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Corey Harris biography

Born: February 21, 1969, Denver, Colorado

Corey Harris can play and sing like a classic bluesman — his first album was a thorough exploration and interpretation of Delta blues. Since then he has incorporated the influence of rich musical traditions from New Orleans to Africa to the Caribbean, all while maintaining his reputation as a first-class performer and recording artist. Harris learned how to play the guitar when he was 12, and was originally inspired by Texas blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins. As a student he traveled to Africa and later moved to New Orleans where he performed on the streets before signing a recording contract. Each of Harris’s albums has received critical acclaim, and he continues to draw from a wide range of influences, including hip hop, reggae, funk, jazz, blues, R&B and Latin music.

Essential listening: “Black Maria,” “Feel Like Going Home,” “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” “Bound to Miss Me,” “Capitaine”