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Deborah Henson-Conant 


Maeve Gilchrist 


Rossitza Milevska 


Kurt Schwab 


Johan Clement 






Ghislaine Maclaine Pont 


Annemarie van Dijk 


Inge Frimout-Hei 

Artists & Faculty 


Deborah Henson-Conant - harpist/singer/songwriter/composer/storyteller/entertainer 

artist website 


Deborah Henson-Conant ’ builds new worlds from sound and stories and is revolutionizing the way the world sees this ancient instrument with her cross-genre jazz-pop-comedy-folk-Flamenco-Celtic music.’ 

Harpist, singer, songwriter, composer, author, cartoonist, entertainer, comedian – mix those together and you can just begin to describe Deborah Henson-Conant. Using her voice, her custom-built harp, her creativity and her love of symphonic music, Deborah Henson-Conant sculpts sound like others sculpt clay. Her performances blur the line between concert and Musical Theater. “Music, for me, is a way to tell a story," she explains. "And no story, in my mind, is complete without its music.” 


Whether she’s filming a DVD with the Grand Rapids Symphony, tearing up the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, touring with the Boston Pops, opening for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, or mesmerizing a theater-full of children at the Kennedy Center, Henson-Conant, live on stage, is indescribable. In her solo shows, she creates a world of sound, story and imagery out of solo harp and voice. In her orchestra shows she brings her background of improvisation and theater together with a love of lush, colorful orchestrations; orchestrations that feature symphony soloists from piccolo to timpani and music-scapes that paint an achingly romantic moonlit waltz one moment – and the laboratory of a mad scientist the next. 


Henson-Conant rocked onto the jazz charts in the late 80’s. Since then she’s established her own record label and released a dozen other albums from Latin Jazz to Celtic, Blues, Folk-Pop and Spoken Word. She’s jammed, on-stage and off, with the likes of Steven Tyler, Bobby McFerrin, Rufus Reid, Keith Lockhart, Doc Severinsen and Marvin Hamlisch. She’s premiered her compositions with countless symphonies, lectured at the Paris Conservatory, and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and “Meet the Composer.” She’s been featured on NBC, CBS, and CNN, and starred in the PBS Special “Celtic Harpestry.” Henson-Conant has revolutionized her instrument. She’s brought vibrant passion and individuality to its sound - and in the process she herself has been transformed. Her work is an exploration of possibilities – a transformation that moves her audience out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. 


Maeve Gilchrist - harpist/singer-songwriter/jazz vocalist 

artist website 


Maeve Gilchrist was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. Daughter to an Irish mother and Scottish father she grew up immersed in traditional folk music. At an early age Maeve was accepted into the City of Edinburgh Music School where she spent seven years studying classical piano, clarsach (Celtic harp) and vocals. From her early teens, Maeve was an in-demand member on the traditional music scene in Scotland where she performed at events such as the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the Celtic Connections Festival and the International Edinburgh Harp Festival. At seventeen Maeve received a full scholarship from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA where she studied jazz and world music, alongside a colorful career as a professional musician and teacher. 


Recent performance highlights include the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the World Harp Congress, Celtic Connections Festival, the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and the ICONS Irish Festival. She has collaborated with some of the most celebrated contemporary musicians on the scene today such as Darol Anger, Vardan Ovsepian, Kathy Mattea, Tony Trischka and Esperanza Spalding. Maeve released her album ‘Song of Delight’ on the Adventure Music Label in 2010 and is currently working on two new recording projects to be released in early 2013 


Maeve is based in Boston MA. She tours regularly with her own trio, featuring Scottish bassist Aidan O’ Donnell and fiddler Duncan Wickel, fusing her Scottish roots with the colors and freedoms of jazz to produce a fresh and unique new sound. Maeve also plays with the legendary fiddler Darol Anger’s new All-Star Band, the furies and has a duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss. Her solo project is called ‘THE OSTINATO PROJECT’, an exploration of the harp with a focus on each hand working as an individual voice. 


She is the first lever harpist to be employed as an instructor by the Berklee College of Music’s string department and has written a folk harp method book, published by Hal Leonard Music. 


Rossitza Milevska - harpist/pianist/singer/composer 

artist website 


Rossitza Milevska was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgari, the gifted artist cultivated her admiration for music at the National School of Music ‘Lubomir Pipkov’ (piano and harp majors). She continued her education at the National Academy of Music, ‘Pantcho Vladigerov’, earning both Bachelor and Master degrees in the study of classical harp. In 1999 Rossitza moved to Nice, France, where she continued her work for a postgraduate degree with the French Harp virtuoso Elizabeth Fontan-Binoche. She diceded to expand her knowledge of jazz by studying with the great French jazz pianist Robert Persi at the CNR in Nice. 


