Woody Harris


 Woody Harris

composer, guitarist

In a quiet place between the rigors of contemporary classical harmony and free jazz lies ‘intimate jazz’. It breathes bare expression, infused with passionate dissonances, punctuated with abrupt rhythmic shifts, and yet it is structured with clarity of phrasing. ‘Intimate jazz’ is music in a comfortable room with the lights down low, that savored sip of aged wine.


'There's nothing like living a long time to create a depth and soulfulness in your music'

  Woody Harris’ (aka Douglas Woodfull-Harris) playing and music refuse to fit neatly into any standard moulds. He started out studying classical guitar in New York City with William Matthews and Albert Valdes Blain and later composition with Joaquín Nin-Culmell and Julián Orbón. At the same time, his growing fascination with steel string guitar playing brought him to the attention of Arhoolie Records when he submitted a master tape for their consideration. The master tape ultimately became his debut album, American Guitar Solos – now listed in the Folkways Collection in the Smithsonian.  Next up was studio guitar playing and performing in clubs in the San Francisco area and the start of a fruitful relationship with Kicking Mule Records. This collaboration resulted in two unique solo albums After Dinner Mints and Show of Hands. His final Kicking Mule album, Bloomfield & Harris, was with blues legend Michael Bloomfield.    In the late 1980s he relocated to Germany where he raised a family and currently resides. These early years in Europe brought immediate success with his contemporary music compositions. Opposites, three movements for string orchestra, which won first prize in a Spanish composition competition, was followed by a commission for Lontano for the Shanghai String Quartet, and later his Symphony for Piano and Orchestra. Close on the heels of these events he took a position with the German publisher of scholarly critical editions, Bärenreiter. Having disappeared from the acoustic guitar scene without a trace he enjoyed a long tenure at Bärenreiter where he oversaw the areas of orchestral and chamber music, editing over twenty major works from J.S. Bach’s Six Suites for Violoncello solo to Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concertos.   In his new life after Bärenreiter, Woody’s approach to the steel string guitar took a different turn. But rather than the sounds of over four decades earlier, a more mature Woody found his compositions and fingers exploring a whole new musical syntax and vocabulary; one weaving elements of Claude Debussy, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Toro Takamitsu together with a lifetime of indulging and absorbing sounds we call music. This new approach to guitar playing, which he calls intimate jazz guitar, has so far resulted in two EPs in 2021, Bluish and Edgework, and a new album Coming To My Senses released in April 2023.

 Latest Releases

WhatsApp Image 2022-09-16 at 2.40.20 PM


Earlier Albums




Notated Music

Notated music from both the Bluish and Edgework as well as new recordings can be purchased as PDFs. The compositions, encoded with Sibelius, are notated in un-measured notation similar to Louis Couperin’s unmeasured preludes from c.1650. The notation includes some fingering and phrasing indications.


Contact me below for engagements in Europe, the States and beyond. An evening of my intimate guitar is best suited to small to medium sized venues.