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North Hills Musicians Learn from Nationally Recognized Jazz Trio

The Colter Harper Trio visited North Hills Junior High on Feb. 20.

North Hills musicians took some musical notes from a trio of New York City-based successful jazz musicians who are in the midst of a nationwide tour. 

The Colter Harper Trio on Feb. 20 visited North Hills Junior High and met with students and teachers Len Lavelle, Chris Rodack and Heidi Kohne. The Senior High Jazz Ensemble kicked off the event with musical selections prepared for the invitation-only Youngstown State University Wind and Percussion Invitational held Friday. 

Members of the trio—Colter Harper, Allison Miller and Jeremy McDonald—analyzed and critiqued the sound of the band and shared their insights. Following the music master class, the Colter Harper Trio took to the stage to perform alongside North Hills Junior High and Senior High musicians.

The Colter Harper trio consists of: 

Colter Harper – Guitar 

Colter Harper is a guitarist and photographer from New York. In 2001, Colter completed a bachelor of music in performance at Duquesne University and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in ethnomusicology at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2007, Colter joined the multiplatinum-selling, world music-influenced rock band Rusted Root as a guitarist, percussionist and vocalist. He recorded on the band's latest albums—Stereo Rodeo and The Movement—and continues to perform material from the albums nationally. Colter's own music owes a great amount to Pittsburgh's musical community to which he dedicated his dissertation research as well as his experiences traveling, performing and studying in West Africa, Brazil and Europe. Colter's connection with photography and art began at an early age and was influenced by his parents' creative work. While in Ghana in 2000 and 2005, Colter focused on photographing music associated with funeral rites, which produced two exhibits and a photo essay for the journal “Contexts.” 

Allison Miller – Drums 

NYC-based drummer Allison Miller goes from leading her band, BOOM TIC BOOM, to playing with songwriting vocalists Ani DiFranco, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Merchant, to touring with avant-garde saxophonist Marty Ehrlich and legendary organist Doctor Lonnie Smith. Allison was chosen as Rising Star Drummer in “DownBeat” magazine’s 53rd and 58th Annual Critics Poll. 

Jeremy McDonald – Bass 

In addition to playing with the Colter Harper Trio, Jeremy is composing and performing original music in a trio alongside David Throckmorton—drums and Chris Parker—guitar. Also, you will hear him perform on 2013 releases from songwriters Chris Ayer, Alec Gross, John Schmitt and jazz pianist Alex Bugnon.

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