Photo: Lorenzo Duaso, Billboard
During the last 15 years, Edmar Castenada has transformed conceptions of the harp by putting the traditional wooden plains harp of his native Colombia in surprising contexts, including jazz and funk. He has even updated the very instrument itself, adding electronics. “Castaneda is a full contact player,” Billboard says. “He acrobatically bends his body as he embraces his harp, while his hands athletically move from a caressing strum of the strings to pyrotechnic plucking.” Read about his approach, and watch him with someone else who has transformed their instrument, banjoist Béla Fleck, at Big Ears 2019.