Jazzharp. org newsletter - New Jazz Harp Releases
Happy New Year, dear Jazz Harp readers!

Are you in for a great year of jazz harp listening, playing and learning? Why not start out with the latest : scroll down quickly and take your pick from our list of New Jazz Harp Releases.
2018 was quite a productive year for jazz harp, and we are greatly looking forward to further creative outbursts in 2019!

We are delighted to have Stina Hellberg Agback co-curating this newsletter. You may recognize her signature while discovering some artists you may not have seen with us before.

BEFORE you read on: we are urgently looking for motivated people to
help us keep the Jazz Harp Foundation up and running.
Web design geeks (site & shop transfer team needed this spring!), social media wonders, writers, bloggers, vloggers, organizers and administrators; temporary, project based or long term - all help is greatly appreciated.

As always: if you have info about events, resources, achievements, new releases, etc. that you would like us to publish, please shoot us a message at
info@jazzharp.org, we value all contributions! Feel free to post jazz harpiness on our Jazz Harp Academy Facebook group as well, and don’t hesitate to submit any scheduled jazz harp activities to the Jazzharp calendar year round.
by Marcella Carboni

Italian jazz harpist Marcella Carboni has just finalised her practical jazz harp method. The book is published by Vanderbilt Music in the USA, and available in Europe and further afield through the Jazzharp.org webshop.
The comprehensive method includes:
* An historical overview of the harp in jazz, with recommended listening,
* Jazz Forms and Rhythms,
* Improvisation,
* Basic Theory: Intervals, Scales, Chords, Pedal Slides, Voicings,
* Approaching a Jazz Tune: Melody, Comping, Arrangement,
* Progressive Exercises,
* Original Tunes with Audio and Video Tracks - harp, bass and drums - as well as Backing Tracks - bass and drums, minus the harp - for practice purposes (available through a link).
view here
by Christopher Norton / arr. Stevenson/Bennett/Evans/Mortimer

2018 saw the emergence of a very extensive new source of arranged contemporary music for both lever and pedal harp. 80 Days Publishing initiated, and is rapidly expanding, a range of books with arrangements of Christopher Norton’s world renowned contemporary piano music.
So far, the series includes Microjazz (easy to intermediate short pieces in a variety of styles including jazz, blues and latin) , Preludes (more extensive and challenging pieces for advanced players), and a Bossa Nova arrangement for 3 harps (with optional bass, and including chord symbols).

Titles currently available at Jazzharp.org:
*A selection from the microjazz collection 2 for lever harp - arranged by Elinor Bennett & Elinor Evans details
view here
*A selection from the microjazz collection 2 for pedal harp - arranged by Elinor Bennett
view here
*A selection from the Preludes collection for lever harp - arranged by Savourna Stevenson
view here
*A selection from the Preludes collection for pedal harp - arranged by Savourna Stevenson
view here
*Bossa Nova - arranged for 3 harps and optional bass by John Glenesk Mortimer
view here
by Amanda Whiting & Tony Robinson

In between her existing range of jazz harp books (including Easy and Intermediate Jazz & Blues for Harp, Contemporary Sounds, and Twelve Jazzy Christmas Songs) and 2 new upcoming titles (stay tuned!), Amanda released a single song publication this year. It is a pedal harp composition called Spring on the Taff, referring to the thermal spring on the banks of the River Taff in Wales.
view here
by competition prize winners and Wild Strings artists

In 2018, the Wild Strings festival team and
The Future Blend Project organised a jazz & pop harp composition competition alongside the Wild Strings UKHA Jazz & Pop Harp Festival. Four winning compositions have been published in this book, together with eleven pieces contributed by Wild Strings artists (those performing and teaching at the festival, competition adjudicators, etc.). The book was published by PoppyHarp and released at the Wild Strings festival in Manchester in October 2018. The festival was initiated by the UK Harp Association and organised by the Wild Strings festival team.

