis/Getty Images
November 17, 2008 Jazz is the only genre of music that uses the vibes as a lead or improvisational instrument. It's been a process in helping to save this beautiful-sounding and versatile instrument from extinction. Leading off with Lionel Hampton, here are five examples of that beauty and versatility.
May 24, 2007 Vibraphonist Stefon Harris' new album African Tarantella: Dances with Duke features music from Duke Ellington's 1970 "The New Orleans Suite" and "The Queen's Suite." Harris' Quartet performs those songs well as his own compositions in a full concert recorded for JazzSet.
June 15, 2004 The Tavis Smiley Show producer Roy Hurst speaks with renowned vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The jazz musician's latest CD, a collaboration with a group of sidemen called Blackout, is called Evolution.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor