$28.95 | September 2023 | 268 pp
Paperback | 978-1-960329-14-1
JOHN HARMON is a widely commissioned composer. He created the jazz studies program at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and later founded and led the award-winning jazz nonet Matrix, which toured the country for nearly six years. Harmon serves as Composer-in-Residence for the Red Lodge Music Festival, artistic director for Fox Jazz Fest, and in 2005, was named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters. He holds honorary doctorates from Lawrence University and Ripon College.
From the Heart: The Story of Matrix
In 1974, nine musicians came together in Appleton, Wisconsin, to form Matrix, a jazz fusion ensemble. Led by composer and keyboardist John Harmon, the group rose to prominence on the festival circuit before recording six acclaimed albums. Follow Harmon as he tells the story of the band, from their beginnings in the Midwest to their greatest successes to their reunion tours that brought them back together. From the Heart brings you into the inner workings of a highly influential music group, as well as closer to the man who made it all happen.
Praise for From the Heart: The Story of Matrix
“When I first heard Matrix, I freaked! These guys were real musicians playing incredibly intelligent compositions. I became their biggest fan!”
—Bobby Shew, world famous trumpet player/recording artist
"The band was carried by the remarkable camaraderie of its members and crew. But John, who I still call 'Chief,' from those days, was the rock of the whole operation. Every member had his own role, but Matrix was his baby. No John Harmon, no Matrix. A high point in all of our lives. Hail to the Chief."
—Kurt Dietrich ("Dietch"), trombone, author of Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland
"Know this though, whatever goodness Matrix possessed was borne of the seeds of John Harmon’s honesty, humility, and the uncompromising musical vision he planted in each of us."
—John Kirchberger ("Kirch"), saxophones
"Matrix was a gift. The diversity of our music determined the variety of our experiences. I will always look back on my Matrix days with fondness and gratitude to all our band members."
—Mike Hale ("Tex"), trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion
"It was a place in time that provided a space for us to express our love of music and present it in an honest way. We learned from each other, supported each other, and aspired to be better players as we tackled some of the most difficult ensemble playing I had ever encountered."
—Larry Darling ("Zap"), trumpet, flugelhorn, synthesizer
“Matrix spoke with a voice filled with joy, energy, and originality that captivated music lovers and critics alike. Together, they shared and achieved the same vision. They created the legacy of Matrix: one of excellence, invention, and collaboration."
—Mindy Cibrario, Appleton, Wisconsin