Joel Harrison and Free Country

221 East Water Street, Charlottesville, VA, 22902, Charlottesville, VA 22902


  • Presented By: The Front Porch
  • Dates: October 8, 2021
  • Location: The Front Porch
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Price: Joel Harrison and Free Country - Early Bird: 20.00, Joel Harrison and Free Country - Door: 25.00


The Charlottesville Jazz Society and The Front Porch present Joel Harrison and Free Country in concert Friday October 8th at The Front Porch at 8pm. This is the first post-pandemic concert sponsored by The Charlottesville Jazz Society.

Guitarist, composer and vocalist Joel Harrison reunites his groundbreaking group Free Country to tour the mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the U.S. this October. The concept for the band started in 2002 when Harrison released the first of three Free Country records on the Act label in which he created radically creative jazz arrangements of country and Appalachian tunes. The success of the record, which included a then barely known singer named Norah Jones, brought Harrison acclaim throughout Europe and the U.S. 

The touring band includes a powerful cast, all of whom Harrison has worked with on and off for two decades: David Binney (saxophone), Stephan Crump (bass), and Jordan Perlson (drums). The group will perform music from all three of their Free Country records. The timeless, haunting melodies of this music anchor the flights of improvisation that the band creates anew every night. The tour is funded in part by South Arts through the auspices of the Doris Duke Fund and the Jazz Road initiative.

Joel Harrison was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, and his compositions have been commissioned by Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, New Music USA, and many more. A native of Washington D.C., he has released twenty-two records and composed works for orchestra and string quartet. He is the founder and director of the Alternative Guitar Summit, a yearly festival devoted to new and unusual guitar music. He is also author of the just released Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Guitarists.


David Binney was recently singled out by Jazz Times as one of a handful of "players who have created an alternative jazz-scene... all of whom are playing adventurous, original music." David has recorded 20+ albums as leader or co-leader and recorded on more than 300 other albums. 

Transcending barriers of genre, Stephan Crump is best known as the long time bassist for the Vijay Iyer Trio, with whom he has toured the world to wide acclaim. He also frequently tours with his own group, the Rosetta Trio. Crump is a first call bassist residing in Brooklyn, New York.

Drummer Jordan Perlson now lives in Nashville and keeps a busy touring and recording schedule through the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe, and Asia.