Obituaries in the News
The Associated Press
Jan. 17, 2000
BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Gene Harris, who had been awaiting a kidney transplant, died at his home Sunday. He was 66.
Harris was due for transplant surgery last summer because of kidney failure caused by diabetes. His daughter planned to donate a kidney, but could not because of illness.
Harris, who had maintained a busy schedule recording and touring both nationally and internationally, began performing at the age of six. A native of Benton Harbor, Mich., Harris formed the Three Sounds in 1956 and within two years secured a record contract in New York.
Harris' piano stylings made the Three Sounds one of the most popular 1960's jazz groups.
Harris moved to Boise in 1977 where he became musical director for a hotel, and he continued recording, eventually joining Ray Brown's Trio.
In 1987, Harris was nominated for a Grammy award for his album ``A Tribute To Count Basie.'' His 1985 recording ``Gene Harris Trio Plus One'' won the French equivalent of the Grammy.
In 1998, the annual Gene Harris Jazz Festival was inaugurated at Boise State University.