A native of Houston, Lou Harlas earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and studied music at North Texas State University (now University of North Texas); he also holds a Master of Music degree in jazz performance from the University of Miami. As a student, he was awarded the Outstanding Musicianship Award from the National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE).
After moving to New York, he toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, including live performances with Ella Fitzgerald, Red Rodney and Cedar Walton. As a resident of Nashville, Tenn., in the early '90s, he performed with David Ball and Johnny Lee, as well as doing master and demo recording work for Polygram Publishing and Asylum Records.
He has performed studio sessions with Mark O'Conner, Marty Stuart, Vasser Clements and John and Jamey Hartford. He is an active member of the D/FW chapter of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). Mr. Harlas is an active professional performer in the metroplex area and also teaches at DCCCD's Brookhaven and Eastfield colleges as well as UT-Arlington.