While a beloved Central New York musician died unexpectedly last year, he will be remembered this month not by how his life tragically ended, but the spirit in which he embraced it.

Elijah Harris Jr. (photo courtesy of Syracuse.com)

Popular troubadour and local legend Elijah Harris Jr., who was killed by a pair of hit-and-run accidents in April 2020, will be honored during a celebratory memorial service from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at Hendricks Chapel.

All members of the community are invited to this special observance being organized by his daughter, Lakisha Harris and her family, and hosted by Syracuse University’s College of Professional Studies. Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the family asks that attendees wear masks to keep the community safe.

“Mr. Harris could be heard on the streets of downtown and across University Hill, where folks delighted in seeing his presence and listening to his special brand of music,” says College of Professional Studies Dean Michael Frasciello. “We’re proud to play a part in honoring him and the influence he had on many other musicians.”

The service will feature tributes by family members and friends, performances by those who have been impacted by his artistry, an opportunity to receive a portrait of “Eli,” as he was known, and a gift card from J Michael Shoes on Marshall Street.

“My dad used music to communicate and to teach others how to love through music,” says Lakisha Harris. “This celebration will be a reflection of his passion and inspiration.”

Last fall, the Harris family established the Eli Harris Scholarship Fund, through the College of Professional Studies, which will assist a part-time music student annually. Learn more about the scholarship. To make a donation in memory of Eli Harris, please contact Jeff Comanici, executive director of advancement and external affairs, at 315.443.1409 or jjcomani@syr.edu.

For more information about Eli Harris’ memorial service, please contact Lakisha Harris at 315. 418.5536 or elialleyway@yahoo.com.