Niki Haris was at Madonna’s side through the queen of pop’s many transformations from the mid-1980s through the dawn of the millennium. She was onstage for the “Who’s That Girl” tour, in the film “Truth or Dare” and in the iconic “Vogue” music video, singing and dancing with Madonna up through the “Ray of Light” era.
She left to focus on motherhood and on a solo career that brings Haris to the JAS Cafe this week for her two-night, four-show Aspen debut with the James Horowitz Trio.
The lessons she learned at the top of the pop music world with Madonna were many.
“I learned discipline about creating your own vision and sticking to it,” Haris said in a recent phone interview. “And making sure that you’re living your own narrative, not judging yourself through somebody else’s eyes.”
The woman she knows and performed with, Haris said, is not the shrewd, trend-chasing Madonna we’ve heard about.
“People talk about how calculating she is, but I saw so many times when she would not do that and go with her gut,” Haris said.
Fourteen years since she stopped recording and performing with Madonna, Haris is still learning from her.
“I learned so much from her in the beginning,” Haris said. “Good stuff that now I go, ‘Oh, this is what she meant by that!‘”