Side Door hosts Donald Harrison's Berklee Quartet

Donald Harrison Jr., shown May 1 at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, performs tonight in Old Lyme.

It's alternately wonderful, overwhelming and even sad to consider how many great musical artists and albums are mostly overlooked by The Masses.

I wouldn't say jazz saxophonist and New Orleans native Donald Harrison Jr. is "overlooked" - he's certainly renowned in the industry, plus the character Delmond Lambreaux on the hit television series "Tremé" is based on Harrison - but I wish more folks were familiar with his diverse and often brilliant work.

Here's your chance: tonight, Harrison, an '81 graduate of the Berklee School of Music, brings a touring quartet of current Berklee undergrads to the Side Door Jazz Club for a performance. It's part of the college's "Masters on the Road" series, wherein Berklee alumni return to campus to teach and lead a touring ensemble selected by audition.

Harrison's band includes pianist Santiago Bosch, bassist Osmar Okuma and drummer Darryl Staves - and expect a generous sampling from Harrison's discography, ranging from noveau swing, hip hop, trad jazz, self-penned classical and, if folks are lucky, selections from "Indian Blues," an album Harrison made that fuses jazz with the Mardi Gras Indian chants of his hometown.

Donald Harrison’s Berklee Quartet, 8:30 tonight, Side Door Jazz Club, Old Lyme Inn, 85 Lyme St., Old Lyme; $20 plus $10 food/beverage minimum; (860) 434-0886.


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