Stan Strickland and Joel Harrison Quartet celebrate a 40-year jazz journey

Stan Strickland plays with his friend Joel Harrison at Featherstone. —Courtesy Joel Harrison

Join Featherstone Center for the Arts on Monday, July 24, as they applaud the 40-year journey of two jazz luminaries, Stan Strickland and Joel Harrison, whose musical alliance — born in Boston — has blossomed into a brotherhood here on Martha’s Vineyard for the past four decades. These two musicians will take the stage with a rich repertoire of jazz, Latin, groove, and selections from Joel Harrison’s most recent record, “Anthem of Unity.”

Joel and Stan met 40 years ago in Boston, when Stan was part of Joel’s first band. Since then, the two have continued to perform together on the Island every summer in jazz groups that celebrate a diversity of approaches and styles.

Stan Strickland is a multi-talented performer with a captivating stage presence. His career has propelled him onto the center of international stages — across Europe, Scandinavia, the former Soviet Union, and New Zealand — and Strickland always returns to Martha’s Vineyard each summer. He has played at Carnegie Recital Hall, Kennedy Center, and Symphony Hall in Boston. His performance pedigree includes collaborations with jazz greats like Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Mann, and Danilo Pérez. Strickland’s commitment to art extends beyond the stage, as he is the co-executive director of Express Yourself, a group dedicated to the restorative power of serious artmaking, especially for adolescents in public mental health residential facilities.

Joel Harrison, described as “protean” and “brilliant” by the New York Times, is a guitarist, composer, and Guggenheim Fellow whose compositions have been commissioned by major organizations. Harrison is the force and artist behind 25 record releases showcasing his remarkable, diverse talents. Harrison’s work is influenced by jazz, classical, rock, country, and American roots music.

Stan Strickland’s vocals and woodwind, along with Joel Harrison’s guitar skills, have been the longtime heart behind this extraordinary music. Their musical camaraderie has created a distinctive blend of jazz that vibrates with soulful rhythms and emotive harmonies. This performance will be further enhanced by performances from other special artists.

Chico Huff will be the group’s dynamic bassist, and brings with him an experience steeped in vibrant musicality. Primarily self-taught, Huff’s musical journey began in a Katama bar at the age of 14. His seasoned career includes performing with icons like James Taylor, Carly Simon, Terence Blanchard, and John Belushi, among others. His musical journey has taken him to Europe, Japan, and Morocco, infusing his bass with an eclectic mix of global sounds.

Longtime Islander Taurus Biskus is the band’s rhythmic backbone, and provides a solid foundation with his incredible prowess on the drums. Biskus’ skills complement the group’s sound, adding a depth that resonates in every performance.

Last but not least, Robby Ameen, an internationally renowned percussionist, will be joining this musical revelry. Ameen, a multiple Grammy nominee as well as a past drummer for Dave Valentin and Paul Simon’s “The Capeman” musical, adds an extra layer of rhythm to this celebration.

All in all, this evening promises to be a celebration of the diverse musical styles that brought Strickland and Harrison together in the first place.

Tickets are $20 per person, with 50 percent of proceeds from each performance going to the musicians. ​Tickets for each week’s performance will go on sale to the public at noon a week prior. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.