Harvey Valdes About the Educator

Harveys eclectic musical journey spans the East and the West, the electric and the acoustic, the ensemble and the power of the solo voice. Traversing expansive stylistic ground from jazz, world, to funk, punk, and avant-garde, Harvey plays the six and seven-string guitar, the oud and Turkish cumbus.

Endlessly curious about the guitars sonic range, Harvey plays with pushing its potential. Highlighting texture, stretching time, and shaping tone he re-imagines the guitar as a horn, an orchestra, a mechanistic roar. His composition, Listen, was chosen as Editors Pick by Guitar Player Magazine. And, his score for Utopians, which premiered at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, had one of the most long lasting guitar improvisations since (Neil Youngs score for) Dead Man.

He currently leads a guitar/drum duo with Damion Reid, exploring polyrhythm and compositional elements within improvisation. He is also a member/soloist with Karl Bergers Improvising Orchestra and Butch Morriss Conduction Groups, both of which feature many leading players of NYCs downtown jazz scene. He is a featured player with avant-rock group, K.Page & Sleepwalkers Parade, performing at spaces including Brooklyn Academy of Musics BAM Caf, and Lincoln Centers David Rubenstein Atrium.

Also an Associate Artist with renowned experimental theater company, The Wooster Group, Harvey played electric guitar for Francesco Cavallis 1641 baroque opera, La Didone. This production toured Europe and had extended runs at St. Anns Warehouse in Brooklyn and Redcat Theater in Los Angeles. As an oud player, he worked extensively with Middle Eastern Balkan Jazz Ensemble, Anistar, developing a repertoire that blended Middle Eastern forms with Western jazz.

Harvey teaches Eastern and Western music styles, guitar, and oud both privately and at various music schools in the NYC area. He gives equal respect to the musical interests of students at all levels and emphasizes individual creativity. He studied at The New School University earning a BFA in Jazz Performance.