Accordion and harp gypsy style

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Gypsy Harping on the train in Italy

On the plus side, traveling with a harp can be a great way to start a
conversation with complete strangers. But, not everyone always knows that it is a harp inside the case, so most people just wonder why we have so much baggage. We stuff all kinds of extra clothes and gear into the harp case. There is even room for Fred’s Cordova mini-guitar. We are biking most days, but do rent cars and take trains to leap ahead when needed.

The first time I was glad we had the harp was when we were on a train en route to Torino, Italy. A gypsy man strode into the train with his accordion, flashy clothes, golden tooth and small dog in tow. It was as if he just walked off a movie set. I took the harp out of its case and played him a tune. Minutes later we were jamming together on the train! What fun! A few tunes in and we were befriended by Pilano the gypsy. He offered us candy and beverages for the rest of the ride.

I followed the chords of the tunes and shared a few Ladino melodies. Playing in the Irish session on Fridays at Molly Blooms Pub in Tel Aviv has helped me dive right in and catch the harmony. Yes, there is an open Irish session in Tel Aviv on Fridays from around 5-7pm in Tel Aviv, Israel. Sessions and Irish music abound far away from the Emerald Isle. Some variation of Riverdance is on tour in Israel almost every year.

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About Author

Sunita Staneslow is a versatile harpist best known for her books of arrangements. Originally from Minnesota, she moved to Israel 15 years ago and is a frequent presenter at harp festivals around the world. You can read more about Staneslow in our interview with her in the July/August 2015 issue of Harp Column.

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