In 2008 Rossitza won the 1st prize at the ‘Tremplin Nice Jazz Festival’ with her trio and became the first jazz harpist who had a concert on the stage of the Nice Jazz Festival. 

In addition to the frequent solo and chamber music recitals in Europe, Ms Milevska has performed with her Jazz Trio in prestigious Jazz and Harp festivals, such as The Nice Jazz Festival, The 7th European Harp Symposium in Cardiff, The World Harp Congress, Amsterdam and Vancouver. The International Harp Festival in Avesnois. In 2012 Rossitza won the prize of the soloist of the Competition ‘Jazz a Porquerolles’ and the Milevska trio won the prize of the audience at the same competition. Rossitza and her trio won the Auvernier Jazz Contest 2012 and the Tremplin Music Contest 2013 Jazz edition. 


Kurt Schwab - saxophonist 


Kurt Schwab is the International Jazz Harp Foundation’s ‘in house’ education professional.  

He earned his jazz saxophone degrees at the conservatories of Rotterdam and Maastricht (The Netherlands), after starting out with teachers like Paul van Kemenade and Adri van Velsen.  


Kurt plays in many bands of different sizes and stature, both as a leader or side-man. Currently, he is playing lots of 1930’s swing music, performs contemporary compositions, and shows involving authentic Carribean music. Kurt is also a big band conductor and an experienced and passionate educator, holding teaching positions at various music schools.  

He was a well reviewed teacher at the Jazz Harp Academy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2010, as well as at the 2011 edition in Louisiana, USA.  


Johan Clement - pianist 


Johan Clement is a Belgian/Dutch jazz pianist. He has been jazz piano teacher at Codarts / Rotterdam Conservatory since 1989. As a professional jazz musician, Johan has been working with many leading artists like Toots Thielemans, Dee Daniels, Deborah Brown, Art Farmer, Scott Hamilton, Cecil Payne, Ack van Rooyen, Bruno Castellucci, Madeline Bell, Rita Reys, Slide Hampton, and many others. 


Well known ensembles he worked and toured with include The Golden Gate Quartet, The Platters, and the BRT Orchestra. Johan has been part of the Belgian New Look Trio with Roger Vanhaverbeke (bas) and Freddie Rottier (later on Luc Vanden Bosch) from 1983 until Roger's death in 2011. Today, he is the leader of his Trio Johan Clement, which has gained national acclaim through the many broadcasts of the TROS Sesjun concert with Scott Hamilton. 


Johan has performed at many jazz festivals (North Sea Jazz, Bahrein Jazz Festival, Cannes Jazz Festival, and others) and toured Germany, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, the Middle East, Afrika and India. 


He recorded 2 albums as a leader, From This Moment On (2002) and On Request (2006). On Request is a tribute to Oscar Peterson, a daring project at which experts stated he succeeded with verve. In the liner notes of his first album, no one less than Toots Thielemans praised Johan's 'happy grooves and deeper harmonic conception'. 


Rosetty - harpist/pianist/composer/arranger 

artist website 


After graduating as a pianist with Hans Derksen at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Rosetty studied the harp with long time principal harpist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vera Badings. 

For years, Rosetty was principal harpist of the Metropole Orchestra, also referred to as the 'world leading jazz-orchestra'. This enabled her to work with many world-leading jazz, pop and rock artists, amongst whom Steve Vai, de Breckerbrothers, Bob Brookmeyer en Herbie Hancock. It also allowed her to witness the development of jazz harp over the last 35 years. 


Next to her classical music studies, Rosetty was active as a pop singer, resulting in several albums with record company CNR. However, since it was 'not done' in those years to play pop or jazz if you were enrolled at a conservatory for professional classical music studies, she was forced to quit this career and cancel her record deal. 


Later on, Rosetty has taken up the thread of writing songs, writing for other vocalists. By now, over 15 of her songs have been recorded by well known Dutch artists. 


Since 2009, she teaches arranging and improvisation lessons at Codarts School of Music, and master classes at various institutes like the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and the Utrecht School of the Arts. 


Habiba - harpist/singer-songwriter 

artist website 


Habiba writes delightful and gentle songs, which she accompanies with her harp in a playful and rhythmic way, incorporating pop, jazz, blues and folk influences to create intimate and original music. 


Habiba’s love for music started at a young age. Her mother played a harp that her father built himself, which impressed her a great deal. An obvious reason for her to pick up the harp as well. She was admitted to the preparatory class of the Amsterdam Conservatory, and studied at this institute for the first year of the Bachelor program. However, she felt a great need to make her own songs, instead of studying the classical repertoire. 


She has given into this urge, and quite succesfully so. It started out with loose phrases and melodies, emerging while biking through the city of Amsterdam. To accompany these melodies, she used her favorite instrument: the harp! This led to adventurous and timeless songs with beautiful harp parts to her clear and gentle voice. Her songs are like small tales, each with their own atmosphere. 


