Jazz Harpist Edmar Castaneda

Posted Tuesday, September 29th

Media Contact:
Jane Onojafe


Jazz Harpist Edmar Castaneda:  Wednesday, October 14, 7:30 p.m. Reserved seating tickets: $15.00 – $25.00.  World music phenomenon Edmar Castaneda has taken New York and the world stage by storm with the sheer force of his virtuosic command of the harp, revolutionizing the instrument for audiences and critics alike! This whirlwind from Columbia enchants everyone, with his unbelievable cross-rhythms and chordal nuances rivaling the most celebrated flamenco guitar masters…not to mention his intoxicating on-stage charm and charisma!  Tickets: www.firehousearts.org, 925-931-4848, or at the center Box Office, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton.

Press Release

Jazz Harpist Edmar Castaneda

World Music Master in Concert Oct 14 @ Firehouse
Pleasanton, Calif.  World music phenomenon and Columbian jazz harp master Edmar Castaneda presents a dazzling mid-week concert at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center on Wednesday, October 14, 7:30 p.m.

Reserved seating tickets: $15.00 – $25.00, and can be purchased online at www.firehousearts.org, by calling 925-931-4848, and in person at the Box Office, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton.  Box Office hours are Wednesday – Friday 12:00 noon-6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., and two hours prior to the performance.

“Mr. Castaneda strummed, plucked, rubbed, jabbed and pounded on his cobalt blue Llanera harp as he conjured different shaped notes, harmonic textures and steady bass rhythms from the instrument’s 34 strings. About the only thing he didn’t do was light it on fire.” – Wall Street Journal

The legendary Paquito D’Rivera, Edmar’s frequent collaborator, describes Castaneda as “an enormous talent. With his versatility and enchanting charisma, he has taken his harp out of the shadows, and become one of the most original musicians in the Big Apple.”

Castaneda’s music draws on the traditional joropo dance music he absorbed early, as well as tango, Brazilian and flamenco guitar, West African kora, and virtuoso jazz piano influences. It’s a fascinating mix, but his technique is the real astonishment. Castaneda juggles lead, rhythm and bass lines, using a variety of hard and soft string attacks to keep those voices distinct — all without giving up the groove.

Edmar’s recent performances have included Carnegie Hall, the DC Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and numerous other dates.  He regularly shares the stage with such luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Chico O’Farrill‘s Afro- Cuban Jazz Big Band, John Patitucci, and many more.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1978, Edmar started early playing jazz trumpet, and then moved to harp.  Since relocating to New York in the mid-1990s, he has catapulted to world fame with his virtuosic command of the harp – revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider the instrument.

A committed teacher, Edmar’s residencies include The Banff Centre and famed Berklee College of Music in Boston.  He is frequently invited to give masterclasses and workshops in diverse musical contexts worldwide, and is also increasingly recognized as a composer.

Together with the French manufacturers, Camac Harps, Edmar Castaneda developed a new instrument: a state-of-the-art version of the traditional arpa llanera of Colombia and Venezuela. Alongside its many structural improvements, it is also the first llanera harp with levers. This increase the instrument’s potential for chromaticism and unlocks new musical potential for the instrument and Latin American music. To find out more, visit: www.edmarcastaneda.com

The Firehouse Arts Center is dedicated to inspiring passion through the arts.  The center is comprised of the 227-seat Firehouse Theater, the 2000 square foot Harrington Gallery, classrooms and rehearsal space, the grand atrium lobby, and the famous interior glass bridge.  With world-class performing and visual arts, exciting interactive programs for all ages, and a state-of-the-art venue which opened in 2010, we combine the sophistication of the culturally rich Bay Area arts landscape with the hospitality and intimacy of our own home town.  The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton.  Media:  Jane Onojafe, jonojafe@cityofpleasantonca.gov, or 925-931-4855