Born in Brooklyn, New York, Harris was surrounded by music. His mother was a classical pianist and his aunt was an opera singer who later turned to the blues. Because Aunt Theodosia attracted the attention of famed music producer Clarence Williams, (the man who made Bessie Smith famous) he became a regular dinner guest and often brought along other performers such as Louis Armstrong. Once Armstrong even baby-sat and terrified young Allan with his "frog like voice." Because of this musical influence in his young life, Allan chose o become a musician early on when his mother insisted he sing “Blue Velvet” for school at the age of eight.
Harris has sung and recorded with some of the best jazz pianists in the world: Cyrus Chestnut, Bill Charlap, Eric Reed, Benny Green, Bruce Barth, and Tommy Flanagan. He has performed at sold-out venues such as Berlin’s Komische Opera House; Israel - a 10 day standing-room-only tour; Finland’s Espoo Jazz Festival; Sweden’s Linkoping Jazz Festival; New Zealand’s Queenstown Jazz Festival; Germany’s Swing IT Concert/TV Series with the New York Voices and James Morrison; Lugano, Switzerland with Jon Faddis and the Big Band de Lausanne singing the lead in Duke Ellington’s Sacred Mass which was recorded live. He has recorded numerous CDs: Setting The Standard, It's a Wonderful World, Here Comes Allan Harris and the Metropole Orchestra, The Music of Duke Ellington, Laid Back, Love Came, he Songs of Strayhorn, "Long Live the King, in honor of Mr. Cole, and Cross That River. Allan’s recordings have featured Ray Brown, Mark Whitfield, Eric Reed, Clark Terry, Claudio Roditi, and Latin Grammy winner, Nestor Torres. Tony Bennett has praised Allan’s technique and integrity and called him “my favorite new singer.” At a Bennett sponsored showcase in New York, Sammy Cahn introduced Harris: "Frank Sinatra says his favorite singer is Tony Bennett, and Tony Bennett says his favorite singer is Allan Harris."
Harris is also a master clinician and teacher and has taught master classes at JAS Aspen Academy working alongside Christian McBride and Loren Schoenberg; Berklee School of Music, The Jazz Vocal Coalition, City College’s Aaron Davis Hall, Lausanne, Switzerland’s Jazz Music School, to name a few. Harris has sat on the Kennedy Center panel to choose the next U.S. Jazz Ambassador and has judged the Thelonious Monk Awards Vocal Competition. Most recent performances include: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall: 2004-Opening for Cassandra Wilson during the inaugural week and debuting a new work by Wynton Marsalis entitled “Suite for Human Nature;” January 21 & 22, 2005 - The Kennedy Center: "Unforgettable, The Songs of Nat 'King' Cole;" and March 11, 2005 - "The Legacy Series" at Aaron Davis Hall, in a double bill with Abbey Lincoln performing the songs of Harlem's great composers. On March 25, 2006 Harris debuted Cross That River at Kennedy Center for Country Music Week. BET Jazz has recorded and aired several Allan Harris concerts with hosts Lou Rawls and Ramsey Lewis. CBS News has conducted 2 interviews with Harris about Cross That River. Will Friedwald, the author of "Jazz Singing" and "Sinatra" calls him "probably the most exciting singer on the scene." CNN's Showbiz Tonight referred to Harris as "one of the three best male jazz vocalists in the country."
Allan Harris's web page is: www.allanharris.com