Jazzharp.org newsletter - January 2014 / Jazz Harp Festival & Academy review
'Thanks for putting together a truly wonderful event. ... You guys have a vision and we're all lucky to be included on the ride.'
- Maeve Gilchrist

Contents of this newsletter
Jazz Harp Festival & Academy 2013 review
- Intensive Course review by Annelies Kole
- Video report
- Jazz Harp isn't just for Grown Ups
- HarpColumn Blog by Katherine Harrison and Susannah Evans
- Photo gallery
Jazz Harp Academy 2015
- In your backyard? Or in Asia?
Jazz Harp Festival & Academy 2016
- Back to Leiden!
New Releases
- The Ostinato Project by Maeve Gilchrist
- Take flight by Habiba
- Harpie Harrie by Ghislaine Voorrecht (Dutch only)
- Comify
- advertisements -
The Jazz Harp Festival was a three-day gathering of all things jazz harp and improvisation.
Packed into the festival were hundreds of harpists and listeners finding their way through workshops, courses, expo, open mics, concerts and jam sessions. Popular musicians/teachers from the Netherlands, France, Italy and the USA were leading workshops and intensive courses.

The main venue, Het Leidse Volkshuis, runned at full tilt. Concert venues the Aalmarktzaal, Scheltema, and jam session joint De Branderij for sure didn’t see a devoted audience like this before. Jazz Harp Land at its best, conquering the city of Leiden, leading its residents to close harpists and harp addicts into their hearts.

It was a blast. We, as organisers, had a mighty good time witnessing the blossoming of a true jazz harp community. Not only on site, but also worldwide online: we reached out to those who couldn’t make the travel to the Netherlands this time by livestreaming the concerts and other festival activities.

Re-live the festival through this newsletter with reviews, photo-galleries and a video-report. Enjoy!
Intensive Course review by Annelies Kole
Friday morning, 9.30am, location Het Leidse Volkshuis.
All 3-day Intensive Course participants are standing in a circle, in anticipation and maybe even somewhat agitated. Pedal harps, lever harps, electric harps all mixed up.
The first lesson is taught by Deborah Henson-Conant. After everyone has introduced him/herself, here's my first thought: "And now we have to play all kinds of difficult things...". The contrary appears to be true.
Read on...
Re-live the Jazz Harp Festival & Academy of October 2013 in Leiden, The Netherlands, or see what you've missed and mark your calendar to attend the next one on October 6-9, 2016!
The birth of a jazz harp kids programme
This festivals edition, we stood at the cradle of a Jazz Harping for Kids programme.
And now, looking back on it, we’re safe to say: Jazz isn’t just for grown ups.

In the workshop ‘How to write a pop song’, Habiba took the children on a magical journey of discovering stories to tell and play. A tree popped out of their imagination, they turned the tree into music and the music told a story of green leaves turning brown, gold and yellow, branches leading an adventurous life as autumn fell over the country-side.
Read on...
News from the Netherlands...the 2013 Jazz Harp Academy

We are still alive but very tired already. Our brains are fried, our feet have had one hell of a workout but best of all we have met lots of brilliant people who all love the harp, and specifically jazz harp, as much as us.
Our day started with a wonderful Dutch welcome from all the volunteers and then we were straight into a class with Deborah Henson-Conant. This was titled Get Physical with Your Harp, and as we say in the UK, it did what it said on the tin.

We discussed various aspects of performing with harp, mostly centred around the physical boundary that a pedal harp often forces upon us. We feel hidden (although sometimes this is comforting!) and often we are frustrated by the barrier between us and our audience, who often can't even see our faces.
Read on...
The festival overview in pictures
Experience the festival through a full chronological image report, published on our
Flickr page. It's a nice mix of concert photography, workshop images, festival snapshots and Comify comics*. The gallery even includes some video footage.
Comify comics are generated by the Comify app, which was pre-launched at the festival and is now available in the Appstore.
Published online
Leaf through
the book on Issuu.com and get the full picture:
- Jazz Harp Festival & Academy: the reason why
- Info on concerts, workshops, courses and other activities
- Full description and contact info of exhibitors
- Artists & faculty biographies
- and more...
All participants, artists & faculty!
Our great production crew and volunteers.

