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Alina Bzhezhinska & HipHarpCollective

  • Main Stage
    Thursday 13•July•2023

The Ukrainian musician Alina Bzhezhinska is a woman on a mission; she wants the harp to take centre-stage in the contemporary jazz scene. And it’s not such a crazy idea. After all, in the sixties, this string instrument was notoriously integrated into jazz by pioneers such as Harpo Marx, Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Half a century later, there is a new group of contemporary jazz harpists who are using their own unique methods to push the instrument to the forefront within jazz, with Bzhezhinska as one of the most important voices. After studying at music schools in Poland and Arizona, the Ukrainian moved to the UK in 2002 to teach at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

After seven years, however, the desire to carve out her own career could no longer be suppressed. She moved to London and a few years later stormed onto the jazz scene, apparently from nowhere, with her quartet the HipHarpCollective. Her unique musical style, a mix of legends Ashby and Coltrane with the experimental vibes of free jazz and nineties genres such as trip-hop and afro-beat, is notable; Gregory Porter, Tony Kofi and Kamaal Williams are just a few of the people with whom she has worked. Even the queen was a fan and invited Bzhezhinska to perform at her eightieth birthday bash. After the release of her début album 'Inspiration’ in 2018, she toured major festivals and venues, including North Sea Jazz, Edinburgh International Festival and the Royal Albert Hall, and stars were heaped on her by the international press. How does it sound live? Like a scintillating celebration that will astound you at every turn.