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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
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Deborah Henson-Conant (“DHC”) considers herself an ambassador to the world of music and imagination. She’s a GRAMMY®-Nominated recording artist and the world’s premier electric harpist. She’s known for her high energy shows, evocative singing and multi-layer looping, her fusion of music and theater – and for transforming the classical harp into a “Body Harp” by shrinking it down, strapping it on and plugging it in. Her music combines Blues, Latin, Folk, Classical and Musical Theater. She creates one-woman shows, solo concerts – and also arranges and performs her work with symphony orchestra.
She’s opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, toured as the Boston Pops’ featured soloist and jammed onstage with guitar legends from Steve Vai to Mason Williams. She’s been called the “Jimi Hendrix of the harp” (Steve Vai), “a cross between Leonard Bernstein and Xena, Warrior Princess” (Boston Globe).
The front rows of her shows are often filled with parents who bring their children to see what it means to passionately follow your own creative path.
Brief artist bio #2
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Deborah Henson-Conant is a GRAMMY®-Nominated singer and electric harpist. She’s known for her on-stage image, her humor, passion and innovation, wearing the electric body-harp she invented. She uses a looper pedal to layer melodies and guitar effects on her harp – and plays solo or in collaboration with symphonies and chamber ensembles – always mixing music, story & movement. This is a feel-good, outside-the-box, bring-the-folks-you-love kind of show for audiences who want to celebrate what it means to passionately follow your own creative path. See her TEDx talk at TEDxDHC.com.
Slightly less brief artist bio
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Deborah Henson-Conant (“DHC”) is an ambassador to the world of music and imagination — 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 Saint Peter hands out at the Pearly Gates: Blues. Jazz. Latin. Flamenco.
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.”
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.
2020 Artist Bio with Invention & Alchemy
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Deborah Henson-Conant (“DHC”) is an ambassador to the world of music and imagination. A kid who refused to take music lessons, she was writing musicals at 12, and became a prolific singer-songwriter in her teens. When her college band needed a harpist, she volunteered – and the harp has never been the same.
DHC is known as the woman who liberated the concert harp: shrunk it down, strapped it on and plugged it in. Her TEDx talk chronicles her decades of collaboration with the French harp company, CAMAC that resulted in the “DHC Harp,” now played by harpists worldwide.
Her music is inspired by Jazz, Blues, Latin, musical theater and spoken word – and she’s equally at home performing one-woman shows, leading a trio, or performing her original work with chamber ensemble or orchestra. It was after an orchestral performance that philanthropist Peter Wege approached her and said, “What I saw out there on that stage, I want the whole world to see.”
With Wege’s support, she created the work that won her a Grammy Nomination: a long-form symphonic concert video of her original music in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Symphony — which also received an International Songwriting Award, and appeared on PBS stations throughout the U.S.
But it wasn’t until 2020 that Wege’s dream of bringing this work to the whole world became possible when streaming restrictions were lifted on the project when DHC asked if it could be used as a fundraiser for the orchestra during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Titled “Invention & Alchemy” this concert-length video brings the audience onto the stage and into the stories, music, humor and theater that reveal the world of DHC’s imagination. The title celebrates the alchemy of transformation when an individual creative voice expands through collaboration — epitomized by the harp-wielding composer/performer as a solo voice with the magic of the massive symphony orchestra.
DHC has been called the “Jimi Hendrix of the harp” by legendary rock guitarist Steve Vai, and “a cross between Leonard Bernstein and Xena, Warrior Princess” by the Boston Globe.
She’s performed her one-woman shows at the Kennedy Center, premiered her works for orchestra and harp with symphonies in the U.S. and Europe – and has created an international online academy to coach harp players worldwide in the art of reinvention through improvisation.
For longer bios, including program bios, contact info@HipHarp.com