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Randal Harrison: Bios

Randal Harrison


Best Blues Artist (MAMAs ’04)
Jazz Artist of the Year (MAMAs ’08)
Classical Artist of the Year (MAMAs ’08)

Bio Page Overview

On this page you’ll find descriptions of Randal Harrison’s performance groups and individual bios for the artists who regularly perform with him. You can scroll down to the bottom of the page for Randal’s full biography - “the novella version”.

• Randal Harrison compositions have been included in several films and documentaries, various artist recordings and commercial recordings, in addition to Randal’s extensive educational materials. Please contact Randal directly to commission and/or license his compositions.

• Please, click on the “Clinician” and “Private Lessons” tabs in the navigation bar for more information on Education and Outreach offerings.

randalnewheadcolorsmall.jpg Randal Harrison Ensembles: overview

The Randal Harrison Trio
- original jazz, appalachian funk, tango nuevo
(violin, bass, percussion)

Randal Harrison: New String Trio - contemporary string trio
(violin, cello, bass)

Bodhinay` - world music trio
(violin, bayan, bodhran)

Honor Among Thieves - quintessential jam band
(voices, violin, guitar, bass, drums)

Arpeggione - baroque/classical
(violin, guitar)

Randal Harrison - solo artist
(violins, voice, feet and various other body parts)

Freelance Artist. Here is a list of artists that have recently hired Randal as violinist/fiddler. You can go to the “Links” page to find their website’s listing of performances:

• Piper Road Spring Band - bluegrass
• Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble - gypsy swing
• Leahy’s Luck - celtic folk
• Josh Harty - singer songwriter
• Kicksville - electronica

Ensemble Descriptions

The Randal Harrison Trio


The Randal Harrison Trio

Original Jazz, Appalachian Funk, Tango Nuevo

• Violin
• Bass
• Drums

“Captivating” and “Exhilarating” describe this innovative jazz violinist and EMMY nominated composer. The rhythm section includes Mark Urness, winner of the prestigious International Society of Bassists’ Jazz Competition and Dane Richeson, world renowned percussionist and Blue Note recording artist. “Brilliant musicians” describes the Randal Harrison Trio’s self-titled 2007 CD release.

• available for concert and festival performances, clinics, artist in residencies.

Randal Harrison: New String Trio


Randal Harrison: New String Trio

Billie Holiday to Jimi Hendrix  /  Bo Diddley to Astor Piazzolla

• Violin
• Cello
• Bass

Randal Harrison: The New String Trio is this Emmy nominated composer and jazz violinist's latest venture. The New String Trio features Matt Turner, regarded as one of the world's leading improvising cellists, and Mark Urness, winner of the prestigious International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition. The group may have classical instrumentation, but they aren't at all exclusive or stuffy. From Bo Diddley to Billie Holiday - Jimi Hendrix to Astor Piazzolla, Harrison's arrangements and original compositions are fresh and meaty. The New String Trio's charisma and virtuosity inspire audiences of any genre!

• available for concert and festival performances, clinics, artist in residencies.



Bodhinay`: (boe din nay`)

An eclectic journey through musical cultures of the world!


Randal Harrison, violinist, Emmy nominated composer, MAMAs Classical, Jazz and Blues Artist of the Year and Stas Venglevski, a Graduate of the Russian Academy of Music, three time winner of the Bayan Competition of Moldova, first met International bodhranist Evan Leahy while performing together in his WAMI winning Celtic band, Leahy’s Luck.  After touring and playing together for years, 2011 marks the inauguration of these three virtuosi as the independent trio, Bodhinay`.  Their performances are a musical travelogue, bringing together a far reaching mix of Celtic, Tango, Gypsy, Americana and World Music.

• available for concert and festival performances.

Honor Among Thieves


Honor Among Thieves

Quintessential Jam Band!


Try to define Honor Among Thieves. Blues roots are unmistakable, but the line up of guitar, bass, drums, and violin, and musical flourishes that stray into klezmer, jazz, funk and beyond confound true blues devotees. They have amassed a wealth of creative material and wield it with passion and spontaneity that makes each performance unique and has allowed Honor Among Thieves to remain one of Madison’s most revered bands for nearly a generation. The members of Honor Among Thieves are: Andy Ewen: lead vocals, guitar; Doug DeRosa: bass, vocals; Randal Harrison: violin, vocals; Joey B. Banks: drums.

• available for festival performances (limited area, Mid-West)






Violinist Randal Harrison and Guitarist Brad Reifsnyder perform their favorites from the Baroque and Classical eras, including: Bach, Barsanti, Mozart and Vivaldi. Harrison and Reifsnyder’s nearly 20 year collaboration as the duo Arpeggione is evident in the nuances of each performance.

• available for public and private performances (limited area, Wisconsin only).

