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Donald Harrison's NOLA Jazz Programs First Recipient - Hailun Piano Partnerships


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Saxophonist Donald Harrison's jazz programs in New Orleans to be the first recipient of superbly crafted pianos on November 15, 2011

NEW ORLEANS: Basilios Strmec, CEO of Hailun USA, a piano company based in Ningbo, China, announces the launching of an annual nationwide program of Piano Partnerships with jazz musicians and significant courses of jazz studies. The Piano Partnerships begin with their presentation of Hailun's HG 178 grand piano and HU 1 P upright piano on November 15 to the renowned jazz saxophonist and composer Donald Harrison for use in the two jazz programs that he runs in New Orleans. In conjunction with the installation of the pianos, Harrison will present a concert which will include some famous New Orleans piano classics on November 16 at the Tipitina's Foundation, where he is the musical director of the internship program.

“This is a dream come true," says Harrison. “I initiated free music programs at The Tipitina's Foundation and The Guardians Institute in 2007 to provide the gifted young people in New Orleans opportunities and a place to develop as musicians. Hailun Pianos is providing an essential element to ensure the highest level for music studies in New Orleans. These pianos will play an important role in continuing the traditions that made New Orleans the birthplace of American music. The impact of this is going to be life-changing for so many people."

Basilios Strmec acknowledges, “Donald Harrison exemplifies the type of leadership as a musician, and as a member of his community, that Hailun Pianos is seeking for its partnerships, and that is why he was chosen to be the first partner in our new program. It is obvious that there is an exciting resurgence of musical culture in New Orleans, and that Donald Harrison is in the vanguard of that resurgence. Hailun is honored to participate in his jazz programs that are inspiring a new generation of New Orleans musicians. “

Born in New Orleans in 1960, saxophonist Donald Harrison began playing with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in his early twenties. He had already completed what most musicians would call a career when the influential band he co-led with fellow New Orleans native trumpeter Terence Blanchard broke up in 1989. But Harrison was only beginning. Choosing to work in a number of genres at once, Harrison has released a series of albums that are touchstones of contemporary New Orleans music, particularly the immensely important 1992 release “Indian Blues," in which he brought the Mardi Gras Indian music learned from his father, Donald Harrison Sr., into a vibrant contemporary jazz/R&B setting. Harrison continues to perform and record in traditional jazz settings with both acoustic and electric bands as well as what he calls Nouveau Swing, a roots amalgam merging acoustic jazz, Mardi Gras Indian Music, hip-hop, second line and reggae. Harrison also has been a potent influence on younger musicians, mentoring personalities as different as rapper Notorious BIG and whiz kid trumpeter Christian Scott. As the director of Tipitina's Intern Program, he often works with musicians from that program as his band when performing. Other notable former interns of the Tipitina's program include Jonathan Batiste, Trombone Shorty, Khris Royal, Joe Dyson, Max Moran and Conun Pappas.

Hailun Pianos has become the standard for high quality piano manufacturing across the Far East, and a global influence in the world of pianos. Owner Hailun Chen, with more than 20 years of successful manufacturing experience, has worked closely with Peter Veletzky, a fourth generation piano builder from Vienna, to develop technology to build pianos that are equal in quality to the best European-made pianos. Hailun's 430,000 square foot factory now employs over 800 workers and 37 seasoned piano engineers. This uncompromising insistence to achieve maximum quality and product excellence has made Hailun the piano of choice for thousands all over the world. Since the partnership with Mr. Veletzky, Hailun has retained the talents of well-known American piano designer and engineer George F. Emerson, Viennese piano voicing and sound specialist Zlatkovic Sibin, Japanese production specialist Ema Shigeru and French scale designer and piano builder Stephen Paulello. These collaborations ensure long-term quality, innovation, and artistic production at Hailun Pianos. With over 360 European piano dealers, over 80 U.S. Authorized Hailun Merchants, over 40 merchants in Japan and a growing network in other parts of the world, Hailun Pianos is the epitome of an innovative, progressive company that is expanding in response to the world market.

The Hailun Piano Company is also placing an HU 1 P upright in The Blue Monk, a jazz club in Portland, Oregon. Hailun is dedicated to helping the future musicians of the world and will begin the process soon to find recipients in the field of music education to participate in the Piano Partnership in 2012.

This story appears courtesy of Carolyn McClair Public Relations.
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