Harry Kim is one of the most visible musicians of our time, with numerous appearances on awards shows, international television specials, and world tours with global superstars. His stage presence, versatility, and leadership qualities both on and off stage make him stand-out, whether in the roll as a sideman or frontman. His writing and arranging for his Vine Street Horns and others are an signature of creativity.
Harry's experience is extremely diverse from playing with the legendary Harry James to some of the most contemporary artists such as Lady Gaga. HIs long list of credits and discography reveals his global work outside the USA with artists in Latin America, France, and other parts of the world. Harry is fluent in Spanish, and also speaks French.
The albums, television, and movies that Harry has been associated with have receive numerous awards such as gold records, platinum records, multi-platinum records, Grammys, Latin Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars. Harry is familiar with extraordinary events such as live concerts to 500,000 people, being on stage when Michael Jackson debuted the Moon Walk, opening the Grammys with over 25 million people watching, or having his Vine Street Horns at special request play for the final Oprah Winfrey Show, with that show from Chicago and the Final American Idol show airing on the same day in Los Angeles .
Through all of this he maintains a unique outlook on life that is inspiring for any listener. Often there is a mystique about how people achieve success. But, this is not the case with Harry as he shares his life lessons only learned by decades of experience. He is able to connect with any audience with an genuine openness that doesn't hide anything.
Listeners receive practical lessons from one of the most successful musicians of our time. These presentations are engaging, incorporate multimedia, and are appropriate for business conferences, church leadership conferences, and music conventions.
Harry Kim was born and raised in New York City where he attended High School For The Performing Arts and prepared for a career as a classical trumpeter. After high school however, he relocated to Los Angeles and soon discovered the world of funk and jazz. After several years touring throughout the U.S. with various show groups, R&B revues and big hands, including the Harry James Big Band, he returned to Los Angeles to further his career.
Latin music took a front seat during the disco era, a time when live music was rarely featured in discotheques but was in strong demand by salsa audiences. It was at this time that he began working with artists such as Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, and also began honing his arranging skills by writing and performing on many disco productions.
Soon he joined Stevie Wonders Wonder Love which opened the doors of opportunity to perform and record with such artists as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and Smokey Robinson. He was on stage for the Emmy Award winning 25th Anniversary of Motown performing with many of Motowns greatest stars. It was an evening highlighted by Michael Jackson's introduction of his now legendary moonwalk.
In 1985 he joined the Phenix Horns, the celebrated horn section of Earth Wind and Fire. Together they performed with various artists throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Included were two tours in 1987 and 1988 with French icon Michel Berger and vocalist France Gall.
In 1989 he participated in the making of Phil Collins's multi award winning CD ...But Seriously. A world tour followed in 1990 marking the beginning of a long association with Collins. The multi platinum live concert CD Serious Hits Live was released soon after.
Realizing the many advantages of being part of a high performance horn section, Kim founded The Vine Street Horns. He called together musicians with whom he had worked for many years. Numerous productions with various artists were to follow.
In 1994 Phil Collins called on The Vine Street Horns to join him on his Both Sides Tour, an extensive 18 month world tour.
In 1996 he was asked by Collins to organize a big band featuring adaptations of his music and the music of Genesis in a jazz setting. The Phil Collins Big Band was born. As musical director and arranger, Kim and The Vine Street Horns took center stage performing at all the major European jazz festivals, with Tony Bennett as vocalist and Quincy Jones as guest conductor.
This was also the year they recorded Phil Collins Into The Light CD which toured the world in 1997.
The year 1998 saw another Phil Collins Big Band tour resulting in a live CD entitled A Hot Night In Paris.
Later that year an introduction to France's legendary singer Johnny Hallyday led to 3 sold out performances at the Stade de France, five successful tours from 1998 to 2009 and numerous top selling concert CDs and DVDs.
Although he continues to tour throughout the world with various artists he also manages to add to his long list of credits while at home in Los Angeles. As an example in one week he played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for the tribute concert for the victims of the 2011 Japan earthquake, then flew to the Toronto Jazz Festival to play with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, then returned to Los Angeles to play on the Tonight Show Band with Rickey Minor. In 2011 he was on several awards shows such as the TV Land Awards, the American Film Institute Awards, and opened the 2011 Grammy's with the ten minute tribute to Aretha Franklin.
Since 2005 he has acted as horn section leader and arranger for the 2005-2013 seasons of American Idol. In the USA Harry was even televised twice in one day as he played the final week of the Oprah Show, airing in the afternoon, and the final week of American Idol, airing in the evening. Harry just completed a tour with the legendary French recording artist, Johnny Hallyday, on his final tour.