INTERVIEWS, Uncategorized

The Sylvester L. Harris Story – The Chocolate Bag Piper:

Have you ever heard of “the chocolate bag piper”?

If you live in the NYC area then you might’ve seen or already got word of an astonishing man by the name of Sylvester L. Harris. Not only is he “the chocolate bag piper” but he is also my incredible grandfather.

So… who is “the chocolate bagpiper” and how did he come about?

The Chocolate BagPiper is Sylvester L. Harris, a 75 year old, African American, Brooklyn based blues player who grew to become a successful bagpiper. At the tender age of 10 years old, Mr. Harris developed a fascination for bagpipes. It all began when a show hosted a writing contest and the grand prize was a bagpipe. Despite the fact that he didn’t enter the contest, his obsession for bagpipes continued to grow.

Photo Credit : PositivelyStatenIsland on Blogspot

Throughout school, Mr. Harris learned how to play a considerable number of different musical instruments. Such as the guitar, piano, saxophone, trombone, clarinet, Bruegel, snare drum, the bass, and the list goes on and on. He’s a very talented individual.
At the age of 60, Mr. Harris finally learned to play the bag pipe. The International Union of Operating Engineers local 94 – 94A – 94B Pipes & Drums band, a gifted team full of Irish guys, taught Harris how to play. (They do offer free lessons for all of those who are seeking to learn. So if you’re interested please feel free to get in touch with them at:

Mr. Harris tours all over the United States to perform at a variety of events. These functions may range from Baby Showers and birthdays to memorials and funerals. He also plays at the St. Patrick ’s Day parade in New York City almost every year. He is such a beautiful and talented player. You would’ve never guessed that he has only been playing for 15 years. It really is such a natural talent for him. When ever he is not on road, he is spending time with his extremely large family.

Who would’ve imagined that at 75 years old, Mr. Harris would be such a successful bagpipe player? Especially since he got started at such a late age. Mr. Harris is living proof that it is never too late to fulfill your goals. It is never too late to pursue your dreams. His story is truly inspirational.


If you were moved by this story or would like to get in contact with The Chocolate Bagpiper, please feel free to leave a comment or email me personally at:



1 thought on “The Sylvester L. Harris Story – The Chocolate Bag Piper:”

  1. O.M.G your grandpa seems cool as F. I’m glad you shared his story, bag pipes are a lot of work. God bless him.


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