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John Harmon

April 27 @ 7:00 pm

Arts + Literature Laboratory welcomes pianist, composer, and author John Harmon for a book reading, video screening, live piano solo performance, and Q&A. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 student/ALL Member in advance online, or $20 at the door for everyone. Tickets available at https://johnharmon.bpt.me.

Harmon will read excerpts from his new book, From the Heart: The Story of Matrix (Cornerstone Press, 2023). In 1974, nine musicians led by Harmon came together in Appleton, Wisconsin, to form Matrix, a jazz fusion ensemble. The group rose to prominence through performances on the festival circuit, including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Newport Jazz Festival, and they recorded acclaimed albums including Matrix IX (1976), Wizard (1978) and Tale of the Whale (1979). From the Heart: The Story of Matrix provides insights into the inner workings of the influential group as Harmon shares his memories of their journey.

The program will also include the world premiere of a 25-minute video for Harmon’s Earth Day Portrait. For symphony orchestra, this composition sets eco-ethical quotations from former Madison residents John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Earth Day Founder Sen. Gaylord Nelson, read by their descendants. A CD recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop that includes Earth Day Portrait, titled Earth Day Heritage: A Celebration in Words and Music, was released internationally by Albany Records on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.

Following the video, Harmon will perform a solo jazz piano set consisting of his own compositions. This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear Harmon perform in the intimate space of our performance gallery.

After a brief Q&A, Harmon will sign copies of From the Heart: The Story of the Matrix, as well as copies of Earth Day Heritage, which will be available for purchase at the event.

CD: Earth Day Heritage: A Celebration in Music and Words

Book: From the Heart: The Story of Matrix (scroll down to “The Back Home Series in Nonfiction” section)

On-site book and CD sales, as well as a portion of ticket sales, will support Earth/Art Resources (E-art-H), which works from the intersection of nature and art toward a sustainable culture. Since its founding in 1998 to celebrate Earth Day values, E-art-H has engaged in eco-cultural projects, including the commissioning of public art works. The first commission was Harmon’s Earth Day Portrait in 2001, which premiered at the UW-Madison Wisconsin Union Theater. Consider supporting Earth/Art Resources at this fundraising webpage, facilitated by Create Wisconsin.


April 27
7:00 pm
Event Category:




Arts and Literature Lab
111 S. Livingston Street, #100
Madison, WI
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