Pianist, clarinetist/saxophonist and guitarist Harry Pierce has been involved in music all his life. His parents are both accomplished musicians: Ronnie Pierce a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist ( clarinet, saxophones, and flute ) is an Earshot Jazz lifetime achievement award winner for his contributions to the Seattle music community for over 60 years. A lifelong member of the musicians union local 76 , Ronnie Pierce has been playing in Seattle since the 1940’s , as famously documented in Paul de Barros book “Jackson Street After Hours” where he talks about playing in pit orchestras with Billy Holiday and performing in Bumps Blackwell’s band with a young Ray Charles. Ronnie continues to perform today and is currently releasing a record with himself on clarinet and vocals and Harry on guitar and piano entitled “Memories” aimed at bringing some great music from the American Songbook to the radiowaves nationwide.
Harry’s mother Heather Hammond is a widely respected vocalist, jazz guitarist, jazz pianist/ arranger and was well known performing in Seattle in the 1960’s and 1970’s . Since then she has become a prolific arranger and jazz bassist and has performed all over the west coast in various jazz ensembles from Alaska to California.
Growing up in this rich musical environment and being introduced to great musicians and teachers at a young age, Harry has had the opportunity to grow in many directions and become a versatile performer and musician.
At the age of 15 he began studying with renowned Seattle Symphony Bach Chorale pianist, Austrian musician Peter Lederer who he considers to be the single greatest teacher he ever had besides his father. The lessons that Peter taught were all focused on developing proper technique and a working knowledge of the keyboard through attaining a complete knowledge of major scales, arppegios and inversions. This ultimately led to the understanding of the piano and its harmonic capabilities as well as an early insight into arranging techniques such as voice leading. Because of the rigorous studies with Peter Lederer Harry developed excellent classical piano technique which has been the basis for much of his success as a ballet pianist, jazz piano accompanist and piano teacher.
Harry also plays and teaches clarinet and saxophone and has been playing in and around Seattle for over twenty years as a songwriter, sideman, ballet pianist, vocal jazz accompanist, recording artist, performance artist, film composer, arranger, teacher, musical director and numerous other roles. As a sideman Harry has performed with Critters Buggin, Kultur Shock, Orkestar Zirkonium, Vin Voleur, Monty Banks and the High Rollers and many others in many different genres. He loves teaching piano and woodwinds and enjoys sharing his musical knowledge with others who also aspire to live a life filled with music.