Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Harrison, Joy Eden
Harrison, Joy Eden, composer, singer, guitarist; b. New York City, 4 September 1962. As the only daughter born to two visual artists (Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison), Joy Eden Harrison spent her early years in a one room artist's loft with her three brothers (Steven, b. 1954, Joshua b. 1956 and Gabriel, b. 1960) on the lower east side of New York City. Her first exposure to music was listening to such legendary artists as Don Cherry, Sonny Terry, and Archie Shepp perform at peace benefits in her parents New York studio. Inspired by the music, she began playing guitar at the age of five. She started school soon after her family moved to Southern California. In elementary school she studied clarinet, violin and piano. She started writing plays and short performance pieces before she started composing songs at age 12. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz (BA Environmental Studies, 1985). There she also studied Music Theory and Classical Guitar with Robert Bozina. She returned to San Diego where she studied jazz guitar with Peter Sprague. She went on to graduate from the Musicians' Institute in Hollywood California in 1989. There she studied jazz guitar at workshops with Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, Larry Coryell and Robin Ford. While living in Los Angeles she also studied classical voice with Helen McComas.
After graduating she moved to Europe and spent two years living on the fringe of Europe's thriving artist community. She played a a tour of cabarets and concert halls. Joy returned to Southern California where she was discovered by respected music figure Buddy Blue who brought her to the attention of Bizarre/Planet Records (Frank Zappa / Tom Waits).
She has toured both the United States and Europe and her original compositions have been played on radio stations though-out the country and abroad (Japan, France, Portugal and Australia)
Her Great Aunt, Anzia Yezierska, was a famous author and Hollywood screenwriter of the 1920's, the family tree also includes Milton Ager co-writer of the classic 1930's hit Happy Days are Here Again. Harrison's compositions are influenced by her fascination with the birth of jazz and the early decades of film.
She currently lives in Chicago.
Angel Town (1995); Unspoken (1999); Songs on numerous Compilation CDs including Benefit for Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation, Ocean (1996), Big Fish/ Little Fish Emerging Women in Chicago Music (2000), Benefit for Woman Made Gallery, This House (2000); Blue Venus (2005)
Her songs have received radio play on NPR member stations across the Country; Live Radio Performances include KPBS "The Lounge" (San Diego; 1999). WVIA "Home Grown" (Scranton, PA; 2000), KUNI "Live From Studio One" (Cedar Falls, Iowa; 1999) and interviews on numerous stations including KUVO (Denver; 1999) and KSDS Jazz 88 (San Diego; 1995); Live internet broadcast from the Moon Dog Cafe in Los Angeles (July 1999) produced by Green Cafe.
Songs on film Soundtracks: Suicide Kings (Peter O'Fallon, 1998) starring
Christopher Walken, Curtain Call (Peter Yates 1998), starring Michael Caine
Her live performances have been Critics choice in publications across the country including the LA Weekly, San Diego Union Tribune, Seattle Weekly and the Milwaukee Metro.
2002 Independent Music Awards, Best Jazz Artist (IMA) sponsored by the Musicians' Atlas-Judges included Arturo Sandoval, Don Byron, and Tom Waits--For her composition "Reluctant Angel" (Joy Eden Harrison and Carlos Olmeda, © 1999 Blue Eden Music)