Polly Harrison

As a guitarist for the long-running jazz group Small World, seven-string player Polly Polly Harrison Benedetto Players Photo by Nicole MooreHarrison is a fixture on the San Antonio jazz scene.

Polly Harrison started her professional musical career forty years ago when she, drummer Kyle Keener and organist Mark Marty put together a B-3 trio they called Small World.

Eventually the organ player left the group. Polly and Kyle continued on as a jazz duo (Kyle sang and played drums while Polly played guitar, bass pedals and sang harmony). The two musicians spent years performing with Basie and Ellington sax legend Marshall Royal, tenor saxophonist Clifford Scott, trombonist Carl Fontana, Bill Comstock of the Four Freshmen and guitarists Gene Bertoncini, Bucky & John Pizzarelli, Herb Ellis and Cal Collins and many others.

Polly-Harrison-with-Bucky-Pizzarelli-Stephane-Grappelli-Joseph Oldenhove de Guertechin San Antonio's Riverwalk 1992Nearly 30 years ago, following the inspiration of her friend Bucky Pizzarelli, Polly took up the 7-string guitar and since then has become well known for her chord-melody expertise and her ability as an accompanist.

Small World has made a number of recordings including an all-Brazilian CD, a Christmas CD with all arrangements by Polly and a Christmas CD with the Four Freshmen!

Polly Harrison is the 2014 winner of the Mary Parchman Award for Jazz Excellence. In a career spanning four decades, she has inspired fellow musicians and audiences alike with her tasteful playing, her dedication, and her professionalism. She resides in San Antonio, Texas (with husband Hank Harrison) and plays a 1988 custom Benedetto 7-String made for her.

Polly’s spouse, fiddler/mandolinist Hank Harrison publishes a weekly email play-by-play of their jam sessions, complete with photos. Email him at hankharrison@gmail.com


I still think she is the best guitarist in the state working duo with a singer.  She plays such pretty and musical thoughts without being competitive with the singer.  (Not everyone knows how to do that.) I have known her since Nov. of ’89 and she still pulls my ear in such a delightful way!  DANNY MCKNIGHT  (That smile on her face is honest and is there a lot!)

pOLLY hARRISON AND CHUCK MOSESPolly Harrison photo by Nicole MoorePolly Harrison with bandPolly Harrison Nat Cole Show June 5, 2014 posterPolly-Harrison-with-Bucky-Pizzarelli-Stephane-Grappelli-Joseph Oldenhove de Guertechin San Antonio's Riverwalk 1992Polly Harrison and Kyle KeenerPolly Harrison and Kyle Keener CDPolly Harrison and Kyle Keener Small World Jazz San AntonioStephane Grappelli and Bucky Pizzarelli San Antonio 1992 - photo courtesy Polly & Hank HarrisonPolly Harrison, Jackie King and Butch Miles on drums with Big BandFavorite quote from Polly and Hank Harrison by Art BlakeyPolly Harrison - Benny Goodman Tribute with Alan Vache, clarinet, circa 1989Polly Harrison gig circa 1990Polly Harrison and Rene Saenz circa 1992Polly Harrison Charlie Parker Tribute with Rene Saenz, sax and Sparky Thomason circa 1992





Polly Harrison and Bucky Pizzarelli San Antonio circa 1992



Polly Harrison Andy MacKenzie Danny McKnight Arlington TX show 1990 (Ed Benson films for JJG)

A favorite quote of Polly and Hank: “If you feel like tapping your feet, tap your feet. If you feel like clapping your hands, clap your hands. And if you feel like taking off your shoes, take off your shoes. We are here to have a ball. So we want you to leave your worldly troubles outside and come in here and swing.” – Art Blakey

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