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Harvey S. aka Harvito Suarez

 

Harvie S., 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.

Then 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.

In addition to Bobby Rodriguez, Swartz cites Andy Gonzales, Joe Santiago, Johnny Benitez, and Ruben 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 of LP 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.