[ ~ full biography below photograph ~ ]
Sean is a musical Artist and guitarist-for-hire living in New York City. He composes music for solo guitar and for small ensembles, and supports many singers, musicians, and theatrical productions.
“…gives full expression to the mood of the moment.” -Stephen Holden, New York Times
“…a technical virtuoso who’s Joe Pass / Tommy Emmanuel fingerstyle approach is always in service to telling a story or creating a feeling within the song; [Harkness] transcends many genres and can touch listeners of many backgrounds.” -Jazz Inside New York
“Harkness is a wonderfully inventive accompanist who also sparkles during his solo interludes. He sounds at times like a one-man orchestra.” – Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
As a solo artist with six CDs, Harkness’s music is on Windham Hill Records [Sony/RCA/BMG] and a list of independents. He has also scored music for television, including World’s Strongest Man, ESPN, NASCAR and ABC Sports.
Sean Harkness left Burlington, VT for New York City in 1994 to immerse himself in their music scene. Known especially for duets and ensemble work with singers from Broadway, television, and screen, Harkness is now a first-call guitarist who compliments an exhaustive client list of artists and productions worldwide. Sean performs extensively both as a solo artist and sideman worldwide, and in New York City’s finest jazz, rock, folk, cabaret, blues, R&B, and singer/songwriter venues.
Sean’s first guitar arrived on his eleventh birthday. Within six months, he had a weekly theater engagement in Bridgeport, CT. After high school bands and studies with Brian Keane and Sal Salvador [Stan Kenton Band], Harkness studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Then after a year of busking the streets of Europe, Harkness moved to Vermont where for five years he worked in the shop assisting master guitar builder Chip Wilson.
After hearing Sean perform Randall B. Plourde invited him to study guitar technique. Randall helped Harkness develop a signature touch on the instrument that caught the ears of Windham Hill Records and other producers.
At home in New York City, Harkness recently garnered the Outstanding Instrumentalist of 2011 Backstage Bistro Award, 2014 Broadwayworld Cabaret Award for Best CD Release, three MAC Awards [Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets] for ensemble instrumentalist, his solo shows, and most recent CD with duo partner, Canadian trumpeter Mike Herriot. Walden Guitars featured Harkness on the covers of their 2011 and 2012 catalogs, and Cabaret Scenes Magazine ran a cover/feature article about him in their 2012 Nov/Dec issue. Sean is also a product endorser for DR Handmade Strings, George L.’s Cables, and D-Tar Pickup Systems.
Promo video: http://vimeo.com/98289320
* * *
For programs and concert promotion:
Sean Harkness is both a musical artist and guitarist-for-hire. He composes music for solo guitar and small ensembles; supports an exhaustive list of singers, musicians, and theatrical productions. Awards include: Outstanding Instrumentalist 2011 Bistro Award, 2011, 2012 and 2013 MAC Awards, 2014 BroadwayWorld.com Award. Harkness endorses DR Strings, has six commercial releases as an artist, many on Windham Hill Records [BMG/RCA/Sony]. Private House Concerts, Guitar Master Classes, and music clinics are available; one of which takes place on the remote Caribbean island of Bequia. www.seanharkness.com.
Sean Harkness is a musical artist, a guitarist-for-hire, and a New Yorker. He composes music for solo guitar and small ensembles, and supports an exhaustive list of singers, musicians, and theatrical productions. “Harkness gives full expression to the mood of the moment.” -Stephen Holden, New York Times “Sean is a technical virtuoso who’s Joe Pass / Tommy Emmanuel fingerstyle approach is always in service to telling a story or creating a feeling within the song; he transcends many genres and can touch listeners of many backgrounds.” -Jazz Inside New York. Awards include: Outstanding Instrumentalist 2011 Bistro Award, 2011 MAC Award for his solo show, 2012 MAC Award for Best Recording, and 2013 MAC Award for Ensemble Instrumentalist, 2014 BroadwayWorld.com Award for best CD Release. Harkness has six commercial artist releases, many on Windham Hill Records [BMG/RCA/Sony]. Walden Guitars featured Sean on the cover of their 2011 and 2012 product catalogs, released a Signature 12-string guitar in Europe, Asia, and North America, and his B-1 Baritone Acoustic guitar. Harkness endorses DR Handmade Strings, George L.’s Cables, and D-Tar Pickup Systems. Private House Concerts, Guitar Master Classes, and music clinics are available; one taking place on the remote Caribbean island of Bequia. www.seanharkness.com.
In addition to featuring Sean on the cover of their 2011 product catalog, Walden Guitars released both a Sean Harkness Signature 12-string guitar in Europe, Asia, and North America, and a brand new B-1 Baritone Acoustic guitar.
Along with numerous duets, compilations, TV, and film soundtracks, Mr. Harkness now has eight commercial artist releases:
- Aloft [Windham Hill] -1999
- Trio Of One [independent release] -2001
- Urakaji solo guitar [Rinken Records, Japan, USA] -2004
- Harkness Knight w/saxman Eric Knight and 5 great drummers -2009
- H2 Flights: Volume One w/fab Canadian trumpeter Mike Herriott on Canadian Brass‘ label ODEG -2011
- H2: Home For The Holidays
- “A Wish” – with vocalist Karen Oberlin
- “Duet” – with pianist Ian Herman
Mr. Harkness is a first-call guitarist who compliments an exhaustive client list [see below] of artists, instrumentalists, Broadway productions, and corporations nationally and internationally. He is the go-to guitarist for duets and ensemble work with singers from Broadway and television such as Alison Fraser, Susan Egan and Carole Demas. Sean can be seen at Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway in Times Square with Terese Genecco and her Little Big Band on the last Tuesday of every month.
Sean has appeared as an artist and sideman extensively in New York’s finest jazz venues including the Blue Note, Smoke, Small’s, the Jazz Standard, Birdland, Iridium, Feinstein’s, Edison Ballroom, Mile’s Café, the Metropolitan Room, St. Nick’s, and Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller Center.
Mr. Harkness also appears regularly in any of New York’s folk and rock singer/songwriter clubs such as the Cutting Room, Joe’s Pub, Bitter End, Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall, the Living Room, Bowery Poetry Club, P&G, and Shrine.
Sean was the guitarist in Contemporary Jewish icon Debbie Friedman’s band until her untimely passing in 2011. He continues to perform regularly with Craig Taubman and Josh Nelson in major congregations nationally.
Mr. Harkness also provides a House Concert Series for personalized, private, in-home, concert-like performances. The up-close intimacy brings a unique impact to each event.
* * *
Sean Harkness’ first guitar arrived on his eleventh birthday. Within six months, he had a weekly theater engagement in Bridgeport, CT. High School bands, studies with Stan Kenton Band’s guitarist Sal Salvador, Berklee College of Music, ‘busking’ in Europe, Vermont’s Green Mountains, 5 years assisting master guitar builder Chip Wilson, extensive world travel, and NYC’s vast music scene have all contributed to forming the seasoned professional Sean is today.
* * *