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Velma's Sunday Blues Series: ZAC HARMON
September 23, 2012
GRAMMY-nominated blues guitarist from the Delta of Mississippi, voted the "Best New Artist" in the XM radio listeners poll in 2005 & featured at the Mississippi celebrates the GRAMMY's in 2012
Sunday, Sep 23
- 7pm $20
Born and raised in the heart of Jackson, Mississippi, Zac Harmon is a true disciple of the music that emanated from the city’s historic Farish Street district, universally recognized as the home of such great blues legends like the late, great Elmore James.
While in high school and college, Harmon gigged as a guitarist for the likes of Z.Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore and Sam Myers. Relocating to L.A. in the early eighties, he worked as a studio musician and then established himself as a writer and producer, crafting songs for the likes of the O’Jays, Whispers, Karyn White, Alexander O'Neal and Black Uhuru.
Composing and performing music for a movie score, Harmon was compelled to pursue his longtime dream to return to his roots and record his first Blues project. The result was 2002’s Live at Babe & Ricky's Inn, an electrifying testimony to Mississippi Blues, which showcased the sound at its best and introduced Harmon as a true torchbearer for the “next generation of the Blues”. In 2004, with his then band, the Mid South Blues Revue, he won the Blues Foundation’s prestigious International Blues Challenge (IBC) title of “Best Unsigned Band".
That release was followed by The Blues According To Zacariah, which garnered major national airplay, including XM, Sirius and the American Blues Network. XM listeners voted Harmon “Best New Blues Artist” in the inaugural XM Nation Awards in 2005. In 2006, Harmon won the Blues Music Award for “Best New Artist Debut” for The Blues According to Zacariah. Later that year, he was featured in Blues Revue magazine, as one of the 10 artists that “…represent the future of the blues”.
2007 saw Harmon named to the Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors and entering into an endorsement deal with Category 5 Amplification. In 2008, he released Shot in the Kill Zone in Europe, recorded live at the Lionel Hampton Room in Paris. He then signed with the Northern Blues label for his third and much-anticipated U.S. album, From the Root that was released April 2009.
Harmon also marked his acting debut in ’09 with a major role in the independent feature film Black and Blue, which is to be released in 2010. Also, in 2009, he was honored for his career achievements in his beloved hometown at the Jackson Music Awards and weeks later in Nashville, the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation bestowed the “Little Milton” Guitar Award for “Outstanding Guitar Player” upon him.
Zac Harmon entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait in 2008 as one the stars of Bluzapalooza and while headlining “The Pizza & Pyramid Tour” of Sicily, Italy and Cairo, Egypt in late 2009, Harmon and company made history with a rare performance at site of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx, making the ensemble only the second Blues act to do so; Louis Armstrong being the first.
More recently, Zac was featured performer for the 2010 “Mississippi Celebrates its GRAMMY® Legacy” celebration, hosted by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, where he was presented with a Peavey Award by Peavey Electronics founder and CEO Hartley D. Peavey. The Peavey Award honors the state's many GRAMMY® winners and nominees as well as individuals who have played a significant role in developing and furthering Mississippi's musical heritage.
Zac Harmon continues to tour internationally as an ambassador for the Blues.