Harris Wulfson, z"l, July 23, 2008
I sadly catch up with some sad tidings from the months I was unable to keep up with email. Harris Wulfson died suddenly on July 23. This from July 26, 2008. I have concatenated several posts to the Jewish-Music mailing list, started by the death notice in the NY Times, and then emails from Eve Sicular:
I very sadly report that the wonderfully talented and sweet Harris Wulfson has died. His gifts included an extraordinary ear for many styles on violin, particularly klezmer and Balkan musics.
We were fortunate to have Harris record as a guest artist on our first two Metropolitan Klezmer CDs, and one photo of him with the band has long been posted on our gallery page. (You have to scroll down and look to the left side of the screen; this image is from 1999 at Tonic, picture by Dennis Kleiman; Harris is in a red shirt on the far right.) This is also in the booklet of "Mosaic Persuasion" in higher resolution: metropolitanklezmer.com/gallery_metro.html
Harris had been involved with many other band projects too—I know he had frequented The Tank and Barbes, around NYC, in the recent past—as well as compositional graduate programs on the West Coast and at CUNY, and many other high-level ventures and adventures, even in the short time he shared with us all.
May his memory continue for a blessing.
Here is a link to original compositions by the late Harris Wulfson, very moving 'new music' all on mp3's... much of this is played on live acoustic instruments: wulfson.com
Harris played in such a plethora of projects, many experimental music ensembles—and then so many folkloric & traditional groups too: a touring stint etc. with King Wilkie (is that considered bluegrass? I loved it; all around one mic too, old-time style); klezmer as I have already mentioned with my bands (both Metropolitan Klezmer and as guest klezbian for Isle of Klezbos) and many other Yiddish music groups too, including his fine swing stylings; Balkan & 'Silk Road' music including Sharqija with Ismail Butera—he studied in Bulgaria and elsewhere in Eastern Europe too I believe; not to mention the World On A String [or World on Four Strings?] string band, Irish tunes, jazz both Djangoistic and more, and plenty else of course.
The Harris Wulfson photo pool in flickr: www.flickr.com/groups/harriswulfson/
A Google Group has been created to serve as a central point of contact for information about all Harris-related program activities: groups.google.com/group/friendsofharris
A blog post about Harris by his cousin on Huffington Post.
here's a story I heard Harris' dad tell at shiva Sunday (it was across the kitchen, hope I'm telling this properly)…
Harris once rapped with Bobby McFerrin, spontaneously. I think first Bobby was asking for volunteer beat boxer, then when he heard Harris he said—let's switch, I'll go the rhythm for you.
Harris' rap went on two or three minutes, got a standing ovation.
His dad loved telling that—