“Reggie Harris is part of the solution. His marvelous music, his hard-earned wisdom, and his loving presence lift up any room he enters. Reggie reaches across all boundaries and makes strangers into friends. Give yourself and your community the gift of a transformative visit with Reggie Harris.”
—Rabbi Jonathan Kligler
Teacher, Leader, Musician, Lev Shalem Institute, Woodstock, NY
A songwriter of great depth and passion, Reggie Harris writes from a personal sense of mission that merges a world wise point of view with a singularly hopeful stance that life, though often challenging, is filled with possibility and hope. His songs reveal thoughts about life and love and some of the deep aspects of the human experience and cover topics from his own personal journey to world issues and history.
About Reggie Harris
A well-traveled performer, lecturer and cultural ambassador, Reggie has earned wide acclaimed and respect from peers and audiences alike throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and around the world. He combines spirituals and roots music, historic inspiration, and moving original songs, often in the themes of unity and social justice. Knowing this, audiences have bestowed upon him a fitting slogan: “Songs of Joy, Hope, and Freedom.”
A songwriter of great depth and passion, Reggie writes from a personal sense of mission that merges a world view full of wisdom with a singularly hopeful stance that life, though often challenging, is filled with possibility and hope. His songs reveal thoughts about life and love and some of the deep aspects of the human experience, and cover topics ranging from his own personal journey to world issues and history.
His performances showcase a fluid vocalist, arranger, and guitarist whose open spirit and wide smile create an atmosphere that rewards the ears, opens the heart, and consistently earns trust and joyful admiration from audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
A committed educator, Reggie is an engaging lecturer with a remarkable gift for creating good “session energy” with diverse groups, with a particular skill for leading effective and inspirational educational exchanges. Reggie has also led songwriting workshops at music camps including Summersongs, Boston’s Summer Acoustic Music Week (SAMW), People’s Music Network, and The Swannanoa Gathering.
A natural collaborator and an infinitely creative musician, Reggie invigorates his solo touring with occasional partners. Checking his calendar, you will find performances with musicians who share his passion for musical interplay and improvisation such as Pat Wictor, Greg Greenway, Scott Ainslie, David Roth and others.
A truly gifted and inspiring storyteller, Reggie’s storytelling ranges from the historical, cultural base of the Underground Railroad and the Modern Civil Rights Movement to stories that frame the rich context of our American past and present. He is also a master of sharing inspiring personal tales of lessons learned in the twists and turns along life’s moments of discovery.
Reggie Harris is a “must have” in your school. Whether as a master story teller and musician presenting to a large audience or as an artist encouraging a small group of students to dig deep and write songs and stories to be shared. Reggie is a staple at Hartshorn School. Yearly he comes to share his wealth of knowledge as an outstanding educator exploring the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement with students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Reggie’s knowledge and sensitivity to the subject make him perfect for middle school, high school and even college classes. Reggie Harris has a unique ability to bond with an audience and take them on a journey of deeper thinking and self-awareness. I guarantee his performance in your school will generate the conversations that we as teachers hope for.
– Amy Blake, second grade teacher, Short Hills, NJ
Arts in Education
Reggie Harris has been affiliated with the John F Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program for over two decades, offering both multimedia performances for students and communities as well as and in-depth workshops for educators at all grade levels. His writing, research, field work and recordings have amassed an amazing repertoire of African American music, blending spirituals and freedom songs, the old with the new. Mentored early on by Dr. Charles Blockson and by using music and storytelling to create captivating performances for audiences of all ages, he has raised awareness of the Underground Railroad, in young school audiences, college symposiums and adult concerts.
Lectures and teacher In-service presentations, some developed in collaboration with the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program are also available.
Performances: For students of all grade levels (pre-K and right through College Honors/Convos):
MUSIC AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
The Underground Railroad is one of the most important chapters in American History. This engaging, interactive concert of songs, stories and narratives about slavery and the quest for freedom reveals the hope, power and eventually, the triumph that was accomplished by shared by a network of multicultural allies. Through song, story, audience involvement and a multi-media presentation, Music and the Underground Railroad provides an understanding of the secrets and passion of this powerful era.
(Multimedia, K-6, 6-8)
DREAM ALIVE: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY
The stories of people such as Harriet Tubman and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have become a familiar part of the study of American History. The accomplishments of other significant African-Americans, from every walk of life and field of endeavor, are not as well known.
Dream Alive, a multi-media presentation, brings to light these artists, educators, inventors, explorers, scientists, poets, and other important contributors to the life and culture of America and the world.
ONE FAMILY/ONE PLANET
One Family/One Planet is a fun, entertaining and thoughtful look at friendship, ecology, tolerance and freedom, topics that are important to people all over the world. In songs, stories and audience involvement, Reggie explores the world of friendships, recycling, and water conservation and celebrates the diversity that makes the earth such a wonderful home.
(Environmental, AIE or Family Entertainment events)
FREEDOM SONGS AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
With recent 50-year remembrances of the Modern Civil Rights movement, and ongoing activism, Reggie has begun working with classroom groups and assembly programs for students, to address this history. Drawing upon his extensive visits to sites in Alabama, Mississippi, and Memphis, this program incorporates a strong storytelling segment alongside music and meaning of the movement. Students of all ages and backgrounds are given an opportunity for discussion and reflection on race, slavery/human trafficking and justice issues in today’s world.
ADDITIONAL ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
- Freedom Songs and the Civil Rights Movement (adapts to K-12 and college)
- Seminars and Symposiums for College and High School
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDUCATORS
Sing to Freedom: Music & Stories of the Underground Railroad
This proven in-service workshop offers a “hands on – classroom ready” historical and musical workshop on the Underground Railroad. Teachers receive valuable tools for building the knowledge base of students through effective art based curriculum connected lessons designed to open classroom study to a more vibrant exploration of history, music and language. Copies of their highly praised CD “Steal Away,” and an extensive teaching guide are included.
Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement
For Teachers of Grades 3-8
In this upbeat workshop Kim and Reggie Harris share ways to teach about the history of African-Americans’s struggle for equal rights. Explore how music and storytelling can be used to extend students understanding of the freedom movement, from the Underground Railroad through the modern Civil Rights era.