Program Bios & Blurbs
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A Note to Presenters: Following is program text and biography for Deborah Henson-Conant. Even if you take text verbatim from this site, please fax us a copy of the program before printing, and in enough time to make changes if needed. Thanks!

PHOTOS: Downloadable hi-res photos available here. Please always credit photographers .
PRESS QUOTES: See Quotes Page for a list of press quotes.
VIDEO: If people want to see what Deborah does, here's her video page:
NEED MORE? Contact: Golden Cage Music, Inc. - Tel: (781) 483-3556 - Fax: (781) 483-3987 - Email:


When Deborah plays with a symphony, the program is collaboratively decided in advance by Deborah and the Music Director. We can then provide you with a repertoire list including composers & arrangers.You can list composers/arrangers in your program, or you can use the text below.

When Deborah performs solo shows, the programming is generally flexible and is rarely printed in advance. Here are two alternatives that are printed in the program in lieu of a written list of selections:

Option 1: Tonight's program will be announced from the stage.

Option 2: You are about to take a journey through the imagination of Deborah Henson-Conant. The scenery changes every night. The program is announced from the stage.


If you're looking for titles for the show, are some of the titles presenters have used in the past:

  • Deborah Henson-Conant in Concert
  • Deborah Henson-Conant - Hip Harp!
  • Electric Harp
  • HipHarp in Concert
  • Strings of Passion
  • Strings on Fire

2- Paragraph Blurb (use all or part of either or both paragraphs):
Deborah Henson-Conant tells stories with music, sings and plays the solid-body electric harp. She’s a cross-genre, Blues-Flamenco-Celtic-Funk-Folk-Jazz dynamo. She tells tall tales with the ease of a stand-up comic. She solos and wails like a rock guitarist. See her once, and you’ll never look at a harp the same way again.

Deborah has opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, toured with the Boston Pops, jammed onstage with Bobby McFerrin and offstage with Steven Tyler, premiered her works with ensembles from the National Symphony Orchestra to the Prague Radio Orchestra. She’s been interviewed by Scott Simon, Charlie Rose, Studs Terkel, starred in the PBS Special “Celtic Harpestry” and been featured in stories on NBC, CBS, CNN and NPR.

Standard Blurb:
Music … Theatre … Comedy … Passion . Deborah Henson-Conant tells stories with music and plays the harp … the electric harp … the strap-on, solid-body electric harp. Vibrant stories where watermelons can swing their hips like Elvis, dogs go back to school to get their pedigrees and Jimi Hendrix turns up the distortion on his solid-body electric harp in Heaven. Funny, moving, and thoroughly unexpected musical theatre.

Other options:
Step into the mind of Deborah Henson-Conant. A mind where watermelons can swing their hips like Elvis, dogs go back to school to get their pedigrees and Jimi Hendrix turns up the distortion on his solid-body electric harp in Heaven.

Fusing music, theater, humor, virtuosity and entertainment.

Following are two bios from Deborah's Press Booklet, one short, one longer.  You should be able to select the text below, but if you want to download a text-only document of the following, link to it here.

If you want to add quotes, like to them at "quotes." - and we also put a few at the bottom of this document


Deborah Henson-Conant is a one-woman orchestra, with electric harp, voice and a looper pedal she uses to layer sounds in real time, then weaves solo lines and vocals above it. Her signature instrument is an 11lb carbon-fiber electric harp, designed specifically for her by the CAMAC Harp Company in France, it’s now one of the fastest-selling new harp models in the world and carries her name, the “DHC Blue-Light.” <>
Forget the demure harpist – Henson-Conant is a showman, entertainer and solid musician who’s been compared to musical greats from Leonard Bernstein to Elvis Presley.  She’s been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, The Today Show and NPR’s Weekend Edition, and in two full-length PBS music specials. Henson-Conant’s voice is compared to Carly Simon and Joan Baez; her playing to Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix; and her humor to musical comedian Victor Borge.  The shows are tied together by powerful, funny, affirming stories and universal humor. Her website, <> and YouTube channel <> give a good overview of what you can expect at the show.

Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-Nominated recording artist and the world’s premier electric harpist. She’s known for her renegade image, evocative singing voice, and shows that fuse music, theater, stories and humor. Her playing ranges from full-out bluesy to heart wrenching ballad. This is a feel-good, outside-the-box, bring-the-folks-you-love kind of show for audiences of all genders and ages- folks who want to celebrate what it means to passionately follow your own creative path.  
She debuted with the Boston Pops, opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, jammed onstage with Bobby McFerrin, Doc Severinsen and Marvin Hamlish -- and offstage with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.  She's been featured on CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” NBC’s “Today Show” and NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” and interviewed by Scott Simon, Studs Terkel, Charlie Rose & even Joan Rivers.   

[Below is the short 'Blurb-type' bio from the front page of the Press Booklet]


To describe Deborah Henson-Conant is nearly impossible. She’s a Grammy-Nominated, genre-bending, Blues-Flamenco-Celtic-Funk-Folk-Jazz dynamo. She’s written and produced her own One-Woman Shows, and orchestrated her many symphony shows. She’s performed in theaters, clubs and concert halls throughout the U.S. and Europe -- and on PBS stations across the U.S. in her Public Television special “Invention & Alchemy.” She’s collaborated onstage with scientists, journalists and actors in her cross-discipline exploration series “Inviting Invention” - and with orchestras, directors, theaters and other artists in countless performances.

She’s committed to bringing humor, beauty and audience-involvement to the stage in new works of music theater, and to reinventing the electric harp as the foremost crossover instrument of the 21st century.

She’s a storyteller and a composer. She solos and wails like a rock guitarist. She turns music into theater and theater into something lyrical. See her once and you’ll never look at the harp the same way again.

“The transformation of my harp is a metaphor for what happens when we break personal stereotypes and authentically express who we are ... and that's what I try to do in every show.” Deborah Henson-Conant

[Below is the longer bio on page 2 of the Press Booklet, and press quotes below]

She strides on stage with the energy of a rock star and pulls a soulful, electrifying power-chord from ... her harp.

If you think the harp isn’t “that” kind of instrument, it wasn’t. Not until Deborah Henson-Conant got her hands on it - literally - and convinced European builders to invent a harp she could strap on and play like an electric guitar.

Now this Grammy-Nominated artist takes center stage, her multi-colored braids flying, and plays in styles from Flamenco to Blues, with a theatrical singing voice and a narrative of storytelling and humor. But it wasn’t always like that...

Deborah Henson-Conant started improvising stories with music on her grandmother’s piano when she was three, but refused point blank to take lessons. Her parents tried every instrument they could think of - even the harp - but it wasn’t ‘til years later, when her college band needed a harpist that she agreed to give the 47-string monster another go.

She paid her way through U.C. Berkeley’s music program by playing in cocktail lounges, then headed to NYC wth hopes of taking her original musicals to Broadway. Still playing “for your dining pleasure” to pay the bills, she got the courage one night to drag her harp from the dining room to the jazz lounge, said “mind if I sit in?” -- and promptly fell in love with jazz, blues and improvisation.

She swapped her cocktail dresses for cowboy boots and strapless tops, formed the Jazz Harp Trio, won a Boston Music Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant to study jazz, and poured herself into jazz. Charlie Rose heard about her, asked her on his show, and a week later the president of GRP records called to offer her a recording contract -- and within a year she was the world’s foremost jazz-harp player, lugging her 75lb harp around the globe.

An invitation to Edinburgh to teach the fundamentals of Blues introduced her to the concert harp’s smaller cousin: the Celtic harp. Struck by its portability and excited about its potential for Blues and Rock, she envisioned an electric, strap-on Celtic- harp as the crossover instrument of the 21st century -- and in the mid- 90’s she began a collaboration with Europe’s top harp-builder that led to the development of the first commercially-available carbon-fibre electric strap-on harp, now named for Henson-Conant: “DHC Blue-Lite.”

