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Joel Harrison

  • Arts Administrator
Harrison, Joel


“I heard some superb concerts, both in concert halls and in jazz clubs and churches. I saw a lot of art, saw some art that made me think, saw some art that challenged my very conception of what art is.”






Joel credits classical music, jazz, music of the Christian church, and contemporary art to be sources of renewal and inspiration. As President/CEO and Artistic Director of the American Pianists Association, he finds himself in performances, rehearsals, and meetings revolving around music. “I often find myself darting from one location to the next and not simply being present at concerts as an audience member.” He decided he needed a mini-sabbatical to the cultural hub of New York City to access music and art on a daily basis and be immersed in a city that is alive all hours of the day. “Sheer renewal, for me, was simply showing up and taking it all in, without responsibility. It was a dream and transported me back to the real source of passion for what I do.”

He rented an apartment on Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan and walked or took the subway daily to museums, jazz clubs, concert halls, and Episcopal churches. His apartment was in a convent of the Sisters of St. Margaret and they are assigned to Trinity Wall Street. Being an official guest of the Sisters and the Church, Joel attended service most days, stayed to enjoy music, as well as communed with the Sisters. “One of the surprising things about this sabbatical, given the involvement with the Sisters and Trinity Church, was that it became something of a spiritual retreat—more than I had anticipated. It also gave me grounding and a connection, and I did not feel a stranger in a big city.”


President/CEO and Artistic Director, American Pianist Association 
Former Artistic Director, Indy Jazz Fest 
Doctorate of Music in Piano and Chamber Music, with Highest Honors, Northwestern University

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