often referred to affectionately as "Harvito
Suarez", is a respected musician
of the jazz persuasion. He played bass
with such outstanding bands as Double
Image by night, and by day, taught at
the Manhattan School Of Music.
something happened that changed his life.
One night, Harvie went to the Village
Gate to check out a Latin performance.
The bass player, Mario Rodriguez, currently
with Gato Barbieri, recognized Harvie.
The two hit it off and agreed to get together
and exchange musical ideas. Inspired,
Harvie formed a Latin band called Eye
Contact that included LP artist Memo Acevedo
on percussion, Bruce Arnold on guitar,
Gregor Hoovner on piano/violin, and Ed
Uribe on drums. The group was in instant
hit -very Cubano but with the openness
of jazz. Following a string of festival
dates in 1998, Eye Contact released its
first CD Havana Manana.
addition to Bobby Rodriguez, Swartz cites
Andy Gonzales, Joe Santiago, Johnny Benitez,
Rodriguez as major influences. It's
a measure of respect that he gets asked
to sub for some of these players. And
he's not just entering new territory as
a bass player and composer. Latin music
is making a percussionist out of Harvie
Swartz! He's been working with a number
instruments including conga and guiro,
making his recording debut with clave
and bells on Havana Manana. As rhythm
continues to draw him deeper into the
music a symmetry emerges: He now jams
to records and sits in as a percussionist-just
as he once did as a bass player.