Jazzharp.org newsletter - February 2014 / Events preview
'You brought a world together in jazz!'
- Deborah Henson-Conant

Contents of this newsletter
Event preview
- Seduced by Harps X (February 22, Belgium)
- Dutch Harp Festival (February 26 - March 2, The Netherlands)
- Edinburgh International Harp Festival (April 4-9, Scotland)
- VII RioHarpFestival (May 1 - 31, Brazil)
- Somerset Folk Harp Festival (July 31 - Aug 3, USA)
Spotlight on
- Habiba, Dutch singer songwriter
Youtube tip
- Habiba, I hymn for you
- Habiba, Lost Boy @ JHF Happy Birthday Jam
Concert in your living room
- Martha Gallagher
- Better ears
- advertisements -
Here are some festivals where you can enjoy jazz harp offerings in the coming months.
Whether you're based in Europe, the USA or South America, there is something in your 'neighbourhood' on the list.

Except for Asia, which is why we would like to further spur awareness of Jazz Harp there. If you have any connections or ideas that could facilitate the next Jazz Harp Academy in Asia, let us know at

More jazz harp performances are listed on our
Global Jazz Harp Calendar. You can also Add your own performance or one that you know of and isn't listed yet.
February 22, Belgium
Next week, on the 10th anniversary edition of Seduced by Harps, you can indulge in the full diversity of the harp.
The evening concerto starts out classical with young talent selected by Harpe Diem, followed by Dutch top harpist Remy van Kesteren, culminating in a doubtless electrifying performance by Edmar Castaneda, the New York jazz harpist with Columbian roots. The concert takes place on Saturday, February 22nd, in the theatre of Cultural Center De Adelberg in Lommel, near the Dutch border.
Make sure to head to Lommel somewhat earlier so you can enjoy the full scope of the festival. There are three afternoon concerts at intimate locations: Robin Huw Bowen is playing Welsh harps and repertoire, Elisabeth & Johanna Seitz bring Early Music from Ireland and Brittany while Lincoln Almada & Evangelina Mascardi present traditionals from the Andes and Paraguay.
Read more..
February 26 - March 2, The Netherlands
Singer-songwriting is nowadays most often done on guitar. However, in the past it were the harpists that captured peoples’ imagination with their music and song. The Dutch Harp Festival is hosting a special event to revive this primal role of the harp, blending the old with the new: familiar faces from 'The best Singer Songwriter from The Netherlands' competition will be joined by today’s best harpists and together they will inspire each other to new heights. The concert will be presented by Giel Beelen, one of The Netherlands most popular radio hosts. One great singer-songwriting harpist we will be hearing for sure: Emily Hoile from Scotland, currently enrolled at The Juilliard School in New York.
Check out
www.harpfestival.nl for the many other inspiring and unconventional concerts.
April 4-9, Scotland
One of our favorite festivals for sure. This is where you go to learn folk music and many other styles. No specific jazz workshops or courses scheduled this time around, but you could of course consider private lessons with Maeve Gilchrist, Corrina Hewatt, or Catriona McKay. Plus...
we will be there with a full range of methods, CDs, and sheet music. Stop by daily for a new iPad powered less-than-seven-minutes mini lesson from Kurt Schwab (who will be virtually there) or a no-more-than-two-tunes private concert at our 'silent studio electric harp setup'!
Stay on the premises of the beautiful Merchiston Castle School, and make sure not to miss the late night sessions, programmed
every night!
May 1-31, Brazil
Every year, there is a full month of harp programming in Rio de Janeiro, litterally from the 1st until the 31st day of May. Harpists from all over the world are brought to Brazil to perform here. The concerts are daily and free, and held on the most diverse and important sites of Rio de Janeiro. The idea is to highlight good quality music, regardless of its background, school or era, from medieval music to
European classics, from romantic to impressionist, from modern to contemporary Brazilians. Habiba (see
Spotlight on below) will be one of this year's performers, returning after a succesfull appearance last year.
July 31 - Aug 3, USA
Of all harp festivals we know, Somerset has the broadest and most consistent Jazz Harp programming, and we are proud to be part of it for the 3rd year in a row!
Their motto is 'Narrow Your Focus, Expand Your Horizon', and you can indeed go either way with the enormous amount and variety of workshops offered. As for jazz, blues and improvisation, you can learn from Martha Gallagher in 'Beginning the Blues', 'Lady Sings the Blues', and 'Joy of Songwriting', from Maeve Gilchrist in 'Blazing Levers' and from the undersigned in 'Jazz & Blues Demystified', 'Harping from Lead Sheets', 'Gear up your Harp' and a true Jazz Harp Ensemble.
Habiba makes the most original songs. She is a regular in the Amsterdam singer songwriter scene, and now breaking through internationally.
Here's an
interview with her, for your inspiration.

'I started out having ideas for melodies and text while biking through Amsterdam.'

'Not only did my idea of what was possible on the harp shift completely after hearing Park Stickney play,...'

'Open your ears and try to hear what it is in the music you hear that makes you happy and excited...'

Habiba's new album 'Take Flight' is available @ the Jazz Harp Shop. Listen to the
samples and buy the MP3 download or the CD.

Full interview: www.jazzharp.org/art-int-habiba
Habiba's website: www.habiba.nl
Youtube tip: Habiba
I hymn for her
Can't wait until the next event where Habiba is playing? Listen to her on youtube. Here's a song that we love: I hymn for her from the musical show 'JASON SINGS: MEDEA MEDEA MAKE MY DAYA. Lyrics & music by Habiba Doorenbos, end mix & video by Anil Jagdewsing.
Habiba also played at the Jazz Harp Foundation's Happy Birthday Jam last year. Listen to her beautiful song 'Lost Boy', accompanied by the Jazz Harp Home Band. And don't forget to stay around to hear Park Stickney play with them as well!
Martha Gallagher - Sunday February 16
Watch from the couch in the afternoon in the USA, or in the evening in Europe.
Watch from your bed if you're a night owl in Asia.
Martha Gallagher is one of those spontaneous personalities you'd want to see live. Nowadays a singer songwriter and blues harpist, she has a diverse musical background; from classical flutist in a symphony orchestra to lead singer in rock and jazz/blues bands. As a harpist she even toured with the Chieftains!
'Her voice is chameleon-like, ranging from smokin' hot to achingly tender, and all that's in between. Add to that the unusual twist that her instrument of choice is not the expected guitar, but the HARP, bold and beautiful!'

Here's your chance to see Martha in a half hour show this weekend, from her living room to yours!
Never a dull moment in the life of a musician. However, should you approach one, kill it in a fun and valuable way.
This is way more than a gadget. Way more than just practising better ears as well. It's a full learning center for music theory and ear training, all on your smartphone or tablet for practising on the go.
Exercises include Interval recognition, scale recognition, chord recognition, chord progressions, pitch recognition, tempo recognition, key signature recognition, interval music reading, scale music reading and chord music reading.
Unlimited custom levels, Wikipedia integration for background info, Midi support, Better Ears has it all, and is made with German 'Gründlichkeit'.
For all those reasons, we decided that, after working through the free 'beginner level' version, it's definitely worth spending $14,99 on the full version. After all, a good music theory book will cost you more, and is way more boring...
Available for the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (Android coming soon)
Thank you for listening! Sabine Meijers & Brenda Dor-Groot | iJHF
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International Jazzharp Foundation website: www.jazzharp.org