Jazzharp.org newsletter - October 2011 - JAZZ HARP ACADEMY REVIEW SPECIAL
'The most valuable and enjoyable harp read out there'
- Jade Barnaby, Melbourne, Australia

Missed the Jazz Harp Academy 2011? Here's an overview of what happened, a blues tune to start learning at home, an interesting and fun interview with faculty member Park Stickney, and more...

Contents of this newsletter
- 2nd edition Jazz Harp Academy & Concert, Louisiana, USA
- How-to-play-the-blues-and-impr... @ Runnels School
- Jazz Harp Academy 2010 video compilation
- 33 years of jazz harp involvement, 'Style 1978-2011'
- Spotlight on: Park Stickney
- Playing the Blues
- Gadgets: Amazing Slow Downer (repeat)
- YouTube tips: B.B. King's You done lost your good thing now

Read our previous newsletters here

the Jazz Harp Academy 2011
was sponsored by

Salvi Harps, Dusty Strings, Somerset Folk Harp Festival, Atlanta Harp Center
local sponsors: Marcello's Wine Bar and Café, Zeigler's Music, A Bryan's Jewellers, Yoga Bliss,
Paris Parker Salons and Day Spa, Michael Hidalgo, Mia Mira Salon, Raising Cane's, Cracker Barrel
2nd Jazz Harp Academy
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
September 22-25, 2011

Last month, close to 200 harpists and other musicians & music students were immersed or even initiated in jazz harp through the 2nd edition of the Jazz Harp Academy.
The staff was full of adrenaline upon arriving in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of the blues.

On Thursday, September 22, we made the last on-the-spot preparations at Louisiana State University and conducted pre-academy blues harp classes with 150 elementary and high school kids at Runnels School.
download program book here for more course info On Friday, September 23, the 3-day intensive course for intermediate and advanced jazz harp players took off, and on Saturday, the 2-day exploration course participants bustled in.
Jazz theory at the harp, harp group lessons, ensemble classes with bass & drums, 'listening to jazz' sessions, participants & faculty concert, private lessons and more pushed the students to get jazzed on their harps. They also got to try out the Lyon & Healy electroacoustic and electric harps and enjoy the hot 'n sticky Baton Rouge weather :-)
Those who did not have enough yet joined us on Sunday night to New Orleans, where we dropped a harp on the set (thank you, Patrice Fisher) and sat in with some great jazz musicians (thank you, Phil De Gruy) at Cafe Atchafalaya. A few die hards went on to Frenchman street. They were actually the last ones to leave the Spotted Cat that morning, and saw the sunrise at the Mississippi River...

We sincerely thank Louisiana State University and Kimberly Houser for inviting us and hosting this first US edition of the Jazz Harp Academy.
Participants about the Jazz Harp Academy
<== drawing by Ann Marie Gladney, 10 year old 2-day course participant

I appreciate so much the generous way you shared your love of jazz harp with us. Can you come back in a year?
- Cathy Anderson, harpist and teacher, New Orleans

I had such a great time! It was wonderful to meet everyone and I got both some great ideas and some much-needed inspiration.
- Jeff Walters, harpist, Dallas

I can't wait to try out the things I have learned, for myself and my students.
- Rebecca Todaro, harpist and teacher, Baton Rouge

The entire experience completely turned me into someone who would voluntarily listen to jazz or the blues, when before, I never considered it an option.
- Quinn Kendall, 13 year old 2-day course participant
How-to-play-the-blues-and-improvise-on-a-harp-within-one-hour @ Runnels School

This year's Jazz Harp Academy was a special one, because we could add a new project to our program. A project that contributed greatly to one of the main goals of the International Jazz Harp Foundation: reaching a bigger audience for jazz harp.

In order to reach this bigger audience, we needed to get out of our safe little harp world and step into another one. On the day preceding the Jazz Harp Academy course weekend, with great help from Baton Rouge harp teacher Rebecca Todaro, we stepped into the world of an extraordinarily musical group of teenagers in Baton Rouge: the students of Runnels School.
read on

What the students said:

By far one of my favorite piano classes yet. I hope to learn more about the harp in my future.
Jasmin Pizer, 11th grade, piano student @ Runnels School

