Born: August 2, 1967
In 2012, after years of performing mostly Brazilian and Latin influenced original music, guitarist Michael Joseph Harris began studying and playing the music of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt which led to the creation of The Hot Club of Baltimore later that same year. Harris then formed the band Ultrafaux in 2014 to perform his original Gypsy Jazz compositions. In 2015, Harris founded and remained Artistic Director for Charm City Django Jazz Fest which is the only annual Jazz festival in Baltimore, Maryland. Michael was named one of the top ten musicians by Baltimore Style Magazine and he was featured on a full spread article in The Baltimore Sun Weekend Section as well as Baltimore Magazine.
Harris has self-produced 8 full-length Reinhardt-inspired recordings with both groups since 2014. Harris’ songs Latcho Dromo and Signs of Struggle were chosen to be included on an International compilation of the best Gypsy Jazz in the world produced by Jon Larsen called Django Festival #9 & #11. Hot Club of Baltimore’s recording of Place de Brouckere was featured on Django Festival #10 making Harris one of the only artists featured consecutive years. Michael’s most recent album Tangent introduces a larger Ultrafaux Ensemble, comprised of top guest artists from the jazz, folk, and bluegrass scene including Jason Anick, Patrick McAvinue, Giacomo Smith, Connor Stewart and Dallas Vietty
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We sometimes forget that jazz was first and foremost a people's music meant for
dancing and socializing. One evening with Ultrafaux demonstrates why jazz has been
so irresistible to listeners all over the world. — Ken Avis, BJA
“Ultrafaux's original compositions compare favorably to classic Hot Club tunes. They
update the tradition and bring the swing into the 21st century.” — Paul Hartman,
“Ultrafaux breathes new life into jazz, while holding onto the sense of nostalgia that
makes this genre so timeless and appealing in the first place. This is music you didn’t
know you were missing, and it’s wonderful to hear it anew.” — Sam Sessa, Hit Parade,
“These musicians can handle the complexities and breakneck speeds of Roma swing,
but what makes Ultrafaux really special is that they play original music
Willing to teach
Michael Joseph Harris currently only teaches in the style of Gypsy Jazz. Limited
weekly lessons are available and charged by the month. Skype lessons are $240 per
month for one hour per week. One on on lessons are $300 per month for one hour
per week. Currently teaching on Mondays until 6PM.
Facilitator and teacher of Gypsy Jazz style while on tour. Anything ranging from
workshops in private homes to theater spaces or auditoriums.