"Beyond the Standards: New Generations of Jazz Paving Connections to Contemporary Sounds. She is a virtuoso jazz harpist and the first woman of color solo artist nominated for the instrumental composition category in the 2021 Grammys."
A leading voice of the harp today, harpist, composer and educator Brandee Younger defies genres and labels. Recently signed to Impulse! Records, home of the Coltrane legacy, Younger has performed and recorded with artists including Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Common, John Legend, The Roots, Stevie Wonder, and Lauryn Hill. In 2019, she released her fourth solo album, Soul Awakening, and her original composition “Hortense” was featured in the Netflix Concert-Documentary, Beyoncé: Homecoming. This same year, Ms. Younger was selected to perform her original music as a featured performer for Quincy Jones and Steve McQueen’s’ “Soundtrack of America.” Ms. Younger’s ability to seamlessly inject the harp into arrangements and venues where it has historically been overlooked is a testament to her deep love for and exemplary command of the instrument.
Ms. Younger earned her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance and Music Management at the Hartt School of Music and her Master of Music at New York University where she serves on the harp faculty. Past residencies and masterclasses include The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), University of Birmingham (UK), Howard University, Drexel University, Princeton University, Tulane University, Trinity College, The Hartt School, University of Michigan, DePaul University, and Berklee College of Music.
She holds leadership positions through the Apollo (theater) Young Patrons Steering Committee and the American Harp Society, Inc. where she serves as Director at Large. As a concert curator, Ms. Younger has presented performances for venues including “Divine Ella,” part of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s annual Women’s Jazz Festival. As well, she has organized series for Brookfield Arts including Harp On Park, “highlighting the diversity of the harp and the contemporary importance of an ancient instrument,” Her Song, featuring the works of women composers and most recently, the intimate and socially distant “Brookfield Encounters”.
“No harpist thus far has been more capable of combining all of the modern harp traditions — from Salzedo, through Dorothy Ashby, through Alice Coltrane — with such strength, grace and commitment.” – The New York Times