As a live performer, Habiba is being described as 'driven and intense'. 

In the Summer of 2007, she won the 'Amsterdamse Mooie Noten' competition. In 2008, she presented her EP 'Jewellery Box', and on April 18, 2013, her debut album named 'Take Flight'. 


Ghislaine Maclaine Pont - harpist 

artist website 


Ghislaine Maclaine-Pont studied classical music at the Rotterdam Conservatory, supplemented with arranging courses. Since 1980, she's been teaching harp lessons in various genres. 

In 1990, she started playing jazz on the harp, after meeting and listening to Harvi Griffin at the World Harp Congress in Paris. Many workshops and master classes followed, with Harvi (whom she invited to The Netherlands more than once), Deborah Henson-Conant, Park Stickney and Carroll McLaughlin. She took a popular music course at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and was initiator for courses in popular music for harp at various institution, including Sweelinck. To complement her theoretical knowledge, she enjoyed lessons with the well known jazz musician Paul Stark. 


Next to her extensive teaching practice, Ghislaine writes swinging arrangements and compositions, as well as musical theatre productions to perform with her students. She wrote a method for pop harp named 'Harpomania' and developed workshops under the same title together with Annemarie van Dijk.  

Ghislaine has her own jazz combo called Silly Strings. 


Annemarie van Dijk - harpist 

artist website 


Annemarie van Dijk studied classical harp at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with Mapje Sewing-Keereweer and Edward Witsenburg.  

Next to her performance activities, she is a dedicated teacher, focused on the fascinating quest to design an education program suiting the specific possibilities and talents of each individual student.. 

Annemarie has a particular interest in folk harp, an instrument offering many possibilities to younger, older, beginning and greatly advanced harp players.  


Folk harp playing in The Netherlands is in a stage of great development. 

In 1995, the Dutch Folk Harp Society was founded, with Annemarie as a chairwoman for the first 5 years of its existence. Together with her colleagues, she is still committing herself to give the folk harp a face, and stimulate the use of the many possibilities of this instrument. An important tool in this endeavour is the magazine “FOLK HARP, FOLKS!”, an important platform to share experiences and developments in the field of celtic harp playing in The Netherlands. 


Annemarie also got interested in popular music, and took master classes and workshops with harpists like Harvi Griffin, Park Stickney and Deborah Henson-Conant. At one of these occasions, she met her like-minded colleague Ghislaine Maclaine Pont, and together they developed the popular music courses 'Harpomania' and 'The world according to Harp'.  


Inge Frimout-Hei - harpist/composer/publisher 

artist website 


Although Inge Frimout-Hei initially learned to play the Piano, her heart was with the Harp. She studied Harp at the Royal Concervatory in The Hague with Edward Witsenburg. Also, she took singing courses with Gerda van Zelm and Jeanne Compagne. Inge studied South-American harp and song with Jopie Jonkers and celtic harp and song with Anne MacDearmid. She took masterclasses with Alice Giles, Francis Kelly, Harvi Griffin, Carrol McLaughlin, Park Stickney and Jakez François. She studied composition with Eric Swiggers and Stan Bakermans.  


Inge has given many recitals with Voice and Harp in The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and beyond. Her first solo CD "Travel with the Moon" was released in 1999. This was followed by "Kyra & Max" in 2002 with a combination of Celtic, Dutch (e.g. Herman van Veen and Jacques Brel) and South-American songs (e.g. Nuestros Sueños from Alfredo Rolando Ortiz). Besides these solo performances, Inge forms the duo "Stafford & Power" with guitar & concertina player Pieter Thijssen.  


In addition to her longtime experience in teaching students at several music schools, Inge has experience in leading various workshops based on one of her music publications. Inge developed the teaching method "Start & Harp" and published the celtic harpbooks "The Harp That Once" and "Bonny Portmore". She composed three works for Harp ensemble: "Blue Planet" and "Flidias and the Magic Harp" and "Whispering Caves". Together with Jopie Jonkers she developed "Arpa Latina"and "Arpa Latina 2", a method to learn playing the South-American Harp. 


Igor List - intellectual property & copyright law specialist 


Igor List studied Business Law at the University of Leiden, Holland. He specialised in intellectual property and copyright law.  

Igor worked for a music store, a movie production group and a record company before and is currently working as a legal advisor for musicians and composers affiliated with Buma/Stemra, the Dutch copyright organization. Igor also gives legal workshops to students. He did this for example for the Codarts University in Rotterdam and on the Dutch Jazzdag, a yearly jazz event for the Dutch music industry. 

What always drives him is his will to help people who are working in the world of arts & entertainment with their legal and business affairs. 


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