Sizzle Reel

 

This 2-minute video gives an overview of my performances fusing music and story, symphonic shows, one-woman shows as well as educational outreach.

 

 


 

Jamming with Steve Vai

 

I finally got the chance to fulfill a life dream of joining a rock band when guitar legend Steve Vai invited me to join his 4-piece band for a world tour of nearly 100 shows to 28 countries, to promote his album “The Story of Light.”  This is a clip of me jamming with Vai onstage.

 

 


 

“Classical Gas” with Mason Williams

 

At a show in Eugene, Oregon I got to share the stage with legendary composer, comedian, writer and guitarist, Mason Williams including this version of Williams’ classic hit “Classical Gas.”

 


Brubecker

I recorded this original homage to Brubeck for an NPR “Tiny Desk” contest.

“My Vai Homework”

 

Before I went on tour with Steve Vai, I took an online course in his guitar techniques at Berklee School of Music’s Online School (yup, I took an electric guitar course on my harp). My goal wasn’t to learn how to play like Vai on the harp, but just to get inspiration from his work. This is one of my homework assignments.

 

 


“I’ll Be Your Sous Chef, Baby”

We filmed this during the recording of the “Essential DHC” compilation album – the ultimate song for foodies … and the people who love them.

 

 


Behind the Scenes Movie for the “Invention & Alchemy” project

We won a Grammy Nomination for “Best Classical Crossover Album” for my 2007 original symphonic project “Invention & Alchemy,” which was truly a pinnacle project of my life. The DVD includes this wonderful 20-minute “Behind the Scenes” documentary by filmmaker Rick DiGregorio.

 

 


My Solo in Seattle (on tour with Steve Vai)

This is a fan video of my solo during the Steve Vai “Story of Light” tour, taped in Seattle, during my solo in one of the nearly 100 shows I played with the incomparable Vai on his “Story of Light” world tour.

 


 

Muchas Manos (with percussionist Robert Schulz)

 

This is one of my favorite kinds of collaborative improv: a version of my piece “Muchas Manos” — for harp-four-hands … and mallets. This performance was part of the chamber ensemble performances to prepare for my Grammy-Nominated symphony project, “Invention & Alchemy” – it was performed at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA with the incomparable Robert Schulz (Don’t expect hi-fidelity video from this video – but I really love the interplay).

 

 


 

Belinda (What a Lovely Tree)

 

This is another collaborative project of mine that I did with the Arlington High School chorus. “Belinda” is a song about my favorite tree in the Boston area, I’d written an arrangement for chorus and we were scheduled to perform it in concert when we learned that the tree was about to be cut down. We met at the tree and sang the song — this is a video of that performance.

 

Deepfelt thanks for this video to Arlington High School chorus teacher Cheryl Christo and videographer Mike Chvany.

 

The tree was destroyed early on Thanksgiving morning, soon after we recorded this.

 


Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde ROCK (with Tim Archibald)

If you got this far, you deserve to see my silent movie: A crusty harpist and her uptight butler turn into their own alter-egos with a little help from a magic potion in this short experimental Tim Archibald and I made in my old basement studio in Davis Square, Somervile (MA).

It really was silent at first so Tim, harpist Kyle Oppenheimer and I improvised to it during a show  did at the Somerville Theater (MA) – so you’ll hear the audience laughing and clapping.  We taped that performance and added it as the sound-track. (Don’t expect hi-fideltiy from this video – it was the first video I ever edited in an early version of Premiere and all we had was a low-res output – but you’ll get the idea).

Press Photos

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Audio

These are Audio Clips of DHC as a performer (versus works of hers as a composer)

“Way You Are Blues”

This is a little upbeat Blues I wrote for my sweetheart … to sing to me.


“The Nightingale” (Orchestral Version)

This is a song for harp, voice and symphony – a memory of my mother’s voice – from my album “Invention & Alchemy”


“Caught in the Act”

This is a track of upbeat, contemporary Jazz from my days on GRP jazz label.


