EDMAR CASTAÑEDA

EDMAR CASTAÑEDA (Colombia/USA)

HE PLAYS THE HARP LIKE HARDLY ANYONE ELSE ON EARTH WHEN AN ANGEL’S PARTY BEGINS

WHEN COMING TO THE COUNTER AT THE AIRPORTS CARRYING SUCH A BIG INSTRUMENT HE INTRODUCES HIMSELF: “HELLO, I AM AN ANGEL PLAYING THE HARP. CAN YOU HELP ME?“ AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND AFTER HIS CONCERT THAT IT’S SIMPLY TRUE.

He moved to New York at the age of sixteen to study jazz trumpet, he tried to make some money by playing in clubs. He studied trumpet by day while trying out his newfound knowledge on the harp at a restaurant gig by night. He developed his unique style soon. He plays the harp like hardly anyone else on earth. His hands, seemingly powered by two different people, produce a totally unique, symphonic fullness of sound, a rapid-fire of chords, balance of melodic figures and drive. His original style is a mixture of jazz and tropo.

The Joropo is a musical style, a part of Colombian folk festivals and Venezuelan Los Llanos. I tis based on the sound of harp and voices reminding Gypsies from Andalusia. The roots of the Joropo can be found in Spain. It includes fast and slow dances, poetry improvisation called contrapunteo, epic songs, sentimental ballads, cowboy songs but it can be also performed an instrumental way only.

Combinig jazz and the Joropo was not a problem for Castañeda, since he is also a master of improvisation. There is also a touch of funk, flamenco and other influences in his music. No surprise that he is looking forward to meeting Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita…Welsh and Colombian harp with kora performing on one stage will transfer us to another angel level.