Carol J Levin: A contemporary improvising harpist with classical roots
Carol J Levin has established a unique niche as Seattle's improvising harpist. Returning to the harp after classical training in her youth, she has been embraced by jazz and free improvisation communities for her creative voice and for extending the capabilities of the harp beyond its expected style.
Carol plays frequently in duos, trios and large ensembles including CHA, Levitation, The Likes Of, Christian Pincock's Scrambler, Beth Fleenor's Blindfold Ensemble, Rain City Jazz Orchestra, and Steve Treseler's Game Symphony Workshop.
She has guested with the Jazz Connection, Starbucks Chorus (Street Requiem at Benaroya Hall), the Phinney Neighborhood Chorus, Neil Welch's Coltrane Expressions, the Seth Alexander quintet, Women's Rockin' Jazz, at improvisation concerts in the Wayward Music series, the Racer Sessions and Gallery 1412. Festival appearances with ensembles have included the Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Greenwood Community Jazz Festival, and with the Dutch Impro Academy (Bimhuis, Amsterdam and ZomerJazzFiets, Groningen).
Carol also enjoys stretching out with unusual projects of composed works, concert music drawn from Steven Eric Scribner's Tond Fantasy series, Kaley Lane Eaton's Lily opera for instruments, voice and dancer; worldwide virtual orchestras on YouTube (Doctor Who Fan Orchestra, Sherlock Fan Orchestra, Random Fandom).
She has recorded with CHA (Remembering Backward) and Spontanea (Flow, Chromasonic, Quintaphonic) on Right Brain Records.
Always a respectful listener, Carol generously supports other musicians who enjoy playing with her. Carol's music is full of surprises with styles varying from beautiful melodic lines to challenging and experimental tangents with electronic effects and loops, often incorporating percussion and stringed instruments from other cultures. Her musical loves and influences include Sibelius, Copland, Bernstein, Ellington, Monk, Coltrane (Alice and John), Kurt Weill, David Byrne, Leonard Cohen, Josh Deutsch and progressive and Latin jazz artists, local and international. Her performances are music made with integrity, rhythm, melody and humor.