Maeve Gilchrist
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Maeve Gilchrist

Band World Singer/Songwriter


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"Scotsman Review of Edinburgh Jazz Festival"

Scotland is not short on young musical talent at the moment, but the fact that both harpist Maeve Gilchrist and her collaborator here bassist Aidan O'Donnell are currently based in New York is perhaps as an indicator as any that our perception of these talent is not simply a matter of local partisanship.
The Edinburgh-born harpist and singer drew a packed house for her return home. Despite the sweltering heat, she looked cool and composed on a potentially nervous occasion. She opened with one of her own songs 'Brown Bricks' and immediately gave notice that we were not dealing with any ordinary approach to musical genres.
Her music brings together an extraordinary confluence of ideas and idioms. She sings folk songs with a jazz inflection and plays jazz with a distinctly folk feel. Pop weaves in and out of all this, as do hints of ethnic music influences. She eschews a mid atlantic singing voice for her home accent (recalling the Proclaimers at moments) but launches off into jazz derived wordless vocalizations.
The remarkable thing about all this is not its eclecticism, but rather the way in which she is forming all of these myriad facets into a coherent and original musical voice. Her singular approach to both singing- whether on her own compositions, jazz standards or traditional folk songs- and her dazzling and inventive harp playing is fascinating and absorbing in equal measure. Aidan O'Donnell provided sympathetic support throughout.
(Kenny Mathieson 07/28/08) - Scotsman Newspaper

"CD Review of 'Reachin Me'"

Taking tradition into the future is Edinburgh's Maeve Gilchrist trio, whose debut CD 'Reaching Me' boasts a seamless blend of ancient Celtic music with contemporary jazz. Besides having a full, deep and lovely voice, Gilchrist is a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity or bounce with Afro-inspired rhythmic playing siilar to Senegalese Kora Music. Backed by the inventice percussion of Marcello Woloski and the melodic electric bass playing of Andres Rotmistrovsky. Gilchrist transforms such standard tunes as 'Rattling Roaring Willy' and even 'She moved through the fair' with definitive vocals and innovative arrangements. Her cover of Karine Polwart's poetic 'Follow the Heron Home' is particularly lovely and she turns Robert Burns 'The Slave's Lament' into a Celtic Samba. - Dirty Linen


'Reaching Me' (The Maeve Gilchrist Trio 2006)
(Track 1 'Cold Blow' has been played on radio internationally to International Acclaim)

As a session musician, Maeve has appeared on numerous albums. Full discography available on her website at


Harpist and singer/songwriter Maeve Gilchrist was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. Daughter to an Irish mother and Scottish father she grew up immersed in traditional folk music. From thirteen onwards, Maeve was an in demand member on the traditional music scene in Scotland where she performed at events such as the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the Celtic Connections Festival and the International Edinburgh Harp Festival. At seventeen Maeve received a full scholarship from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA where she studied jazz and world music, alongside a colorful career as a professional musician and teacher.
Recent performance highlights include the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the World Harp Congress (amsterdam), the International German Harp Tour, the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and the Boston Pops Jazz Festival. She has collaborated with some of the most celebrated contemporary musicians on the scene today such as Matt Glaser, Terri Lyne Carrington, Vardan Ovsepian,The Unusual Suspects, Kathy Mattea, Esperanza Spalding, Frank Ferrell, Sileas and Martyn Bennett. Her debut CD 'Reaching Me' was released in 2006 to International Acclaim.
Maeve is currently based in Boston MA. She tours regularly with Scottish bassist Aidan O Donnell, fusing her Scottish roots with the colors and freedoms of jazz to produce a fresh and unique new sound. She is currently working with fiddler Darol Anger on her new record, to be released in 2010.