Harvi Alonzo Griffin
Harvi Alonzo Griffin, December 14, 1936 - August 9, 2005. Harvi, a world renowned Harpist is now playing with the angels in Heaven. Early in his career Harvi was principle harpist with the Detroit Symphony, National Symphony and the U.S. Army Band. Harvi appeared at the White House twenty-five times, for presidents, princes, industrial leaders and other internationally powerful people. Harvi also spent many years as a solo artist with over 1,000 performances touring the U.S., Asia, and Europe as well as teaching masters classes. His students are harpists with major symphonies all over the world. Harvi was a native of Detroit, MI and a graduate of Cass Technical High School, he then studied at Michigan State University where he received his B.A. and first Masters Degree. He next studied with Lucile Lawrence, Mannes College of Music in New York City where he received his second Masters Degree, and then with Eileen Malone, Eastman School of Music. Harvi was known for his dedication to his music and for his skill at performing every type of music from Classical to Country and Western on the harp. Anyone who knew or studied with Harvi soon learned that in his mind there was no excuse for anything other than your personal best, he expected his students to be as dedicated and to work as hard as he did himself to be the best they could be both as giving, caring people and as musicians. Harvi was a loving man who freely gave of himself to support anyone who sought his aid. Harvi is survived by his life partner of the past 13 years Lee Barr; his adopted "Mom" Josephine Barr, both of Phoenix, AZ and a multitude of loving friends from around the world. A "Celebration of Life" service will be held for Harvi at a later date. For information regarding this service please send an inquiry to [email protected] Donations in Harvi's name may be sent to either Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ or to Rosie's House [a music school for inner city children], 527 W Pima St., Phoenix, AZ.
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Published by The Arizona Republic on Aug. 21, 2005.
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Great guy, my brother. We entered the Army together and went through Basic Training together at Fort Knox. We met again in 1991 after I had retired from the military and was a HS Biology Teacher. He visited me and my students at Batesburg/Leesville HS in Batesburg/Leesville, South Carolina. Great person. I was 17years old and had just finished Cass Tech Hs. I was also acquainted with some of his Motown friends. I grew up with Lamont Doziers brother in the Jeffries Projects and also knew Eddie and Brian Holland and Ty Hunter whom Harvi knew from Motown. Again super guy, Harvi is missed.
Eddie Finney
Served In Military Together
March 12, 2021
Dear Lee,
I just learned today that Harvi has gone to play the harp with the angels. I met Harvi almost 30 years ago when he played in Marquette. He became a dear friend and he would come to visit my home whenever he was in Marquette. I remember how he had a carrot right out of my garden and it was the first time he ever pulled one out of the ground. He was so excited. That is what I always loved about Harvi...so sophisticated, but yet so humble. We met up in Omaha one summer and went out for lunch. We talked and talked about everything. He called me a few years ago and even though we hadn't spoken in years, it seems like we had always been in touch. He was truly a great man and musician. I was just thinking about him the other day and now I hear he is gone. I am deeply saddened and my prayers are with you. I know it has been several months, but having lost my dad just recently, I know the pain of losing a loved one just doesn't go away. You have my deepest sympathy.
Denise Dupras
Denise Dupras
March 19, 2006
Dear Uncle Lee,

Regretfully I did not spend much time with Harvi, but in the time that I did he touched my life in one way or another with each of them. After hearing people speak at his service yesterday and seeing the difference in you as an Uncle, a Father, and a man, I understand more now that he was a remarkable person and how blessed you were to have him as a part of your life for the time that you did. There are no words at a time like this, so I will not try to say any... other than, my heartfelt condolences go out to you in this time of need and to tell you that you are loved more than you know!
Melanie Arthur
October 2, 2005
Harvi Griffin: harpist and singer extraordinaire; friend; confidante; teacher; role model; composer/arranger; and the "Wind Beneath My Wings." With love.
Patricia Terry-Ross
October 1, 2005
Sorry it took me so long to write Lee, my thoughts are still hard to put to paper. I still remember the first time I heard Harvi play...and there was no other harpist in the world after that! It changed my life! How very, very fortunate I was to be able to study with Harvi. I say study, but it was more life lessons than harp lessons. He was my teacher, but my friend first. I couldn't believe my luck that he would make me think I had talent! And even get some of it to come out! There is no substitute. I think of him every day when I play and I think that I always will. I feel him with me..correcting me, encouraging me and laughing that great laugh when I make a mistake (lots of laughing still going on) My mentor has left me on my own and I am seriously lacking! Lee, my prayers are with you that you may have peace at this time and that someday you will hear Harvi teaching me again and maybe with eternity ahead of me I can someday play like him.

With Love and Prayers.
Chris Luders
September 29, 2005
When I saw that there was a guest book I had to stop and think of what I wanted to say about my dear friend. I knew Harvi for twenty-seven years. We meet at a time and point of my life when I was just starting to formulate my own opinions and perspectives of the world. Now looking back over the years I see that many of the core beliefs I hold dear were first formed from the conversations and discussions Harvi and I enjoyed. Harvi and I enjoyed the unique friendship that time and distance never really mattered to us. Weeks, sometimes months, would go by and we would just pick up right back where we left off. I miss my dear friend and although the pain of the loss may lessen over time, the unique place he occupied in my life can never truly be filled until we meet again.
Robert Dolan
September 19, 2005
It is with the best of memories that I think of the visit of Harvi and Lee to Haarlem a few years ago, for workshops and concerts for students of our musicschool. Harvi was a fine musician and a wonderful human being.
Bert Bouquet
September 18, 2005
Dear Lee Barr,

During his workshops in Holland and France, he treated everybody equally. Although he is very good on harp and played so wonderfull, he never gave you the feeling that you were worthless. He was one of the best teachers I ever known. He tought me one more important thing: Have fun when you are playing, enjoy what you are doing and smile!

With love Annelies Kole
Annelies Kole
September 17, 2005
bonnie dolan
September 16, 2005
Un être cher
vient de s'en aller.
Comment exprimer
par de simples mots
la grande émotion
et l'infinie tristesse
qu'au fond du coeur
nous ressentons.

Nous vous présentons
nos condoléances
les plus sincères
Hanny & Kees WERTHER
September 14, 2005
Harvi taught me to communicate and share my message with everyone, to reach each individual person. He was brilliant, warm, fun and most generous. I am greatful to have known Harvi, and honored to have been his friend.
Brian Stark
September 14, 2005
Harvi I miss you so much. I love you and always will.
You teach those other angels how to play those harps 'cause I'm coming one day and I'm going to be listening to be sure they are doing it correctly.
Watch over me and continue to take care of me.
Love you.
Lee Barr
September 13, 2005
A man among many who has made his mark on earth that few have ever done, but will be remember by all. He left a hole in all our hearts, but filled it with the music he leaves behind. Harvi Thank you so much for what time we share as friends. Looking forward to meeting again some day in the future
Quenton Chivers
September 7, 2005
I will always remember this wonderful and generous spirit. I know he is with the angels now because of how he touch those of us while he was with us.
Onita Sanders
August 30, 2005
Harvi is a great friend who will be missed in sharing time with and discussing movies, as well as times spent at events.
Richard Belcher
August 21, 2005
A beloved friend and member of our home. Harvi gave his all not only to his Music but to everyone he came in contact with. I will miss him very much. With all my Love.
Marti Baltierrez
August 21, 2005
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