Happy Birthday Jennifer Hartswick: Performing Hartliss Set With Brendan Bayliss In 2021

Watch the pair cover songs by The Beatles, Bill Withers, Phish and more.

By Scott Bernstein Aug 18, 2022 1:01 pm PDT

Trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick celebrates her birthday today. In honor of the occasion, JamBase looks back at a private party the longtime Trey Anastasio Band member and jam scene fixture played with Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Brendan Bayliss as Hartliss on May 21, 2021 in Colorado.

Hartswick grew up in Vermont’s rural Northeast Kingdom as part of a musical family and was initially entranced by classical music. Jennifer began playing trumpet at the age of 10 in the jazz band at her school after toying with various instruments since she was four and fully immersed herself in jazz while in high school. Christian McBride was — and is still — among her favorite artists. The teenager would dream of performing with McBride, making the bassist’s appearances on her 2018 solo album, Nexus, and forthcoming LP, Something In The Water, even more special.

Jennifer attended Vermont’s Lyndon Institute and met saxophonist Dave Grippo while attending the school. She joined his band as a 16-year-old and Grippo introduced Hartswick to Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio. Jennifer initially contributed to Trey’s solo album, One Man’s Trash, in 1997 and Anastasio went on to ask her to play on Phish’s 1998 LP, The Story Of The Ghost, and 2000 record, Farmhouse.

Hartswick graduated from Lyndon Institute in 1998. She then went to study acting in New York City before turning back to music with a stint at Hartford’s The Hartt School. However, Jennifer felt unfulfilled at the conservatory and made the decision to leave The Hartt School. Cue a call from Trey Anastasio who invited Hartswick to join his eponymous band. “JHa” has been a member of TAB ever since, had a stint in Anastasio’s 70 Volt Parade outfit and was part of the guitarist’s Ghosts Of The Forest ensemble.

On September 11, 2005 Jennifer sat-in with Umphrey’s McGee for the first time. Hartswick and Bayliss became fast friends and eventually started performing together as a duo. The pair call their project Hartliss and played a party in Colorado honoring the 27th wedding anniversary of Dave and Rebecca Britt on May 21, 2021.

Hartliss shies away from TAB and UM music. Instead, the two musicians typically play rock and soul covers. The duo’s set in Colorado last May began with a take on Paul Simon’s Graceland classic “Under African Skies.” Next came renditions of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” and “Just The Two Of Us” by Bill Withers. Bayliss then led “Twist” by request, trotting out the arrangement he recorded for JamBase’s Cluster Flies compilation honoring the 20th anniversary of Farmhouse.

Jennifer showed off her powerful pipes next on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and “Creep” by Radiohead. It was then back to Withers material for “Lovely Day.” Additional songs Hartliss performed at the party included Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” Macy Gray’s “I Try” and “Ophelia” by The Band. The pair revisited the Phish catalog for “Lifeboy” and “Dirt.” Hartliss closed their set with George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” and ended the evening with a “Don’t Let Me Down” encore. Bayliss took time before the finale to discuss his friendship with the late Jeff Austin and revealed “Don’t Let Me Down” was the first song they played.

Watch Hartliss’ set from May 21, 2021 thanks to Must Have Media below:

Must Have Media (See 17 videos)
Jennifer Hartswick (See 68 videos) and Brendan Bayliss (See 53 videos)

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Set: Under African Skies, Oh! Darling, Just The Two Of Us, Twist, Jolene, Creep, Lovely Day, Time After Time, Can’t Find My Way Home, Bell Bottom Blues, Lifeboy, Valerie, Ophelia, I Try, Dear Prudence, Dirt, Freedom! ’90

Encore: Don’t Let Me Down

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