Drop the “r” and pick up the accordion.
That might well have been the life motto of Patrick Harison, the button accordionist who sometimes looks like Elvis (it’s the hair and the endearingly-hip scowl), is missing that consonant in his surname, and who literally sounds like no one else on the accordion ever has.
Don’t believe me? Well, you’ll have the opportunity to hear the genre-splitting young artist on those keys when he warms up the Icehouse in Minneapolis at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.
He apparently picked up his chosen instrument at 13-years-old, and a year later he was a professional. Back in 2006, he was also the youngest recipient (and only accordionist) to get a McKnight Fellowship. I mean, ever. He’s played as a soloist with no less than the Knoxville Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, the Minnesota Opera, the Forth Worth Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
That’ll show you how good he is at taking that beast of an instrument and making it sweet, supple, even surprisingly-nimble, all with a few seemingly-simple deft flicks of his wrists (of course, there’s more to it than that, but this guy makes it all seem so smooth). He’s studied everything from traditional jazz to Eastern European folk music, and when he was in New York, he founded the Baby Soda Jazz Band.
Oh, to have the stamina of the young.
After seeing Harison perform, it’ll become something of a mystery to audiences as to why the accordion has been (mysteriously) relegated to anywhere other than the top of our collective minds.
Look, in show business, as we all know, there are no guarantees. But, I’d be hard-pressed to make a recommendation for an evening that is as at once eclectic, entertaining, unexpected in just about every way, and never boring as this one promises to be.
Who knows, maybe he’ll even let you touch his keys.
If you go
What: Patrick Harison
Where: Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9
Admission: No cover
On the Web: www.icehousempls.com/events