An experienced singer, pianist, composer and recording artist, June "Pepper" Harris is internationally renowned. The Chicago-born musician has performed as a solo artist and with trios in lounges, hotels, nightclubs, theatres, on radio, and TV in the US, Canada, and throughout Europe, The Middle East and Far East. Harris has delighted audiences with her unique contralto style in six languages.

"Arts are important to society," Harris said. "They are a powerful educational and spiritual tool, whether it's music, dance, or visual arts. It's a way to take people off the streets, to give them a source of expression, the opportunity to work together toward a positive end. Having lived nearly 8 years now in Toronto, I'm amazed the "powers-that-be" don't realize the potential of music and the arts towards economic growth, for instance through tourism

"The roots of jazz were a result of slaves in America being separated from other members of their tribe to keep them from rising up. The one common denominator was they all sang their messages, and thus could be heard from some distance away. So it became a form of communication, as well as of worship and storytelling.

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