1957 - Gary "Funky G Saxman" Harris was born in Hampton, Virginia as an identical twin. Gary and Larry were both musically inclined. At age 10, his older brother, Darcy Harris, taught him the basic fingering of the Saxophone.
In the following years his family moved to Jerusalem, Isreal. There was no formal school band class offered in Jerusalem, so Gary continued playing by ear.
6 years later, after returning to the States, his uncle, Bob Marshal, asked if he would play with "Bob Marshal and The Crystals". Not knowing how to read music, Gary would come to band rehearsals early to listen and learn the horn lines of James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Commodores, along with music of other Soul and R&B groups. Gary played with The Crystals for 3 years, until he graduated Bethel High School.
Continuing his education, Gary begin formal studies at Norfolk State University, majoring in Music/Media. Still not satisfied with his music reading abilities, began remedial training and took private lessons from the now famous Rudy Wooten of the Wooten Brothers, and the East Coast legend Phillipe Fields as well as his good friend to be Steve Wilson practicing late into the night.
After graduation, Gary joined the Army in 1983 serving as a Saxophone Player in the United States Army Bands Career Program. His first assignment was in Missouri where he met yet another Great Saxophone Player Chris Burnett. Chris took Gary to a new level of playing and writing music.
In 1993 Gary was stationed in Seoul, South Korea. That was when a lot of opportunities opened up for him. Gary performed with Turbo on Korean television Pop Music shows and music videos. This lead to appearances with other well known national celebrities. His idiomatic style and crisp fashion sense landed him top musical gigs on TV Shows, Music Videos and Concerts with a variety of Korean Pop Artist. During this time Gary did countless acting gigs on many of the Korean television shows. First there were no speaking lines, but eventually Gary was given short lines to say. Then came the big break SBS asked him to star in a leading role on their drama series Park Pong Su.
After only a year and a half in Korea, the US Army called on Gary to go back to South Carolina for a year and a half on his tour rotation after which he returned to Korea for his second tour.
The year was 1996 Gary was now back in Korea this time only to stay. It was as if he had never left Korea. Calls came pouring in. Gary wore two hats that of an Army Bandsman by day and Professional Musician by night and days off.
In 1999 Gary got another big break. He approached an independent record company, and magazine publishing house Monk Munch, which featured at that time only local Korean talent in their Magazine/CD package. Monk Munch gave Gary a chance to now record his original music. Gary teamed up with a Korean guitarist Tommy Kim. The CD was simply titled: "Gary and Tommy", and it was a big success.
In 2000, Ricky Martin came to Korea to do a concert on Korea Broadcasting (KBS) television. Gary got the call from Sony Music Korea to play as a member of Ricky Martin’s 3-man horn section.
The same saw Gary going back to Monk Munch do a second CD. This time Gary would record with an all American Band. His second CD is titled: Funky "G" Saxman, which also did very well on the market.
2002 was a great year for Gary. Retired from the United States Army Bands Career Program, and lived and worked as a full-time musician based in South Korea.
Gary established his own personal Digital Recording Studio in 2003, and is currently working on his third CD. After the completion of this CD, Gary plans on opening up his Recording Studio business to producing demos and recordings for other Artist.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
Let's be audacious, my friends!
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