Prize winning compositions by Tamsin Dearnley, Steph West and Anna Tait Westwell. Further contributions by Alina Bzhezhinska, Brenda Dor-Groot, Shelley Fairplay, Tara Minton, Christopher Norton, David Snell, Monika Stadler, Savourna Stevenson, Park Stickney, Eleanor Turner, and Amanda Whiting.
view here
by Alina Bzhezhinska

Alina Bzhezhinska presents an album, as the title suggest, with inspiration from jazz legend Alice Coltrane. Coltrane, who was the second wife of John Coltrane, learned the harp when already a distinguished pianist and developed a unique style of harp playing. Bzhezhinska, together with Tony Kofi on saxophone, Larry Bart on bass and Joel Prime on drums, spins of that tradition on tracks such as “Blue Nile” and “Journey in Satchidananda”. The record also includes compositions such as “After the Rain” by John Coltrane as well as a number of originals by Bzhezhinska, including “Spero”, “Annoying Semitones” (a title all harpists can relate to!) and “Following a Lovely Sky Boat”.
view here
by Chube, with Ben Creighton Griffiths

The new jazz fusion band Chube released their eponymous debut EP this year. Ben Creighton Griffiths (harp & keys), Matthew Williams (drums & engineering), and Aeddan Williams (bass) aim to write electro acoustic music that pushes the boundaries of their instruments.
view here
by Hen Ogledd, with Rhodri Davies

Rhodri Davies is one of those harpists who expands the potential of instruments and incorporates it into different styles in the most unusual way. Hen Ogledd, with other band members Dawn Bothwell and Richard Dawson, performs psychedelic pop with large portions of explorations of sounds. Although “straight-ahead harp sound” is rarely found on this record, there is plenty of inspiration to alternative ways to use a harp. “Dyma Fy Robot” shows clearly some influence of grandfather-robot band Kraftwerk, “Problem Child” has a bass line that reminds you of early Joy Division, references that clearly are quite unusual for a band with harp.
view here
by Rachael and the Red Socks, with Rachael Gladwin

Rachael and the Red Socks are a folky-jazzy-worldy collective made up of harp, cello, trumpet, guitar, bass, and percussion. On 'Somewhere by the Moon', Rachael takes on the harp, kora and dulcimer, as well as the vocals. All songs are her originals, melodic stories performed in mostly upbeat arrangements. The jazz feel intensifies when the trumpet comes in on 'Nameless but familiar', while an Americana mood clearly appears in the intros of 'The Tale Of That Day' and the final track 'Travel Home To You'.
view here
by Stina Hellberg Agback & Jonas Isaksson Quartet

Since their 2017 duo record release, Stina Hellberg Agback (harp) and Jonas Isaksson (guitar) have expanded into a quartet, together with Pär-Ola Landin on bass and Daniel Olsson on drums. “Quiet Now” presents some modern jazz standards from the 60’s, including “Witch Hunt” and “Infant Eyes” by Wayne Shorter, “Naima” by John Coltrane, “Gospel Train” by Alice Coltrane and the title track, “Quiet Now” by Denny Zeitlin, a favorite composition of pianist Bill Evans.
The record includes traditional playing as well as parts that are rougher and less polished, broadcasting harp techniques spanning from melodic improvisation to Alice Coltrane-style playing, for example on the tribute song written by Hellberg Agback, “Alice i Jönköping”.

view here
by Anna Jalkéus

Singer, harpist and composer Anna Jalkéus presents an album of original composition, together with her seven piece band, with Aaron Dutton on saxes, flute and melodica, Garrett Wingfield on saxes and bass clarinet, Ethan Stalbaum on guitar, Gregory Santa Croce on piano, Aaron Holthus on bass and John Sturino on drums. The album bears strong influence from Scandinavian folk music as well as jazz fusion. Jalkéus broadcasts a great span of compositions using the harp in different ways, from “Skogsråets Dans” that resembles traditional Celtic playing, to “Estrogenia” that most of all brings the music of Frank Zappa to mind, and “The Other Way” with the harp accompanying Jalkéus voice alone.

view here
by Florence + The Machine, with Tom Moth

Tom Moth (aka Tom Monger) is almost continually touring with indie rock band Florence + The Machine, and appears on pretty much all tracks of their new album 'High as Hope'. Sometimes less easily traceable if you're looking for a traditional harp sound, and sometimes more so, like on the track '
Sky Full of Song'.
view here

Somehow, Tom still found time to collaborate with German electronic musician/composer Markus Guentner and with Americana singer/songwriter Rebecca Riedtman, appearing on their respective 2018 releases.
by Zeena Parkins

Zeena Parkins presents “Captiva”, a solo free improvisation record with titles such as “Acoustic” or “Electric”. Experimenting with alternative ways of playing the harp, using prepared harp as well as electric effects, Parkins continues her journey exploring the sounds of improvised harp. Free improvisation is a great part of modern jazz, and the exploration of alternative sounds of acoustic and electrical instruments have merged into modern music by groups such as EST, and exploring this subject is an interesting subject to any improvising musician. The title of Parkins album, “Captiva”, captives the essence of free improvisation: the ability to capture the moment and the audience into your stream of intuition.
view here
by Monika Stadler

