Saxophonist Jeanette Harris was born and raised in Fresno, California. Both, her mother and her church organist father, were of deep spiritual faith and intense believers in the art of music, so Jeanette received their love of God and music genetically. “When I was 5, my father put a guitar in my hands. A year later, he switched me to piano – I didn’t like it. One day, my Mom was playing a cassette by Grover Washington, Jr. I was looking at the picture of his alto sax. It was beautiful and Grover made it look so hip. I felt it would be the perfect instrument for me.” Jeanette played saxophone from grade school and even before she graduated high school she became a member of the Fresno City College jazz band. She won numerous awards and accolades, which led to a scholarship to attend Berklee in Boston where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance. Three artists had a profound influence on her play, composing and performance: Richard Elliot (play), Stevie Wonder (composing) and Norman Brown (performance). But the most special person to come along in the course of her career thus far was Teena Marie, who hired her for her band unheard/unseen in a destiny-streaked leap of faith totally befitting Jeanette’s life and beliefs. “She was a blessing in my life. Teena taught me how to be a strong female leader. I will miss her always.” Jeanette has played major events from The Coombs River Bend Ranch Festival to festivals in Japan and London. She has performed as a side musician and opened shows for greats like Kirk Whalum, Najee, The Rippingtons, Babyface, Phil Perry and KEM.
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