Les Jeudis de la Harpe
Lena Woods started playing the harp at the age of 7, thanks to her harpist mother! After graduating from high school, she formed her first rock band, Grand Square Dance, with whom she toured the Normandy stages for 5 years. Alongside various musical projects, she joined the American School Of Modern Music in Paris. The following year she entered the Rouen Conservatory, specialising in jazz and singing.
In 2012, she participated in the International Harp Festival in Ancenis (France) in celebration of Camac Harps’ 40th anniversary. She then joined the Paris Regional Conservatory, specialising in contemporary music. There, she formed the group Northern Lights, created around the electric harp and its compositions. They released their EP in 2014.
In 2014, she represented France at the International Harp Festival in Paraguay, and formed a new band – Nobody’s Cult. Her electric harp sound became more and more individual, using effects pedals and a guitar amp. A 1st EP „Echoes From The Temple” was released in 2017, followed by many concerts throughout France. In 2016, she took part in the show The Voice and reached the quarter-finals.
Lena has spent two years on tour with Nolwenn Leroy, and also joined the Aretha Franklin tribute group Respect Sixters. She has featured on many albums (Elles et Barbara, Daphné, Olivia Merilahti, Gaspard Augé, Boca de Tambor…), on harp or vocals.
Nobody’s Cult’s first album will be released in April 2021.
Tristan Le Govic is internationally-recognised as one of the leading Celtic harpers today. He has performed throughout Ireland, Scotland and Sweden, as well as his native Brittany. He has honed his musical diversity together with musicians such as the Breton accordionist Samuel Le Hénanff, Scottish double bass player Stuart Macpherson, English drummer Roy Shearer, and the Swedish singer Lise Enochsson, with whom has developed a unique repertoire of Scandinavian music on the Celtic harp (Elva).
With Tangi Le Hénanff (bass) and Alan Quéré-Moysan (drum), he created the Tristan Le Govic Trio. They won the Nevez Flamm Trophy for the best Fest Noz band of 2018, and have released a group album: Dañs.
Tristan has made several other recordings, and is the author of numerous collections of music for lever harp. He edited the Breton Harp Anthology in 2015.
Singer, storyteller, virtuoso musician, Tristian Le Govic both arranges traditional repertoire and writes his own compositions. His musical world never stays still, opens the gates to an extraordinary rhythmic and melodic diversity.
Principal Harp, Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine
Born in Toulouse, Marie Normant entered the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP), in the class of Marie-Claire Jamet. At the age of 18, she was unanimously awarded a first prize in chamber music, followed by a first prize in harp, before joining the postgraduate class of Isabelle Moretti.
In 1998, she won the “Avant-Scènes” competition (across all instruments). In 1999 she won the SACEM Prize at the Lily Laskine International Competition.
Marie has worked with the best orchestras in France and abroad, for example the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian State Opera, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Opéra de Paris, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre de Paris, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. She has given several world premieres in Cologne and Paris, with Peter Eötvös.
Since 2001 Marie Normant has been principal harpist with the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine in Paris.
Rossitza Milevska is a harpist, pianist and singer, doubly accomplished as a classical musician and a jazz artist. She studied harp and piano at the National Music School of Sofia in her native Bulgaria, followed by an advanced diploma in harp at the National Academy of Music. She continued her studies at the Conservatoire National à Rayonnement Régional de Nice in jazz piano & jazz harp with Robert Persi, and at the Institut d’Enseignement Supérieur de la Musique Europe et Méditerranée where she obtained her teaching diploma. In 2011, she became the first harpist to graduate in jazz harp from a French conservatoire.
Rossitza has won numerous jazz awards: the Tremplin Music Contest Jazz (Antibes); the Auvernier Jazz Contest (Switzerland); the Tremplin Jazz Soloist prize and the audience prize (Porquerolles); and the Tremplin Nice Jazz Off. Rossitza has also performed at the World Harp Congress, the Sentmenat International Harp Festival, in the USA, Poland, Canada, Bulgaria, Switzerland and the Netherlands; and at the Nice Jazz Festival, Jazz à Juan, Toulon, Ramatuelle, Jazz in Segur, Auvernier Jazz Festival, and more.
Her discography includes “Pop Harp” (2006), “Concert à Quatre” (2007, with the Harpe Riviera Quartet), “As I am” (2011), “Tri” (2014, with the Milevska Trio), “Element of Sun” (2016, saxophonist Geoffrey Secco’s album), and “Steps” (2019).
Gwenael Kerleo, Breton harpist and composer, chose a musical and creative path at a very young age. As a highly sensitive child, she found a safe haven in music, and the Celtic harp became her instrument.
Gwenael Kerleo is now established as one of the major Celtic harpists in Brittany. Her music has also touched music lovers throughout the world: from Japan to Paraguay, via Hungary, Germany and Russia.
She confides her stories to her audiences with modesty and feeling. Despite the challenges everybody must face in the world, her music is full of hope, and the sense the best is yet to come.
Gwenael’s latest programme, ”Meeting with an Angel”, is an invitation to share in the harmony she senses, in a moment of pure happiness that she would like to last forever.
Singer, harpist, pianist, composer, producer… Gustine is a musical omnivore, a multifaceted artist – a free electron! Since her studies at the Reims Conservatory with Dominique Demogeot, and a stint at the Cefedem de Lorraine where she obtained her national qualifications in teaching and contemporary music, Gustine has devoted herself to performance and creation. She has collaborated with many artists, written music for contemporary dance, spent 4 years on tour with DJ Fakear (electro), composed a pop piece for symphony orchestra, accompanied Albin de la Simone at the Philharmonie de Paris, sung at the Stade de France for the Rolling Stones – and was discovered by the whole of France on the TV show The Voice.
Gustine will soon release her first album as a songwriter and arranger. Hear her here unplugged, alone with her harp.
On the programme: Stevie Wonder, A-ha, Henri Salvador, Sufjan Stevens, Chris Isaac, Marc Lavoine…
We will begin with Nikolaz Cadoret, who needs little introduction to harpists as one of the most creative and impressive virtuosi of the modern trad scene. He pushes aside the imaginary borders we sometimes impose on our musical perspectives, combining Breton and other Celtic roots with improvisation, jazz, sound processing and other contemporary sound worlds. “I’m aiming”, says Nikolaz, “for complete solo freedom. We each contain a world within us, immense and waiting to be sung.”