In an industry prevalent with saxophonists, guitarists, and keyboardists, it’s not often that you come across instrumentalists of a different sort, but Mariea Antoinette is one such musician paving her own way as a jazz and soul harpist.

On September 25, 2015, with the release of a special edition of her Billboard Top 5 charting album “Straight from the Harp” with MAH Productions, harpist Mariea Antoinette celebrated her recognition as a Phenomenal Women in Entreneurship with an award from the National Council of Negro Women. The new version of the album features two bonus tracks and updated artwork.

“Straight from the Heart” was produced by Allan Phillips and includes a combination of both original music and R&B classics such as “Rock Wit’cha”, “Give Me Your Love”, “Boogie Nights”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Human” and “I’m Gonna Love You”.

Several of the tracks feature a live horn section and string section, and violinist Karen Briggs even performs as a guest on “Walk the Walk.” I had the pleasure of seeing Ms. Mariea Antoinette perform several of the tracks from her project at an event in Los Angeles last year and the energy of her live performances are certainly reflected in the recordings on “Straight from the Harp.”

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Special Treasures,” a tune that is somewhat nostalgic for me with trumpet parts that make me think of a lot of the music I heard in films growing up. Her rendition of “Boogie Nights” is another fun track as is “Single Dance”.

Mariea Antoinette transcends the ways in which many may have perceived the harp – showing that it’s more than a classical instrument and that artists can pursue the performance of the music that they love and not just the styles that their instrument may have been traditionally used for. It’s certainly an inspiring message to send to the next generation of musicians.

Based in San Diego, California, Mariea Antoinette made her debut with “Sexy Paradise” in 2003. Since, she has performed around the world for events including a performance for Barak and Michelle Obama, backing Ne-Yo at the BET Awards, and playing for a Vanity Fair Grammy soiree. She currently performs as a part of Jazz in Pink.

Get Straight to the Harp on Amazon

Title: Straight to the Harp
Artist: Mariea Antoinette
Year: September 25, 2015
Genre: Jazz, R&B
Label: MAH Productions

01 Fly Away
02 Rock Wit’cha
03 Special Treasures
04 Give Me Your Love
05 Single Dance
06 Spend Some Time
07 Boogie Nights
08 Journey
09 I’m Gonna Love You (Just a Little More Baby)
10 Waiting in Vain
11 Human
12 Straight from the Harp
13 Walk the Walk

Get Straight to the Harp on Amazon

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.