Winard Harper worked in 1982 with Dexter Gordon, and was for four years a member of the backing band of Betty Carter. In the late 1980s he founded with his brother, trumpeter Philip Harper the band The Harper Brothers, who played in the hard bop tradition of the Jazz Messengers, and recorded several albums for Verve. He also worked as a freelance musician in New Jersey and played on recordings by Ray Bryant, James Clay, Wycliffe Gordon, Etta Jones, Houston Person, Lafayette Harris and David Fathead Newman. Harper took in the late 1990s several albums under his own name, where musicians such as George Cables, JD Allen, Cecil Brooks III participated. His example is Art Blakey.
- The Harper Brothers ( Verve, 1988)
- You Can Hide Inside the Music ( Verve, ca 1990)
- Artistry ( Verve, 1991)
- Trap Dancer ( Savant, 1997)
- Winand (Savant, 1998)