Randal Harrison - Solo Artist


Randal Harrison - Solo Artist

A compelling solo show for the new and old!

• violin, viola, chin-cello
voice and other body parts

A “Best Of” performance made up of Randal’s most requested solo performances. Included in the repertoire are Amazing Grace, Purple Haze, Orange Blossom Special, the Bach Cello Suites, countless originals and arrangements of classical, jazz, rock, bluegrass, tango, etc., etc., etc...

• available for concert and festival performances, clinics, artist in residencies.


Randal Harrison: program length bio

randalprogram.jpg randal-bio2_75h.jpg Violinist Randal Harrison Hoecherl charms, challenges and inspires listeners of all ages. Critics have simultaneously declared him reminiscent of Niccolò Paganini, Stephane Grappelli, Al Di Meola and Frank Zappa. His mastery of such diverse styles has garnered him three Madison Area Music Awards for Best Blues Artist, Jazz Artist of the Year, and Classical Artist of the Year. His diverse performance credits include work with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, Blue Note recording artist Ben Tucker, and legendary drummer Sam Lay of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Harrison's performances and compositions appear on over 100 recordings including works for Naxos, SRM, Boat Records, db Musique, Spiritwood and his own label StringFling Records. In addition to his work as performer, composer and recording artist, Randal Harrison travels as a clinician of improvisation and violin studies. Harrison is also founder and director of the Eastside Suzuki Talent Education Association of Madison - better known by its’ acronym, ESTEAM.  You can find Randal’s music at and

More Program Length Bios

 evan-bio2_75h.jpg  Evan Leahy is a founding member of Anam Ri, one of the biggest names in Wisconsin traditional Irish music. His musical mentors include Kevin Rice and Albert Alfonso. Leahy has competed in the All-Ireland competition and performed for Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome while on tour in Italy with Drums for Peace. Evan is a mainstay at the world's largest Irish music festival, Milwaukee's Irishfest, where he’s performed with the likes of Gaelic Storm, Joanie Madden from Cherish the Ladies, John Doyle and John Williams from Solas, and the Makem Brothers.


Dane Maxim Richeson is recognized as one of the most versatile virtuosi in percussion. Throughout the world he has been featured in such diverse roles as solo marimbist, percussionist for contemporary chamber music, world percussion specialist and jazz drummer. Performances have been with such diverse artists as Bobby McFerrin, Gunther Schuller, Joe Lovano, NDR Big Band, Lionel Hampton, Roscoe Mitchell, Medeski-Martin-Woods, Jackie Allen, Kenny Wheeler and Uri Caine. He regularly performs with the chamber ensembles CUBE (Chicago) and The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Madison, WI). He has performed at festivals such as Ravinia, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, and Beijing Music Festival. Mr. Richeson has performed on more than one hundred recordings including works on Blue Note Records, Origin Records, Klavier, Accurate, Mark, Naxos, A-Records, CRI, Albany, Innova, and A-440.


matt_program_greyscaleweb.jpg Matt Turner is widely regarded as one of the world's leading improvising cellists.  Equally skilled as a pianist, Turner performs in a myriad of styles and has shared the stage with Cape Breton fiddle sensation Natalie MacMaster, avant-garde musician Marilyn Crispell, country musician Wanda Vick, singer-songwriter LJ Booth, and jazz musician Bobby McFerrin.  He appears on over 100 recordings on Sketch/Harmonia Mundi, Illusions, Ayler, Music and Arts, Accurate, Polyvinyl, Cadence Jazz and others. Turner completed his undergraduate studies at Lawrence University and his Master of Music degree in Third Stream Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Dave Holland, Geri Allen and Joe Maneri, and where he was the recipient of a Distinction in Performance Award. Turner teaches improvisation at Lawrence University and at the Renaissance School for the Arts. Turner is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


Mark Urness is a versatile bassist, composer, and educator. He has served as Principal Bassist for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and for five seasons was Principal Bassist for the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra. From 1999-2001 he freelanced in New York City, where he played with Adam Nussbaum, Lew Soloff, Eric Rasmussen and Curtis Fowlkes, among others. Urness compositions appear on several recordings including the Bob Washut Trio's Songbook, Triptych's Play Here. He has most recently recorded with oftEnsemble, Orquesta Alto Maiz and OddBar. Urness received a Master of Music in double bass performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is currently a faculty member at Lawrence University. In 2001 Mark Urness was awarded First Prize in the International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition.


stas-bio2_75h.jpg Stas Venglevski is a bayan accordion virtuoso, performing with symphonies internationally, the Milwaukee Pops Orchestra led by Doc Severinsen, has appeared with Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and numerous venues far and near. His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stas, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, world-wide acclaim. With ten recordings to his credit he has served as President of the prestigious International Accordionists and Teachers Guild. A lover of all types of music, Stas is the consumate entertainer.