Deborah Henson-Conant's Harp-Strung Blues Show "Lose Your Blues"

Deborah Henson-Conant

SAT. JAN. 10, 2015

TCAN - 8:00 pm

The Center for Arts in Natick (MA)
DHC's 4th Annual Harp-Strung Blues Concert

"Lose Your Blues"
A Harp-Strung Blues Show

TIX: $24 members / $26 non-members
Click for Tickets



What the Press Says:

"The audience laughed, got to their feet and cheered, or simply sat open-mouthed as she gave us the blues, on a blue harp – plucked, not blown, but fired up with soul nonetheless." The Scottsman

"She's reshaping the serenely Olympian harp into a jazz instrument by warping it closer to the blues.” - New York Times

" After seeing Deborah Henson-Conant in concert... I know harp music can be anything from the blues to classical to flamenco, and all of it beautiful." The Cape Codder

“ She plays stuff you just wouldn’t think could possibly come from the intrument that St. Peter hands out to new arrivals at the pearly gates. She slapped the lower strings like an electric bass player laying down a funk line. She worked the sharpening levers at the top of her Celtic instrument to imitate a blues guitarist bending notes.” Grand Rapids Press

"[She] sings and plays the blues with a deep spirituality, expressiveness and harmonic sense matched by few other performers today, and animates everything she touches with a spine-tingling sense of gently propulsive rhythmic drive.” Buffalo News

"The Jimi Hendrix of the harp." Guitar legend Steve Vai

What the Artist Says:
A HARP-STRUNG BLUES SHOW is BLUES HARP ... with a Twist: Tix, details, bio & links to hi-res photos below in the "Who, What, When, Where" section below

Hear the term "Blues Harp" and most people think "Harmonica" -- but I take a different meaning.  I play a 32-string electric harp that I strap on like an electric guitar - and I play Blues. On a harp.

It's just a different way of thinking. Most people think "Harp = Classical Music" - but thinking the harp is a classical instrument is as narrow as thinking all dogs are poodles. Any instrument can play any style of music and when it does, it opens a whole new world of sound.  

My name is Deborah Henson-Conant, and Blues is a huge part of my voice - both what I sing and what I play on my instrument.

OK, there's a second little twist here.  I don't play a 'normal' concert harp.   A normal concert harp is 6-feet tall, weighs 75 pounds, has 47 strings and is made of wood - like a boat.  My harp weighs 11 pounds, has 32 strings and is made of carbon fibre -- like a racing bike.  It's got a bronze finish.

Nothing against the concert harp, just don't try strapping it on.

I know, because that's what I tried to do for years until I met Joel Garnier in France, who was then the world's most visionary harp builder. I brought him my prototype and told him my dream of playing a powerful, wearable electric harp. His company, CAMAC, spent the next two decades developing what's now known as the world's top electric harp.  And it's named after me, the "DHC Light" - one of the greatest honors of my life.  

It's kind of like wearing a physical extension of the human body - like the way a centaur might experience running with the legs of a horse: the sense of this 'otherness' extending my own musical voice.

As for Blues, I always play Blues at every show I do, whether it's with a symphony orchestra or on a solo stage - but no matter how much I play, people ask for more.  So each January I present an all-Blues show at "The Center for Arts in Natick" (TCAN), because in the drear New England post-New Year's January we all need a lift-- and that's what I need to play:  Blues Harp ... with a twist.

I don't play covers of classic Blues tunes (although that would be cool) - I explore the idea of Blues in every musical idiom I can find from Gershwin's 'Summertime' to my own Blues about Watermelons and Canine Cultural Exchange Programs - to Blues Hybrids like "Claude Debussy meets the Blues." On my instrument I can bend notes, wail on solos,  add distortion - and I also sing when I play - and I often use a 'looper' pedal which lets me record quick snips on the fly, right in front of the audience, and layer them to create a sounds as full as a whole band.

You can get an idea of what I do on this short video:



DEBORAH HENSON-CONANT is a Grammy-Nominated recording artist.  Guitar Legend Steve Vai calls her "The Jimi Hendrix of the Harp," NPR's Scott Simon calls her "the [imagined] lovechild of André Previn and Lucille Ball."  She sings and plays electric harp.  She composes for symphony.  She performs one-woman shows and concerts internationally. She debuted with the Boston Pops, opened for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, had her own music special on PBS, jammed onstage with Bobby McFerrin and offstage with Steven Tyler.  She's been featured on CBS "Sunday Morning," NBC's "Today Show" and NPR's "Weekend Edition."  

For the past 20 years she's collaborated with CAMAC Harps in France to develop her signature harp, the "DHC-Light," the world's top-selling carbon-fibre electric harp.


WHO: GRAMMY® Nominated Electric Harpist Deborah Henson-Conant
WHAT: 4th Annual "Lose Your Blues" Special BLUES Show
WHEN: Sat. Jan. 10, 2015 at 8:00pm  
WHERE: TCAN (The Center for Arts in Natick) 14 Summer St. Natick, MA 01760
TIX: $24 for members, $26 non-members, Discounts available for seniors & students

For more artist info or to schedule an interview, contact: 
Beatriz Harley,, 781-483-3556
More Info: 
Hi-Res Images:



There are many ways to be creative. To be heard. You don’t have to go the standard route.

Come see this Grammy-Nominated artist, who’s taken an unlikely instrument and turned it into the story of her life. Come see what’s possible if you follow your own personal passion ... because you can create a life in music and theater ... no matter what you start with!


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Wanna take pictures or video of the show? You can! The only caveats are: no flash during the show, no big or noisy cameras that might distract your neighbors - and you gotta share your footage with me!

Email us at least a week in advance to let us know if you'll be taping or photographing so we can arrange a waiver of the theater's no-photos-or-taping policy for you, or let you know if there are any problems with cameras at the venue.

And after the show, let us know what kind of footage you got and we'll figure out the best way to get it, edit it and post it! And don't forget to wear your film director's beret!

TCAN has a great directions page here but, in a nutshell:

Location: The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN)
14 Summer Street
Natick, MA 01760

FREE PARKING EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS is available at the Pond Street parking area. The Middlesex Ave. lot is now open, with an entrance on Summer Street. Free evening parking is also available in downtown Natick.

PARKING IN COMMERCIAL LOTS MAY LEAD TO YOUR CAR BEING TOWED - please be cautious when choosing a spot.

Public Transport:
Via Subway / Rail:
It looks like it's actually possible to get to Natick on the commuter rail - info about that is here
Bus: Doesn't look hopeful