Our subsidiairies & benefactors:
Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds/Johan J. Smit's Fonds, VSB Fonds, Cultuurfonds Leiden, Fonds 1818, City of Leiden, and many donators through Voordekunst.

Our partners:
BplusC Bibliotheek & Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur, Camac Harps, Koistinen Kantele, Comify, Passion Food, SKVR, Scheltema Leiden, Stadsgehoorzaal/Aalmarktzaal, and De Branderij.

Our exhibitors:
De Zingende Snaar Harpen, Otja Harpcenter, Pro Arte Stringed Instruments, De Veer van Hattem Harpen, Accusound Microphone Systems, Salopian Strings & Cases, Creighton's Collection, and Velvet Music.
In your backyard? Or in Asia?
Or does Asia happen to be your backyard?
In that case: contact us at
info@jazzharp.org. We're looking for collaboration with harpists, educational institutes and entrepreneurs to brainstorm and develop distinctive opportunities for a multiple day Jazz Harp Academy in Asia. Organisational centipedes, spin doctors, fundraising pro's, patrons of the arts, please join in this international jazz harp collaboration and make the Jazz Harp Academy happen in Asia.
Back to Leiden!
In 2016, we will return with a full festival edition!
Leiden, The Netherlands, will for one week be the hub of the jazz harp world.
We expect to present a broad and eclectic range of artists. There will be lots to learn for all levels, activities for participants of all ages, extraordinary concerts, and hopefully as good an atmosphere as we experienced at the 2013 edition.

Mark your calendar for the 1st week of October.
Plan your trip to Europe right then.
Practice till you drop or prepare to plunge in.
Make sure to be part of it!
by Jazz Harp Festival faculty
by Maeve Gilchrist
Maeve was on the JIntensive Course faculty, where participants were able to profit from her extensive improvisation and band experience, and we all hugely enjoyed her concert performance.
The Ostinato Project originated as a concept for Maeve's first solo harp album, a recording intended to explore and celebrate the harp. The suite is made up of several compositions and the occasional cover focusing on fully utilizing both hands as separate voices.
Listen to the samples and buy the MP3 download or the CD @ the Jazz Harp Shop
by Habiba
Habiba taught two workshops on singer songwriting, one for kids and one for grown-ups. Both groups learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the lessons.
Here's Habiba's debut album, a collection of light-footed and dreamy songs using the harp in a playful and rhythmical way, blending pop, jazz, blues and folk into intimate and original music.

Listen to the samples and buy the MP3 download or the CD @ the Jazz Harp Shop
The awesome adventures of HARPIE HARRIE & OCTAVIA HARPOPUS
Improvisation for harp players and other instrumentalists
by Ghislaine Voorrecht
Together with Annemarie van Dijk, Ghislaine taught the popular Harpomania pop harp workshop.
She recently released this wonderful musical story, published as a book plus DVD. The adventures of Harpie Harrie in an underwater world incite improvisations of players of all levels, while the track with Ghislaine's own improvisations provides guidance and ideas. Reading music not necessary.
So far, this publication is only available in Dutch.
Buy now @ the Jazz Harp Shop
by a Jazz Harp Festival collaborator
by Anyvation
As you can see in the
Jazz Harp Festival photo gallery, the whole event has been 'Comified' by our great new friends from Anyvation, and by some of us who got to pre-use the app.
Briefly after the festival, the app officially launched in the Appstore. It lets you make snapshots, add text balloons and comments, and share them with your friends.
We had loads of fun doing it, plus: it's free!
Join in and download now @ the Appstore
Photo credits 2013 Festival review from top to bottom: Comify.net / Video by PePe Vooijs, Rob Kwak & Hans van Dam / Iskandar Pane / Bert van de Ven / Iskandar Pane / Flickr & LAFV.nl / Issuu.com & Cakelab & PePe Vooijs / Iskandar Pane
Thank you for listening! Sabine Meijers & Brenda Dor-Groot | iJHF
Read our previous newsletters and newsflashes here
International Jazzharp Foundation website: www.jazzharp.org