Jamison Harper: Baritone Saxophone
How did you hear about/find us?
What is your musical background/history?
I played tenor and bari intermittently through high school, but was a soccer player as well – so only did marching band freshman through junior year. I mostly played in a band with my best friend who played guitar. I tore my ACL playing soccer in college and came back to music. I played in the jazz ensemble at Kalamazoo College (in Michigan) my sophomore and senior years. My junior year I spent abroad at Goldsmiths University in London and I tried to learn how to play trombone – but never made it very far! My senior year in college I played saxophone and flute for the indie band Office:
I traveled around for a few years and made my way back to Birmingham in 2004. Shortly afterwards, I joined the ska band Evil Right Wing Conspiracy:
My wife and I had a band together for a few years where we were able to play a lot of cool shows throughout Birmingham. We called ourselves Handwritten Letters (BEST BAND EVER!):
After that I played in a little group here from Birmingham and did some recording sessions. My wife and I played a few shows with them here and there.
I did a few recording sessions with Joel Madison Blount, War Jacket, Vann Hollingsworth, Preston Lovinggood (Birmingham musicians) and played regularly at our church for a time before getting plugged in with the CCB!
What is your favorite “Band Song” to play?
Our college jazz band did “Moanin’” by Charles Mingus. It was a bari sax feature piece and one of my favorites to play!
What do you do when you are not playing music? (work/hobbies/for fun???)
I have an employee benefits practice that I run to pay a few bills (if you need help with group benefits – let me know!). I do some freelance illustration to pay some other bills.
My wife and I run a studio collective called Smallwoods Studios where we make stuff and try to sell it. (She’s much better at it than me!”)
And we try to raise our two kids, but really they are probably raising us…
What type of animal/breed of dog/cat/bird/fish/other etc…. best reflects your personality and why?
I love the water and swam competitively for several years – so maybe a dolphin. They seem pretty laid back and fun loving, and I’d like to think that about myself.
What is your superpower?
I can fly. (in my mind)
Tell us something fun! You know, like “That one time at band camp…” Or elsewhere. (funny anecdote/story/amazing coincidence/hidden talent/celebrity encounter, etc…)
I am glad to be here! I broke my arm twice by jumping off a moving car (you’d think I’d have learned), miraculously came out unscathed jumping off a hotel roof into a snow bank, split my head open playing “human bowling” on an ice patch, and seriously messed up my back jumping off a cliff while snowboarding - among countless other episodes of stupidity. Praise Jesus he has gotten me along this far! My mom had a tumor in her neck when I was a sophomore in high school and they did not expect her to survive. She asked us to come and pray with her at the church and lay on hands. During that time God’s presence was revealed to me like a bolt of lightning. I haven’t lived perfectly in the time since, but He has always guided me through and, for that I am thankful! And my mom is still here, doing great. Praise Him!