Patrick Harison

Born to a goldsmithing accordion player and a ballet teacher, Patrick Harison grew up in a home full of art, music and dance. He took piano lessons at an early age, as well as flute lessons from his step-mother who is an accomplished musician and suzuki instructor.  His father encouraged him to pick up the accordion at age 13.   Patrick learned how to turn the bulky and boisterous machine into a sensitive instrument by listening to and imitating the masters from every corner of the world. His only formal study was with midwestern accordion hero Larry Malmberg. By 14, Patrick’s professional career had begun. For extra income in high school, he formed a zydeco band which performed regularly at regional festivals, gaming establishments and backyard barbecues.  As a young musician, he also had the opportunity to perform regularly with many notable Minnesota artists including; the Parisota Hot Club, Connie Evingson, The Mandragora Tango Orchestra, Clearwater Hot Club and many others in the worlds of jazz, folk and classical music.

In 2006,  Patrick was awarded the McKnight Fellowship for performing musicians, the first accordion player to ever win the grant and one of the youngest recipients on record in any discipline.  With his new found resources, he followed his musical passions around the globe.  He spent a good deal of time in New Orleans, soaking up the diverse cultural influences of the region.  During his time in Louisiana, He was a member of the Panorama Jazz Band and The Loose Marbles with whom he was able to tour internationally and perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The Veracruz Jazz Festival and notable venues domestic and abroad.  2008 brought Patrick to New York City to study eastern european folk music. While in New York he founded the Baby Soda Jazz Band, an international collective of musicians dedicated to bringing New Orleans Traditional Jazz to everyone, everywhere.  The ensemble continues to perform in perpetuity bringing together old and young generations of musicians and listeners.

Patrick currently resides in Minneapolis, MN performing in a diverse array of projects including Patty and The Buttons, The Patrick Harison Trio, Eisner’s Klezmorim, Jack Klatt and The Cat Swingers, Zations and Minor Kingdom  In 2009, Patrick played the US Premiere of Pinocchio with The Minnesota Opera.  He is also an active composer, session musician, educator and arranger.