Dion is an educator, composer, Grammy Award-winning performer, and bandleader. He currently resides on the island of St. Thomas and serves as the Chair of the Communication and Performing Arts Department at the University of the Virgin Islands. He is also the President of the United Jazz Foundation, which is a music education organization that mentors underprivileged kids to become musicians. His musical career has allowed him to tour internationally for over 30 years, and he has been recorded on over 80 records.
Dion's special guest this week is a celebrated New Orleans-born jazz saxophonist, Donald Harrison, an adept performer known for a hard-swinging improvisational style that touches upon acoustic post-bop, traditional New Orleans jazz, and R&B. Harrison initially emerged as a young lion in the '80s, playing in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers alongside trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Harrison and Blanchard then signed with Columbia Records and issued several highly regarded albums, including 1987's Crystal Staircase and 1988's Black Pearl. On his own, the saxophonist has displayed an innovative knack for mixing New Orleans second rhythms, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B on albums like 1992's Indian Blues and 1997's Nouveau Swing.
In 2010, Harrison became an occasional member of the cast of the HBO television series Treme, playing himself. The saxophonist then reunited with Carter and Cobham for a live date entitled This Is Jazz: Live at the Blue Note, playing a program of originals and standards. It included a new Harrison composition entitled "Treme Swagger." He then issued the concert album Live at Jazzfest 2018.