Harry Jacobson studied bass at Oberlin Conservatory, at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France and The Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He has a doctorate from one of the pioneering schools in jazz education, the University of North Texas where he also studied composition and conducting. An accomplished classical music performer, he is principal bass of the Erie Chamber Orchestra, Erie Opera Theater and a member of the Erie Philharmonic. He has also served as principal bass in the Norfolk Symphony and the Knoxville Symphony.
He was a winner in a performance competition at the first symposium of the International Society of Bassists in Aspen and tied for first place in call for papers at a similar ISB event at UCLA in 1988, and presented a lecture-recital at the symposium as a result. The document, on which the lecture-recital was based about the edition of a double bass Solo Quartet by Franz Anton Hoffmeister, was published in several installments in the ISB journal, Bass World.
As a jazz bassist, he has performed with the Jerry Gray Orchestra, Les Elgart's big band, with jazz saxophonists Don Menza, Bruce Johnstone, Jerry Coker and pianists Rick DellaRatta, Don Rebic and Jan Laurens Hartong in Europe. He leads and writes for his own group, Jazz Incorporated. He recently produced and played on a CD of vocalist Lydia Marks called Lovelight Shining, for which cowrote the title track. He coordinates a jazz series during the summer for VACI at Chautauqua Institution and has taught on Chautauqua's summer school faculty in the past. He also has performed on occasion with the Chautauqua Opera and Chautauqua Symphony.
He has been a member of the SUNY Fredonia faculty for twenty-nine years and teaches music theory and jazz improvisation in addition to lessons in bass. He is area coordinator for the string faculty and coordinator of the music business program. He has previously held teaching positions at the University of Tennessee, Mountainview and Eastfield junior colleges in Dallas, Texas and at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. His students have gone to win positions in regional orchestras and also have been admitted to prestigious graduate school programs in performance.