best pop harp player

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    Kathleen Clark

    This is a very timely thread for me personally. First, my favorite pop, classical, and healing harp player is Paul Baker. He does it all: classically trained by Lynne Palmer, numerous published pedal harp pop pieces, yet his recordings are healing harp improvisations on the lever harp, blending all styles into something magical. Now if we can just get him to record his pop pieces!!

    This thread is timely in that the week before Thanksgiving I attended a free, open to the public, Rhythm workshop put on by our local AHS chapter at Sylvia’s harp center. The workshop was presided over by Paul (our chapter president) and given by Ellie Choate. There were ten attendees. I was one of them. Two of the other attendees were Carol Robbins and Stella Castellucci.

    The workshop was wonderful and covered rhythm in all aspects of the harp from classical to folk to pop and jazz. It was all about finding the ‘beat’ with your body instead of having to always count and use a metronome. I had a personal breakthrough in that workshop as I realized that one thing that draws me to certain harpists (folk, classical, jazz, pop, or otherwise) is the inherent beauty in how they play live and it all has to do with the whole rhythm of their body, exactly what the workshop was about. All genres were covered with all kinds of examples. Very exciting and educational for a beginning-in-the-middler like me.

    What ties that workshop to this thread is the amazing harpists that were there, all wanting to learn something. Ancora Imparo (I am still learning) has sort of become my mantra and my hubby bought me a pendant that says that. Being in that workshop with those amazing harpists just underscored that a hundredfold. No matter how good we get we are always still learning. It was an exciting day for me as afterward Stella chatted with me for awhile and I was able to tell her how much I learned from her music and especially her sifting process. Paul Baker’s a master ‘sifter.’ I have so much to learn. I remember hearing him play his arrangement of “The Way You Look Tonight” in concert once and marveling at how lush and full it sounded, but then watching him, and having just memorized the music myself, I realized that he was playing the arrangement ‘as is’ not adding any notes. Wow. In pop you take out notes to make the harp sound more lush. Of course, the mastery is in knowing which notes to take out! There’s the rub!

    And having taken lessons from Paul, he is a real stickler for classical technique. Pop and folk have more sliding thumb movement in them, but we always start with Salzedo and Grandjany for fingering and then move on from there depending what the genre of the current project is.

    As for the difference between jazz and pop, I think they cross over a lot. Jazz harp seems to have a lot more ‘scatting’ notes to me so that has become a personal difference I use.

    Anyway, I’ve been wanting to jump into this thread, not knowing what to say or how to say it, so at least now I’ve tried.

    Stella’s “sifting” article is still on-line, so here it is…

    Stella Castellucci – “Lights and Shadows”

    Evangeline Williams

    Who else plays Scorpion?


    I do Zepplin and Black Sabbath. But I use an electric harp for them so it is almost cheating because I can do the whole electric guitar distortion thing.



    You might appreciate this one!



    My list of some of my favorites would include: John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Astor Piazzolla, Thelonius Monk, Patti LaBelle, Nora Jones, Ms. Blige, Melissa

    Evangeline Williams

    Pedal or lever electric harp?


    Lever. I have a Camac electroharp. This music actually requires a LOT of lever flipping, but I enjoy the challenge of playing such chromatic music on a lever harp.

    Even though I also play guitar (both acoustic and electric) I only have a few pedals. For distortion I use an Ibanez TS-9 and I also have a digitech multi effect pedal that has various effects, including several versions of wah-wah effects. It’s lots of fun.

    Evangeline Williams

    I have the Camac electro lever, too!


    30 string as well. I play a lot of relatively chromatic music so I can flip like a madman when I have to, particularly with Black Sabbath. I can’t copy Tony Iommi’s solos note for note, but I can come close on some and it takes an insane amount of lever flipping, but it is a fun challenge.

    john bruner

    Hello, I’m new to the site and know that this post is very old. But Charles T. Laughton (Gail Laughton and Charlotte Tinsley’s father) was my great grandfather and I am fascinated with the family history. I am particularly interested in any recordings or pictures. I have a few photos (the Laughton family Charlotte on harp, Gail on violin, Charles on Cello, Ma on piano playing for Henry Ford) etc. My mother still plays her Laughton harp but lost touch with the family many decades ago.

    David Ice

    Contact me at and I’ll send you a MP3 of Gail playing “Tea for Two.”

    Dave Ice


    I have to agree with that.

    laptop servisi

    simple COOL!!!

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