“Congratulations, You Made it this Far”

A song for all those birthdays you wish you never had


“Love Gone Bad”

This is an unreleased rough cut from my next album – about love that’s ready for the garbage heap


“Merceditas”

This is the 2nd movement of my harp concerto “Soñando en Español” – with symphony orchestra (from the album “Invention & Alchemy”)


From “The Frog Princess – and Amphibious Allegory”

An original story for actress and symphony premiered by the Buffalo Philharmonic (this version is from my CD “The Frog Princess”)


Bios

Deborah Henson-Conant is a GRAMMY®-Nominated recording artist and the world’s premier electric harpist. She’s known for her high energy shows with orchestra and on solo stages, her evocative singing voice, her fusion of music and theater – and.for transforming the classical concert harp into a “Street Harp” – a powerful, fully electric instrument a seventh of the size of a concert harp and fully electric. Her playing ranges from full-out bluesy to heart wrenching ballad. This is a feel-good, outside-the-box, bring-the-folks-you-love kind of show for audiences of all genders and ages- folks who want to celebrate what it means to passionately follow your own creative path.

Short Blurb

(23 words / 146 characters including spaces)

Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-Nominated electric harp virtuoso with a wicked sense of humor, a gutsy set of vocal chords and theatrical flair.

Brief artist bio

(106 words / 680 characters including spaces)

Deborah Henson-Conant is a GRAMMY®-Nominated recording artist and the world’s premier electric harpist. She’s known for her high energy shows with orchestra and on solo stages, her evocative singing voice, her fusion of music and theater – and.for transforming the classical concert harp into a “Street Harp” – a powerful, fully electric instrument a seventh of the size of a concert harp and fully electric. Her playing ranges from full-out bluesy to heart wrenching ballad. This is a feel-good, outside-the-box, bring-the-folks-you-love kind of show for audiences of all genders and ages- folks who want to celebrate what it means to passionately follow your own creative path.

Slightly less brief artist bio

(195 words / 967 characters including spaces)

Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-nominated electric harp virtuoso with a wicked sense of humor, a gutsy set of vocal chords and a theatrical flair.

She’s intimate, inventive, spontaneous and bigger-than-life – and she pulls sounds from the 32 strings of her custom-built electric harp that you’d never expect to hear from the instrument St. Peter hands out at the Pearly Gates: Blues. Jazz. Flamenco. Distortion.

She uses a foot-pedal to capture musical phrases on the fly and loop them together, building a pulse of sound an rhythms she improvises over, and tells stories of her own improbable life as she strides the stage strapped onto her harp like a musical centaur.

Poetic dissonance, movement, story and song – she pulls it all from the world’s most cutting edge harp, built for her by the CAMAC company and named after her, the “DHC-Light.”

She’s opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, toured with the Boston Pops as a featured soloist and with guitar legend Steve Vai as a rock harpist. Her music special “Invention & Alchemy” appeared on PBS Stations throughout the US and she performs her own solo shows in theaters and concert halls around the world.

Quotes

“Imagine the talented love-child of André Previn and Lucille Ball.” Scott Simon, NPR

“She may look like an angel, but she plays devilishly well.” Joan Rivers

“Virtuoso out-of-the box harpist Deborah Henson-Conant is known as the rockin’ bad girl of the harp world. She took the ancient instrument off its pedestal, cocked it on her hip, and made it play everything from Mexican cantina music to Brubeck to gut-bucket blues and sounds like Van Halen.” NPR: On Point Radio

“Born to entertain … dazzling harp playing, gorgeous jazz/pop singing, comic timing and impressive songwriting. Her program shows that the harp is at home with flamenco and Latin American music as it is with Arabic and Celtic music. Henson-Conant is astonishly deft at imitating those styles with orchestrations that are as fresh and exuberant as her stage personality.” Jerry Young, Austin American-Statesman

“A combination of Leonard Bernstein, Steven Tyler and Xena, the Warrior Princess.” Ed Siegel, Boston Globe

“Whatever it is that transfixes an audience, she has it.” Catherine Peterson, Boston Globe

“Reshaping the serenely Olympian harp into a jazz instrument by warping it closer to the Blues.” Gene Santoro, New York Times