Harry Pickens is an award-winning musician and educator. Author of In Tune: Lessons In Life From A Life In Music, his multifaceted musical career has featured collaborations with hundreds of the world’s great jazz artists, commissions for choral works featuring the poetry of Wendell Berry, and a performance for the Dalai Lama, and multiple awards, including the Kentucky Governor’s Award In The Arts and the Fund For The Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.
He has also been featured in an Emmy-nominated documentary, Harry Pickens in the Garden of Music, produced by Kentucky Educational Television.
However, his most meaningful accomplishment thus far is caring for his aging mother by himself, in his home, for nearly a decade as dementia slowly ravaged her mind and body. Through this eight-and-a-half-year ‘boot camp for the soul’, Harry learned how to persevere, let go of vocation, future, expectations, and old priorities, remember what really matters, give his everything — mind, body, heart, soul — with no hope of personal gain, fully embrace the miracle of the present moment, and navigate heartbreak, grief, gratitude and grace — all at the same time.
Since her passing in November 2019, Harry has been rising like the archetypal Phoenix into a new life at the ripe young age of 60. Currently, Harry integrates multiple careers of musical performance, teaching, and coaching with his lifelong interests in practical psychology, applied neuroscience, and spiritual activism to help ordinary people live extraordinary lives — lives that are radiant with purpose, clarity, compassion, and contribution.