2017/18 Season




On the first of December, musicians Gabriel Lavin (Oud), Miguel Carillo (Spanish Guitar) and Janie Cowan (Upright Bass) brought a lively evening of music to Harrison House, performing a virtuosic melding of traditional Middle Eastern and Flamenco music.

Gabriel Lavin began his Middle Eastern music studies while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Oman. He has since performed and studied in Morocco, Egypt Sudan and Kuwait working with Oud masters. Miguel Carillo is a first generation Mexican-American born into a musical family. After playing drums and violin he found his love in the Spanish guitar. Classically trained he currently studies Flamenco with Adam Del Monte at USC. Alaska born Janie Cowan is a versatile upright bass player with a BM in performance from the Oberlin Conservatory. She performs worldwide in explorative improvisation groups, supporting artists and studying folk music of many countries.



The 2017 fall season at Harrison House kicked off with legendary performer Big Black for a one-night only special concert. The multi-disciplined singer/songwriter, blues guitarist, drummer and storyteller performed “Another Kind of Blues,” original songs about “love and no love,” revealing a more intimate side of his virtuosity.

Most widely known as a master of world percussion and the first to integrate the African drum into modern calypso and jazz music, Big Black has performed with icons Lord Flea, Billy Cook, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie and many others.



Sam Ashley has devoted his life to the development of an experimental, non-religious mysticism, one rooted in a “find out for yourself” attitude, an attitude that he advocates in direct opposition to so many traditions. At an early age Sam Ashley began a study of trance. That study has continued without interruption up to the present. Authentic mysticism as a creative process is Sam Ashley’s signature statement as a composer and as an artist.

Sam’s pieces are mostly about luck, hallucination and coincidence. Usually they include direct presentations of magic events, objects or phenomena. Sam’s sound art work is frequently about finding ways to amplify imaginary sound. Sam’s performed pieces often feature the use of authentic spirit possession, a phenomenon he has been working with for more than 40 years. All of what Sam does relates directly to trance. He offers simple windows onto things that occur in-between the real world and that which transcends it. With almost a half century of experience, Sam Ashley has become a role model, inspiration and teacher to younger generations of musicians and artists seeking to bring trance into their work.