I've been playing the harp about eight months. The Jazz Harp program was very beneficial for me. It taught me a new way to look at the harp, which allowed me to experiment more with the instrument. It was nice to play and learn about the harp outside of a structured, mostly classical environment. Also, I enjoyed learning how to solo over blues progressions on the harp.
- Hamp Landry, 11th grade, harp student @ Runnels School
Jazz Harp Academy 2010 video compilation
Days before the start of the Louisiana Jazz Harp Academy weekend, the compilation of last year's edition in The Netherlands was finished. Check it out on youtube:

On the
'jazzharporg' youtube channel, you will also find our future uploads, and our favorited movies (with, in no particular order, Carol Robbins/Billy Childs, Edmar Castaneda, Lori Andrews, Alice Coltrane, Deborah Henson-Conant, Dorothy Asby, and many more).
33 years of jazz harp involvement: 'Style 1978 - 2011'

Lyon & Healy Harps
has a great track record in jazz harp.
They have been organizing the Lyon & Healy International Jazz & Pop Harpfest in the USA and Europe since 1978. Many harpists currently performing jazz harp have taken their first steps in the field at the valuable workshops presented at these events. Among the Jazz & Pop Harpfest competition winners are outstanding jazz harpist Park Stickey and singer songwriter, and innovator of the chromatic use of the celtic harp Maeve Gilchrist

At the last Harpfest to date, held in July of 2007 in Salt Lake City, the International Jazz Harp Foundation has actually celebrated its launch!

Research and development for Lyon & Healy's Electroacoustic harp, the
Style 2000, began in the early 1980s. Fully amplified, it has the power to solo in a full band, without a substantial compromise in the acoustic quality of sound. Just right for a jazz harpist :-)i
Later on, Lyon & Healy also designed a solid body electric lever harp. With its sleek design they understandably called it the Silhouette. Even with a range of 33 strings the Silhouette is still comparatively lightweight, and it is available in cool metallic finishes!

We are very thankful for Lyon & Healy's generous sponsorship at the 2011 International Jazz Harp Academy. In addition to their Gold Benefactorship, Lyon & Healy provided a Style 2000 electroacoustic pedal harp, and two electric Silhouette lever harps, all enjoyed to a great extend by both faculty and participants.

Spotlight on: Park Stickney
'My main goal is to play what I want to hear.'

Since our first newsletter in 2008, we have presented 8 harpists in the
Spotlight on: Maeve Gilchrist, Edmar Castaneda, Christine Lutz, Evelyn Huber, Casper Reardon, Tom Monger, Christa Grix, and Carol Robbins.

Strange enough, Park Stickney has been all over our news letters, but we have never officially interviewed him. Last month, Park has taught at the 2nd Jazz Harp Academy, like he did at the 1st edition in 2010. Time to ask him some questions.

Read the interview

I don't think so much about harmonies and form, although they're both somewhere in my head (and sometimes more than others, like when I accidentally zen myself off a cliff..)'
Playing the Blues
Last month, we gave you a lead sheet and some practice tools for 'Song for my father'. We promised you a blues for this edition, so here it is.
A favorite song of many blues lovers, and easily playable on a lever harp: B.B. King's
You done lost your good thing now.

1. Print the lead sheet: download here
2. Get a CD with a nice version of the song (e.g. B.B. King's My kind of blues) or get it from iTunes
3. Download Amazing Slow Downer (see 'Gadgets' below)
4. Open the audio file with Amazing Slow Downer, select your tempo, and get to practice! The lead sheet will serve as a guidance for chords and the original melody.
5. Find recordings of the masters playing the song, and listen well, see our youtube tips below for a good start.
6. Find your own band and have fun! :-)
Amazing Slow Downer
Amazing Slow Downer is available for PC or Mac, as well as for iPhone and iPod touch.
The free lite version lets you play the first quarter (max 3 minutes) of an audio file. But if you get the PC/Mac lite version, it will also play track 1 and 2 of a cd (so just burn your audio file on a CD and you can work on the entire song).
Amazing Slow Downer can repeat any section of the music at full speed, slow it down or even speed it up, without changing the pitch! Or change the pitch with or without changing the speed if you want to play it in another key.
Download and read info here
Youtube tips
You done lost your good thing now - B.B. King
The King. Should we say more?
This is just one of many youtube versions by B.B. King, so click on and enjoy.
(also see above, where we give you the lead sheet, and other tools to practise this song)
Thank you for listening! Sabine Meijers & Brenda Dor-Groot | iJHF
International Jazzharp Foundation www.jazzharpacademy.org info@jazzharp.org