Born in Boston (Roxbury) Massachusetts as John Mancebo Lewis – he studied Trombone and played with many of the Boston based Musicians, Dancers, Poets and Artists of the late 1940’s, and 1950’s as both a Trombonist and a percussionist (hand Drums/Conga) . He migrated to New York City in 1960 in the band of Ken Makanda McIntyre where they recorded and performed during the “NYC Loft Period” of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Mr Haroon also recorded and performed in the bands of Sam Rivers, Ronnie Boykins and Earl Cross, to name a few.
In 1970 Mr. Haroon entered Wesleyan University, Middletown,Connecticut as a student /instructor in the music department. It was during his years at Wesleyan that he became interested in Ethnomusicology and began to explore many types of musics particularly the music of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He began to explore the use of music as a healing modality (Music Therapy) and the interrelationship of indigenous music(s), particularly the evolution of African American Music from its African sources and the development of music in the African Diaspora. While at Wesleyan he was instrumental in helping to develop the Jazz Studies component at Wesleyan and served briefly in 1973/4 as Visiting Artist in African American Music. He has a BA in Music from Wesleyan and an MA in History from Texas Southern University, Houston, TX.
He is interested in the intersections of music, social justice and religion, and has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, and Africa. While retired from teaching, he continues to perform and participate in various ensembles which include African /African American Dance – Sufi ‘spiritual’ music. He has also written several papers and short stories concerned with music, history and religion.