CONTACT:   Beatriz Harley / Deborah Henson-Conant (DHC) – who makes her home in the Boston area – and she’s been on a world tour since August, playing nearly 100 shows in 28 countries and creating musical history as the newest member of Steve Vai’s rock band.

You heard it right: Electric HARP in a ROCK BAND.    

And not just any rock band.  Vai is a legendary rock guitar ‘shredder’ and seven-time Grammy winner, whose new album “The Story of Light” has just been released (also featuring a cut with Henson-Conant).

Henson-Conant’s homecoming Solstice show is Fri. Dec. 21st 8:00 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, just five days after the Vai tour ends in Spain.  (Show details are at the end)

DHC’s been reinventing the harp since the ‘80s when she cut her teeth on the Boston jazz scene with her “Jazz Harp Trio,” then landed a major record contract and started touring internationally.

In the mid-90’s she exploded on the symphonic scene, debuted with the Boston Pops, soloed with orchestras nationwide, and received a Grammy Nomination for her 2006 symphonic Classical Crossover project “Invention & Alchemy” that appeared on PBS stations across the U.S.

Her reinvention into rock came last year after Vai saw her on YouTube, invited her to add play on his new album and re-envisioned his rock band with her as an integral member – where she reinvents guitar, organ and keyboard parts from his albums onto harp, adding whammy and wa-wa pedals, distortion – battling head-to-head in duets with Vai and guitarist Dave Weiner, and “adding a whole new dimension to the music” according to Vai.

“The amazing thing about this instrument,” says DHC, “is its huge dynamic and emotional range.  One minute it’s screaming distortion next to Vai’s guitar and the next, revealing a counterpoint so delicate I see the audience break into tears.”

Her signature instrument is a 32-string, 11-pound, carbon-fibre “hip-harp” she straps on her hip.  The instrument was custom-designed for her by the French harp company CAMAC, and is named after her – the “DHC Light.” To enhance that, Vai’s tech crew added LED lights to the instrument.

All of this is grist for DHC’s own solo performances, which combine music, voice, sound loops and spoken word — and her Solstice show, coming right on the heels of the 4-month world tour with Via “gives me the opportunity to capture a life-changing experience at the moment it explodes all its energy into my own work,” says Henson-Conant.

Henson-Conant makes her home in the Boston area with her stepson and husband, Jonathan Wyner, a producer, author, and chief mastering engineer at M-Works Mastering in Cambridge, MA.

WHAT: Homecoming Solstice Celebration – Deborah Henson-Conant
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 21 at 8pm
WHERE: The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. Arlington, MA 02474
TIX: General Admission: $22 advanced, $25 day of show, $16 Students & Seniors, $75 VIP (including pre-show artist reception)

Beatriz Harley / 781-483-3556

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