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Swinging with the Hippest Harpist

November 16, 2012

The idea of a harpist playing pleasant background music in the ballroom of a Park Avenue mansion goes back to Manhattan's gilded age. But watching harpist Edmar Castañeda perform at the home of the Americas Society, on the corner of 68th Street and Park Avenue last Tuesday, was an entirely different experience.

Moving through various South American folk traditions as well as the solo original "Jesus de Nazareth" and the Latin jazz of "Cuarto de Colores," Mr. Castañeda strummed, plucked, rubbed, jabbed and pounded on his cobalt blue Llanera harp as he conjured different shaped notes, harmonic textures and steady ...

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