Recently described by L.A. Jazz Scene's Scott Yanow as "most impressive", singer-pianist-songwriter Marilyn Harris boasts an enviable jazz pedigree. After studying composition with Hale Smith at UConn and film scoring with Ray Wright and Manny Albam at Eastman School of Music, Marilyn worked extensively with jazz arranger Gil Evans and studied piano with Richard Tee and Rodgers Grant. Her talents have graced not only her own recordings, but a wide variety of other artists' work including co-writing a gold record with Jim Brickman, doing arrangements for Bette Midler, Lola Falana and Donna McKechnie, and her songs have been covered by jazz vocalists Sharon McNight, Anne Marie Moss, Jackie Paris, Claire Martin, Bobbe Norris, Judi Silvano , Josie Falbo and Diane Hubka.
Marilyn was born in Syracuse, NY and grew up in Hartford, CT. After graduating from UConn, she worked as a music editor and copyist in New York City, while pitching her original songs to publishers. Soon she found herself in the world of advertising music where she sang, arranged and produced music for commercials (Amoco, McDonald's, Kraft, Kellogg's, United Airlines, etc.) in New York and Chicago. After moving to Los Angeles, she composed, performed and produced over 200 music cues for ABC-TV's "General Hospital", scored episodes of the animated "Flintstone Kids", and provided original music scores and themes for such diverse projects as BBC-5's hit radio drama "Milford-Haven, U.S.A." (Great Britain), "Yogurt Variations" for the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, the theatrical plays "Sea Marks" and "An American Odyssey", as well as the audio book music scores to "The Hidden Legacy", "Stickeen", and the recently released "Travels In Alaska". Marilyn has placed original songs in the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of "My Sister's Keeper", Sesame Street, and the award-winning short feature film "T for Terrorist".
Marilyn's first CD release on Wrightwood Records, the jazz-pop "Between the Lines" (WRCD-1508) featured world-renowned musicians such as percussionist/drummer Mark Walker (Paquito D'Rivera & Oregon), guitarist Georg Wadenius (Blood, Sweat & Tears), bassist Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group), jazz trumpeters Orbert Davis, Bobby Lewis and Ron Friedman, saxophonist Steve Eisen (Styx), and Sinatra band members Mike Smith and Ron Kolber. In 1998 Marilyn joined Philip Ingram in the vocal duet of her song "Like Love" on BMG's release of Jim Brickman's "Visions of Love".
Recently Marilyn expanded her musical scope by collaborating on 4 new CDs of meditation/relaxation music for Wrightwood Records: "Koto Keys" (WRCD-1516) & "A Koto Keys Christmas" (WRCD-1525) with kotoist Mara Purl, "Winds on Ivory" (WRCD-1521) with exotic woodwind specialist Phil Feather, and "Unicorn's Journey" (WRCD-1530) with harpist Stephanie Bennett.
Her second CD release on Wrightwood Records was "Future Street" (WRCD-1580) featured 11 great new songs with attitude - and wonderful instrumental solos by Wayne Bergeron, Warren Luening, Pete Christlieb, Dan Higgins, Bill Liston, Andy Martin, Bob Leatherbarrow, as well as a special vocal duet with Mark Winkler. Liner notes were by jazz songwriting legend Bob Dorough.
Marilyn's last release "Round Trip" (WRCD-1569) featured 10 great new Marilyn Harris songs (and 2 fabulous covers) - backed by the L. A. Jazz All-Stars Big Band (a gathering of the swingingest top studio cats in Los Angeles - led by producer/arranger Mark Wolfram) and wonderful instrumental solos by Bill Watrous, Pete Christlieb, Jim Fox, Dan Higgins, Warren Luening, Andy Martin, Don Shelton, as well as a special vocal duet with jazz songwriting legend Bob Dorough. Liner notes are by jazz DJ and journalist Neil Tesser.
Marilyn's latest release on Wrightwood Records is "Orphans" (WRCD-1595) - Songs Looking For A Good Home! It's a fabulous collection of 17 great Marilyn Harris songs of many genres that's sure to please both fans of Marilyn and first-time listeners alike. Each song has its own story to tell, all detailed in the liner notes - written by Marilyn. The CD (which was arranged, produced, recorded and mixed by Mark Wolfram) features vocals duets with Mark Winkler and Phillip Ingram, and instrumental solos by Dan Higgins, Steve Carnelli, P.J. Hanke and Kelland Thomas. Marilyn and Mark Winkler have released a fabulous YouTube.com video of "Countries In Love" - you can see it on Marilyn's Videos page.
Marilyn has given active service to many music industry organizations over the years (Board of Governors at N.A.R.A.S., S.G.A., Executive Board at L.A.W.I.M.), most recently serving as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Jazz Vocal Coalition. She continues to be active performing musicology analysis and clearance for various clients in the legal, entertainment and advertising fields. Marilyn moderated a songwriting panel at the 2004 IAJE in New York City, participated on a songwriting panel at the 2005 IAJE in Long Beach, CA, and moderated a panel entitled "Releasing Your Indie Jazz CD" at the 2005 IAJE Regional in Chicago, IL. Recent performances include Birdland, Danny's Skylight Room, Don't Tell Mama and Cornelia St. Cafe (NYC), Davenport's (Chicago), Odette's (New Hope, PA), the Tucson Jazz Society Spring & Fall Concert Series, The Flying V Bar & Grill at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort , and Sullivan's Steakhouse (Tucson, AZ), the Las Vegas Jazz Society Fall Concert Series (Las Vegas, NV), and The Jazz Bakery, Spazio, The Gardenia, and The Catalina Bar & Grill (Los Angeles).