Edmar Castaneda

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Saturday, November 17, 2018
7:30 pm
Sundin Music Hall
1531 Hewitt Avenue
St Paul, MN 55104

Since arriving in the United States in 1994, Colombian-born harp virtuoso Edmar Castaneda has forged his own distinctive path in music. He brings not only an unfamiliar instrument but a wholly original voice to jazz, branching out into a world of different styles and genres. His wide-ranging career has been remarkable for discovering a brilliant role for the harp in jazz, then continuing to innovate and spark creativity from a wealth of formidable collaborations.

Born in 1978 in the city of Bogotá, Colombia, Castaneda took up the harp as a teenager to play the folkloric music of his homeland. He discovered jazz shortly after moving to New York City to join his father in 1994 and was immediately drawn to the freedom and sophistication of the music. With no real precedent for the harp in the jazz world, Castaneda studied trumpet by day while trying out his newfound knowledge on the harp at a restaurant gig by night.

He was ushered into the jazz community by the legendary trumpeter Paquito D’Rivera, who recognized Castaneda’s passion and took the young harpist under his wing. Since then, Castaneda has taken New York and the world stage by storm with the sheer force of his virtuosic command of the harp, revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider an instrument commonly relegated to the “unusual” category.