Oral History Information
Donald Harrison Jr. was born in New Orleans to a deeply musical family steeped in all styles of music: brass bands, jazz, R&B, funk, and world music. His father was a Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief, an offshoot of the cultural tradition that goes all the way back to the time of Congo Square. Donald created the term "Afro-New Orleans" to describe himself and his musical heritage and he became a Big Chief of the Congo Square Nation Afro-New Orleans cultural group. As a saxophonist, he is credited with helping with the rise of "nouveau-swing" and was a member of both Roy Haynes' band and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Donald is founder of Tipitina's Internship Program, a music education program that teaches students not only about their instruments but how to navigate the music business.