Harp 46 is an acoustic music trio which blends distinct styles from around the world into a profound and playful voice, using three instruments rarely seen together on one stage (harp, bass, and drums) along with a variety of other string and percussion instruments and an occasional dash of heartfelt vocals. Their performances have been capturing the hearts and minds of audiences for 10 years, as they intersperse their music with the stories behind the songs and the people and places that have helped shape their sound together. Harp 46 is family, and they invite their listeners into their musical home.
Harp 46 (April Vega, harp; Posido Vega, bass; Nucleo Vega, percussion) first began performing together in 1999. Brothers Posido and Nucleo had been playing in bands together since childhood, and when April met them in the music program at the University of Maryland, a new sound emerged. Within a matter of months they were in demand at local jazz festivals as the "Jazz Harp Trio." By 2001 their sound had begun to mature into a more eclectic world-fusion groove, although their jazz roots are always present in the improvisational relationship they have with one another.
In 2003, two years after April and Nucleo were married, the trio relocated to Seattle, WA, and released their debut album under the name "April Stace." The title of that album, Harp 46, became their band name as they decided to embark into new creative territory together. Since then they have released 2 full length albums, with two more planned for late 2009. They are in demand as performers and educators across the country, and have received substantial radio play in the US and Europe, with their first two albums spending several weeks in the Top Ten of the New Age/World radio charts. Individually and collectively, Harp 46 has performed at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, the Northwest Folklife Festival, Takoma Park Jazz Festival, The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, RFK Stadium, Camden Yards, The Baltimore Harbor, Disney World, The Seattle Center, The Experience Music Project/Liquid Lounge, Jazz Alley in Seattle, and The Nashville Convention Center. The trio currently resides near Washington, DC, where they continue to pursue a variety of creative endeavors. Their next album, Entanglement, will be released in November 2009, and their Christmas album, Angels With Us, will be released in December 2009.
April Stace Vega - harp
Posido Vega - bass
Nucleo Vega - percussion
Harp 46 (2003)
Entanglement (Nov. 2009)
Angels With Us (Dec. 2009)
CD Baby - Editor's Picks
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"Who would have thought that Celtic harp and jazz fusion shared such compatible vocabulary, such bea..."Who would have thought that Celtic harp and jazz fusion shared such compatible vocabulary, such beautiful texture and color to make for such a mesmerizing album? It's not only incredibly refreshing to hear the harp collaborating in a genre outside its typical place but to hear such conversation and communication going on between the players, so perfectly blended with the warm and mellow ring of the harp, is exceptional. With a simple instrumentation of guitar, bass, and shuffley drums backing the harp, this album casts a soft mellow shadow over the heat of a hot summer day. A beautiful, moody, atmospheric gem."
Wind And Wire
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"Joined by two accompanists (Nucleo Vega on percussion and Posido Vega on bass), harpist April Stace..."Joined by two accompanists (Nucleo Vega on percussion and Posido Vega on bass), harpist April Stace's debut album is a breath of fresh air in the sometimes murky smog of contemporary instrumental and new age music. Harp 46 is a first rate blend of acoustic harp with a rhythmic underpinning that never quite strays into overt jazz but yet injects enough life and variety into the music to make this CD an immediately accessible yet unique and fresh-sounding recording. Make no mistake about it - this is no Andreas Volleweider rehash. The production is polished, uncluttered and relatively minimal, with no pretentiousness or bombast anywhere on the album.
"What these three musicians have in mind is simple and unadorned fantastic music. From the opening bounce and cheer of Another Day, to the pensive and lovely melancholic solo harp tune, First Snow, to the surprisingly uptempo When It¹s Raining, (buoyed by great bass work and wonderful frame drum beats), to the progressive fusion of Chase, to the driving tempo of Blue Mountain, and ending with the gentle romantic strains of All Creatures, Stace, Vega and Vega weave, bob and float along assorted currents of music, performing all of it with style, talent, and innovation. Whether lively or sedate in tempo, happy or somber in mood, the three artists (and Stace in particular, who exhibits adroit skill in both the high-spirited and the low-key numbers) paint a sonic landscape that captivated me from the first listen. I’ve heard a fair number of harp
recordings, but Harp 46 stands head and shoulders above the majority of them. Repeated playings, in particular, increased my enjoyment of this exceptional album. I sure hope Harp 46 is not the last we¹ve heard from Stace, Vega and Vega. The CD earns my highest recommendation as well as a place on my Best Recordings of 2003 list!"
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"With the lyrical harp playing of April Stace floating over a world-beat rhythm section provided by... "With the lyrical harp playing of April Stace floating over a world-beat rhythm section provided by brothers Posido Vega (bass) and Nucleo Vega (djembe), Harp 46 plays unique, thoughtful and uplifting music...
"The first thing you notice about Harp 46 is the unusual musical environment in which they place Stace's Celtic Harp. Posido and Nucleo Vega each bring a tremendous wealth of musical experiences to Harp 46, providing an energetic, yet smooth floor under Stace's melodic, minimalist playing."
Folk Harp Journal
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"When I first opened Harp 46 into my CD player, my stereo wasn't filled with the usual sleepy harp m..."When I first opened Harp 46 into my CD player, my stereo wasn't filled with the usual sleepy harp music that I have come to expect from most harp CDs...The music made me want to move...Never having heard harp accompanied by hand drum, I was thrilled with the effect.
Harp 46 is one of the most most enjoyable harp CDs that I have heard in a long time, and it has become my favorite."
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"...a strange combination, but an excellent one. April plays in a sweet style, with haunting mel... "...a strange combination, but an excellent one.
April plays in a sweet style, with haunting melodies. The Celtic harp tends to have a more ascetic sound than classical models, since it is smaller and does not have pedals. This gives room for Posido to play complementary melodies and Nucleo to provide a number of interweaving rhythms.
The tunes, mostly written by the group, have a primarily Celtic flavor, and the CD is meditative and relaxing. The bass and percussion are somewhat reserved so that they are no louder than Stace's harp, but all of the players are both accomplished and energetic. There is a new-age type of sound, but it never falls into the blandness or repetition that affects much of the genre.
The best cuts are those like "Chase" and "Tell Me," which have a jazzier feel and more improvisation. Hopefully, this first Harp 46 release (Stace also has a solo CD) will lead to others that will feature more excursions into musical territory not normally explored by harp players."
Harp 46 typically plays 2 hour-long sets per concert. A typical set list might look like this:
When It's Raining
Shape of my Heart (cover - Sting)
First Snow (harp solo)
Shenandoah (cover - traditional)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.