Doug is a professional multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, music producer and teacher, who resides in Novato, California, and works throughout North America.
Born in San Antonio, Texas in May of 1948 and then growing up in Austin, Doug took an early and serious interest in music, beginning his cello studies at age six through the University of Texas Junior String Project, and starting piano study shortly thereafter. He quickly displayed both diligent application of a precocious talent for music in general and widely ranging musical taste. Within a few years he began his professional career, playing with formal music ensembles at social and public functions throughout Austin and the surrounding Central Texas Hill Country. By the time he hit high school Doug was ready to gig on keyboards in pop music cover bands. Nearly weekly fraternity party dance band work allowed him to walk into the best Austin music store at the time and lay down cash for a brand new Hammond B3 electronic organ with dual Leslie amplifier cabinets and complete bass pedal assembly. In short order he showed that he understood how to get that organ to sing like Booker T, or Jimmy Smith, or J. S. Bach.
During Doug’s later high school years Austin began to develop the live music reputation for which it would become famous. His Hammond B3 would pay for itself all over again just in rental fees from regional promoters. The steadily growing flow of regional and national touring musicians provided a wealth of supporting act engagements, and the better Austin musicians found themselves sharing stages with popular music stars of nearly every genre. Doug Harman’s chops on cello and piano burned themselves into the memories of plenty of headliners.
After graduating from high school, while continuing his studies at UT and then at North Texas State University, and also beginning his own teaching career as a private instructor, Doug began to play behind a broad variety of musical artists, including Texas blues superstar Freddie King, country-folk artist Michael Martin Murphey, et al, and also to work steadily in band projects formed around a nucleus of other composers. In 1970 he and Hank Alrich began to cross musical paths in the Austin music scene and in 1971 they would begin a musical friendship that continues to flourish.
By 1978 Doug had spent many months working in the San Francisco area with Balcones Fault, the eclectic Texas show band founded by Fletcher Clark, and following the dissolution of the band later that year he decided to reside permanently in northern California. Since making that move Doug has supported a stellar selection of California-based artists both on stage and in the recording studio, a partial list of whom includes pianist/composer Spencer Brewer, guitarists Alex de Grassi and Teja Bell, Celtic composer/performer Kate Price, film and television composer Suzanne Ciani, wind virtuoso Paul McCandless, bluegrass/folk artist Peter Rowan, folk rock trio The Rowan Brothers (Peter with brothers Lorin and Chris), and flautist Matt Eakle of the David Grisman Quintet. In 1994 Doug handled keyboards for the highly regarded SF Bay area jam band Zero, which included guitarist Steve Kimock and saxophonist Martîn Fiero. Doug’s work with Norton Buffalo, both with and without Roy Rogers (with whom he also works individually) had spanned three decades. Since 1988 Doug Harman and Lorin Rowan have presented a guitar-cello duo focused on Lorin’s compositions and vocals.