Improvisation, jazz and world music intertwined is what Monika brings on this new album. Her duo partner for this project is Sigi Finkel on sax & ethnic flutes, and Djakali Kone guests on kora & vocals. 'Flower in the Desert' consists entirely of originals by the three performers, with a variety of titles to direct our listening (or not;) including 'Castor & Pollux', 'Djidja', 'My Dear Friend Good Bye', 'Lahore', and 'Fast Ride'.
view here
by Park Stickney and Guo Gan, with Jessica Yuen

Park has just released 2 new albums at once, which he recorded with virtuoso erhu player Guo Gan. Their first performance together was at the World Harp Congress in Hong Kong in 2017, and this has proven to be only the start of their musical journey together. For these recordings, they are joined by Canadese pianist Jessica Yuen.
Not surprisingly, Jazz Standard contains a selection of favorite jazz standards; 9 in total, including Summertime, Blue Bossa, Lullaby of Birdland, and In a Sentimental Mood.
view here
Jasmine Flower consists of extended versions of the tunes from Park's book of Chinese arrangements
The Travel Journal of a Western Harpist in the Chinese Garden, plus some originals by Guo Gan. view here
by Sidsel Walstad

Norwegian harpist Sidsel Walstad presents her debut album with her trio, which is electric harp together with two percussionists, Marcus Lewin and Arild Torvik. This is dance music with harp as the feature, performed on electric lever harp. “A New Start” and “Feels” are examples of tunes with a clear disco feeling. “Maoros” has a folk music touch, with chromatic lines, and “Honour” is a solo song for the harp, giving proper space to the sound of electric harp and reminds you of “Introduction and Allegro” by Ravel, showing off the chromatic possibilities using the lever harp. The music on the album is written by Hallvard Valand.
view here
Motoshi Kosako revisited his earlier album Pilgrim by recording improvised layers of harp, percussion, voice and recorder. Lucia Stavros, singer and harpist, is presenting her solo work under the title “Loosh”. Swiss harpist Julie Campiche is working on a 2019 release.
Pacific Harp Project with
Megan Bledsoe Ward pre-released their debut album in December, and will officially release in February 2019. Megan was the winner of the arrangement category of the Wild Strings Future Blend Jazz & Pop Harp Composition Competition 2018 with her arrangement of My Favorite Things.
Shhh… We didn’t get to do a New Releases listing last year, but we’d hate it if you missed these 2017 releases:
Charles Overton Quartet - Convergence view here
Deborah Henson-Conant - The Essential DHC Vocal Collection & The Essential DHC Instrumental Collection view here
View the full calendar including links here www.jazzharp.org/calendar
and remember to submit your own, online or to Maria at calendar@jazzharp.org

12 Jan
Brandee Younger @ Apollo Music Cafe, New York, NY, US
24 Jan
Park Stickney @ BREITE63, Saarbrücken, Germany
30 Jan
The Tara Minton Quartet @ 606 Jazz Club, London, UK
2 Feb
Edmar Castaneda + Gregoire Maret @ MCG Jazz Concert Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
10 Feb
Stina Hellberg Agback @ B-flat Jazz Club, Berlin, Germany
15 Feb Pacific Harp Project @ Hawaii, USA
19 Feb
Nuance, with Marcella Carboni @ Sheung Wan Civic Centre, Hong Kong
31 Mar
Chube, with Ben Creighton Griffiths @ Black Mountain Jazz Club, Melville Center, Abergavenny, Wales
18-21 Jul
- Somerset Folk Harp Festival @ Parsippany, NJ, USA
11-13 Oct - NB. the October '19 Jazz Harp Festival & Academy
may be rescheduled - keep an eye out for details!
Thank you for reading, and being part of the Global Jazz Harp Community!
Sabine, Brenda, Stina, Imre and Maria @ the Jazz Harp Foundation

We aim to be your jazz harp source today! Through our newsletter, our
website and facebook page, by email response, and live, we want to share resources and a range of education opportunities for all levels.
Do you have info to share that we may not know about yet? Check in with us and your peers in the
Jazz Harp Academy Facebook group, or email us at info@jazzharp.org.
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Jazz Harp Foundation website: www.jazzharp.org