If it is true that any genre can be played with any instrument, jazz music is not the first to come to mind in the case of the harp. Few harpists played jazz, including Dorothy Ashby (her record “The Jazz Harpist”) and Alice Coltrane. Those two are the idols of Brandee Younger, the new reference name for this magnificent instrument. Younger has a remarkable career, debuting in 2011 with her EP “Prelude”. Since then, she has led her quartet and collaborated with Ravi Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Makaya McCraven and the Christian McBride Big Band. She has also performed in classical orchestras and lectured at several music institutes. She was nominated for her song “Beautiful Is Black” at the 2022 Grammy Awards. In 2021, while her single “Unrest” came out last year. “Brand New Life”, her new album, will be released the 7th April on Impulse!
In her music, Brandee Younger inserts the harp’s heavenly and crystal-clear sound in a modern setting where jazz, soul and funky (including intrusions in pop music) are elegantly combined. The final result is an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary, where the harp is the protagonist.