Long considered the renegade of the harp world, Deborah discovered that once she strapped on her harp, she became part of one of the oldest musical traditions: the singing, storytelling bard -- but this time with an upbeat, electric twist.

In the late 90’s, when the Boston Pops asked for Deborah as a soloist, she agreed on the condition that she get to write and arrange the orchestral charts. Rave reviews of that debut led to more orchestral appearances, and to Henson-Conant’s creation of the largest body of music for contemporary harp soloist and orchestra in the world, and culminated in the 3-year “Invention & Alchemy” project (2005-2007) which netted her a Grammy Nomination and PBS Broadcasts around the country. She’s now created nearly a dozen different orchestral shows.

In 2008 Henson-Conant finally fused her passion to write musical theater with her success as a performer, in the debut of her original One-Woman Musical “What the Hell are you doing in the Waiting Room for Heaven??”

Henson-Conant now tours and performs in three major areas: solo concerts, original One-Woman Music-Theater Shows, and as a soloist with orchestras and ensembles. She’s created the single largest body of work for solo harp and vocalist.

Deborah Henson-Conant has toured with the Boston Pops, opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, performed her one-woman show from Budapest to Boston, created her own PBS special, “Invention & Alchemy,” and has been featured on NBC, CBS, CNN & NPR. She’s been interviewed by Charlies Rose, Lou Rawls, Joan Rivers, Studs Terkel, Scott Simon, Billy Taylor and Susan Stamberg.
And she says she’s just getting started...


Deborah's signature instrument is the "DHC Blue-Lite" built for her by CAMAC Harps in France.  It's a solid-body, carbon-fibre electric Celtic harp with 36 strings and piezo pickups on each string. it weghs approximately 5 kilos (about 11 pounds).


NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: “Imagine the talented love-child of André Previn and Lucille Ball.” (Scott Simon)

NEW YORK TIMES: “Reshaping the serenely Olympian harp into a jazz instrument by warping it closer to the blues.” (Gene Santoro)

LOS ANGELES TIMES: “Indeed her hands and voice alike speak with unprecedented eloquence...” (Leonard Feather)

BOSTON GLOBE: “Whatever it is that transfixes an audience, she’s got it.” (Catherine Peterson)

GRAND RAPIDS PRESS: “Calling Deborah Henson-Conant a harpist is like calling Joe DiMaggio just a guy with a bat. Technically it’s accurate, but you’re just scratching the surface.” (Jeff Kaczmarcyk)

AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN: “Deborah Henson-Conant was born to entertain…dazzling harp playing, gorgeous jazz/pop singing, comic timing and impressive songwriting…with orchestrations that are as fresh and exuberant as her stage personality…She can do something you don’t expect at a pops concert, and that is to touch you.” (Jerry Young)

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: “In concert, Henson-Conant looks like an athlete at times…shoulder muscles strain and flex…Other times the lift and sweep of her arms could be a ballet move from ‘Swan Lake.’” (Laura Van Tuyl)

BOSTON GLOBE: “A combination of Leonard Bernstein, Steven Tyler, and Xena the Warrior Princess.” (Ed Siegel)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “…phenomenal harpist-performer.” (B.Schortt)

GLASGOW HERALD: “Melodic warmth, harmonic sophistication and the ability to swing her head off…” (Elliot Meadow)

BOSTON PHOENIX: “Setting up songs with anecdotes that balanced whimsy, innocence and sophistication, then tightening the screws with solid music.” (Bob Blumenthal)

DENVER POST: “Doing for the harp what Chuck Berry and Elvis once did for the guitar.” (Jeff Bradley)

REX REED: “A harpist and poet who knows how to blend rhapsodic harmonies with dark purple lyrical twists that force you to listen twice before final comprehension sets in.”


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