For Immediate Release – Run Through Nov. 15, 2013
Contact: info@HipHarp.com Purchase Tickets Now:
Harp & Soul: Electrified
The wild-woman of the harp brings her solo show to the beautiful Katharine Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook, CT
Grammy-Nominated electric harpist & vocalist Deborah Henson-Conant is bringing her solo show to “The Kate” in Old Saybrook on Fri. Nov. 15th. She combines music and story in a Blues-Flamenco-Folk mix- using her voice, a looper pedal, and her signature instrument: a strap-on electric harp – which was invented for her, named after her (the “DHC Light”) and is now the top-selling electric harp in the world.
She recently returned from a world tour with guitar legend Steve Vai, a concert with avant-guard string quartet “Red Limo” in the Netherlands, and a trip to South America representing the U.S. as a citizen cultural ambassador – performing and teaching alongside South American master-harpers.
Scroll below for a press release below including the following sections:
– Ok, So What Does DHC Actually Do?
– A Brief History of the Artist’s Career
– The Instrument that was Invented for Her
– What Are Her Shows Like?
– Quick Reference (Date – Time – Address – Ticket Link & Prices)
PRESS RELEASE (Run through 11/15/13 – Contact info@HipHarp.com)
Harp & Soul – Electrified
Electric Harpist Deborah Henson-Conant performs Midwest & New England
Imagine a harp shrunk to the size of a cross-bow — and played by a sleek, strong woman who strides onto stage with the swagger of a matador, straps on her instrument and plugs it in like a futuristic electric guitar. She sings and tells stories, while pulling sounds from the harp that you’d never expect to hear. She uses a looper to layer rhythms and soundscapes, and she plays in styles from Blues to Flamenco.
This woman is GRAMMY®-Nominated recording artist, composer and performer, Deborah Henson-Conant— also known as “DHC,” the hip-harpist
Henson-Conant has been redefining harp for the past 25 years. In addition to being a pioneer performer, she’s the inspiration behind and the namesake of the world’s top-selling electric harp, the “DHC Light.”
She’s heading to Indianapolis and Connecticut this month for two very different shows:
- Chamber Orchestra & Hip-Harp – in Indianapolis – Sat. Nov. 9: A Cabaret Concert with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and guest artist Deborah Henson-Conant at the Athenaeum Theatre on Sat. Nov. 9th at 8pm
- One-Woman Hip-Harp Show – in Old Saybrook, CT – Fri. Nov. 15: One Woman Show at the Katharine Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook, CT on Fri. Nov. 15th at 8pm (full “Who/What/When/Where details below)
Ok, So What Does DHC Actually Do?
She sings, tells stories, and plays the harp – but not like any harp you’ve seen or heard before. It’s a 32-string, 11 lb carbon-fibre harp that was built in France using top racing bike technology.
It’s fully electric, with a pickup on every string, so it can sound as angelic as a harp, or as driving as an electric guitar. Named after her, the “DHC Light” — is now the top-selling electric harp in the world with waiting lists of nearly half-a-year.
She straps it on with a harness, plays in styles from Blues to Flamenco, and uses a looper pedal to layer sounds that pad and prod her voice, in spoken word, belting Broadway-style or lilting like a Celtic lullaby.
She’s a solo performer – someone who loves to create an entire world just from what she can do with hands, feet, instrument and voice.
She also plays her compositions with orchestras, string quartets, acting troops and chamber ensembles – where she expands her shows to include other musicians, actors or dancers.
Her background is in Jazz and musical theater – so she brings both to the stage. Improvising alone or with other musicians and bringing stories alive with spoken word and music.
Her shows are a thinking-woman’s night of music and humor — a show she can feel comfortable bringing anyone to see: from her rock-playing nephew to her new flame to her creative mastermind group.
Read more in her recent blog “So, what do I actually DO?”
A Brief History of the Artist’s Career
Deborah Henson-Conant hit the jazz scene in the mid-80’s with her “Jazz Harp Trio.” She became a Boston-area jazz staple until her appearance with Charlie Rose led to a recording contract. She was the only woman instrumentalist on the Contemporary Jazz label GRP. She toured the US and Europe with her quartet in the 90’s, when she also began working with the French harp firm, CAMAC, to develop an electric harp that could be strapped on like an electric guitar. For a decade she wrote solo and symphonic music for this new instrument.
In 2006 Henson-Conant received a Grammy Nomination for “Best Classical Crossover” Album for her all-original show with symphony orchestra. In 2007 her public television special “Invention & Alchemy” appeared on PBS stations across the US. From 2008 – 2011 she wrote and performed one-woman shows — all with main characters who played harp – combining redoubtable history, fantasy and theatricality. In 2012, she joined the rock band of guitar legend Steve Vai, touring nearly 100 shows in 30 countries. In 2013, her concerto “Soñando en Español” played alongside works by Bernstein and Gershwin, she started an international online school and was invited to South America to represent the U.S. as a citizen cultural ambassador to Paraguay.
In her spare time, Henson-Conant is a runner and a music blogger- with a Facebook following in the multi-thousands. She created and manages an international online learning community specifically for harp players world-wide. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and two black cats.
The Instrument That Was Invented for Her
The “DHC Light” was invented specifically for the shows she creates: a 32-string electric harp-like lyre created for and named after her, by the CAMAC Company in France. The 11-pound, carbon-fibre instrument was designed especially to allow her to move, dance, tell stories, sing, and even layer sound upon sound with the looper pedal she uses – and to be completely physically integrated with the instrument. This model is now the top-selling electric harp model in the world.
What Are Her Shows Like?
Henson-Conant takes the stage like a rock star, then pulls sounds you wouldn’t expect out of her stripped-down, polished chrome triangle of strings: Flamenco, Blues, ballads, Celtic stomps and atmospheric soundscapes.
Instrument and player move as one, connected at the hip. And with this “Hip-Harp” she’s completely mobile, and capable of huge musical range, from delicate arpeggios to Hendrix-inspired sound-clusters, with a voice that “crisscrosses between the huskiness of Carly Simon and the refinement of Celine Dion.” (Webster Post), and a wicked sense of whimsy “she tells tall tales with the ease of a stand-up comic” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Date – Time – Address – Ticket Link & Prices
WHO: GRAMMY® Nominated Electric Harpist Deborah Henson-Conant
WHAT: One-Woman Solo Show
WHEN: Fri. Nov. 15 at 8pm
WHERE: The “KATE”: The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
TIX: Prices $38/$35/$12 Students
MORE INFO & TIX: http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/blog/events/event-details/?EventsID=926
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.HipHarp.com
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