Biography

“An inventive drummer who sounds unlike anyone else.” (Scott Yanow, Jazz Inside)
 
 “Harris Eisenstadt, a drummer and composer originally from Toronto, takes a fixer’s approach to music making, looking for ways to fit the pieces together.  In his own music especially, he often seems intent on extracting consonance from dissonance or forging ungainliness into grace.” (Nate Chinen, The New York Times).
 
One of only a handful of drummers equally well known for his work as a composer, the Brooklyn resident is among the most versatile and prolific musicians of his generation. His eclectic resume includes studies with some of the most respected names in jazz and improvised music, West African and Cuban drumming, and performances in genres ranging from film and theater to poetry and dance to contemporary classical and opera.
 
Most active in jazz and improvised music, as both a bandleader and in-demand sideman, he has performed all over the globe, been awarded grants from organizations such as Meet The Composer, American Composers Forum, Canada Council for the Arts, and appeared on more than 50 recordings since 2000, including 15 as a leader.   Recordings of his compositions since 2002 often appear on the Songlines, Clean Feed, and 482 Music labels, and are consistently included on critics’ best-of lists. A live Golden State concert recording from the 2014 Vancouver Jazz Festival will be released on Songlines in early 2015.

 

Eisenstadt’s album Woodblock Prints (No Business) was named album of the year (2010), and he was included on the short list for composer of the year (2010 and 2012) and drummer of the year (2013) in the El Intruso international critics poll.  Other recent honors: nominations for Up and Coming Artist of the year by the Jazz Journalists Association (2009), included in Rising Star  Composer (2009) and Percussion (2013, 2014) categories of the Downbeat international critics poll,  premiere of first piece for orchestra, Palimpsest, by the American Composers Orchestra (2011), as part of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute at Columbia University’s inaugural readings.

Eisenstadt’s second orchestral work, Four Songs, commissioned by the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra, was premiered in 2013 at the Brooklyn Museum. He is a visiting instructor in the humanities department at SUNY Maritime College, and in 2014 became an instructor in New York University’s McGhee Division.  Recent performance/research/teaching in: NYC, Cuba, Brazil, across Canada & Europe. 

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