Stephanie Bennett (harpist)

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Stephanie Bennett (harpist)
Occupation singer-songwriter, musician

Stephanie Bennett is a harpist, composer, arranger and vocalist who lives in Los Angeles. She plays popular music, jazz, and other contemporary music genres.

Career[edit]

Bennett began studying the harp as a junior high school student in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after having studied some guitar and piano as a child. She continued her studies of classical harp performance with Ruth Dean Clark at the University of Michigan, where she also studied composition with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Leslie Bassett and Ross Lee Finney. While in college, she also began exploring creating her own arrangements of popular music. She continued her music studies at the Dick Grove School of Music and at UCLA Extension, with courses in Advanced Modern Harmony (including jazz and pop music harmony), Arranging, Twentieth Century Harmony, Film Scoring, etc.

Bennett has performed in the United States, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Panama, France and Switzerland, including solo harp performances of her own compositions at the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), as a guest artist at the International Music Seminars in Montpelier, France, and at the International Conference on Women in Music. She has performed for President Obama, the President of Israel, and the President of Ireland.

For the winter 1984 concert season, Bennett joined the American folk-music group The New Christy Minstrels, playing harp in a U.S. tour booked by Community Concerts, a division of Columbia Artists Management Inc.[1] Later in 1984, she toured as part of the band of R&B artist Bobby Womack, along with frequent guest artist Sly Stone.[1][[2]]

In 1989, she gave a solo harp performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.[3]

In 1999, she was invited by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council to perform Irish music for the President of Ireland upon the president’s visit to Los Angeles.[4]

Bennett lives in the Los Angeles area, where she composes, records and produces her own CDs, composes and produces music that has been heard on television shows such as Bones, Murphy Brown, Party Of Five and The Single Guy, and on the feature film A Time For Dancing. She writes musical arrangements for other artists (including arrangements for rocker Ozzy Osbourne, Native American flute player Golana, Celtic fiddler Mary Barton, and New Age ensemble Midnight Skye). She composes chamber music which has been performed by ensembles such as "Entr'amis" (classical harp, flute and viola trio), and "Campanile", (renowned contemporary handbell ensemble).

Bennett plays harp on soundtracks for movies and television, and plays harp on recordings by many other artists (including the Dixie Chicks, Sir Paul McCartney, LeAnn Rimes, Lamb, Linda Ronstadt, Everlast, Good Charlotte, Miyuki Nakajima, and Ray Conniff),teaches harp students, and writes lyrics which have been recorded by other vocalists, as well as writing music for other vocalists. She has toured with groups as diverse as R&B legend Bobby Womack, big band Ray Conniff Singers & Orchestra, Persian singing star Dariush, Mexican superstars Vicente & Alejandro Fernandez, and Canadian band Cowboy Celtic.

Bennett has also appeared onscreen in television, movies and music videos, including American Idol, The Sweetest Thing with Cameron Diaz, Celine Dion's 1998 Christmas special, 1999 hit movie The Other Sister (with Diane Keaton, Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi); Love Affair with Warren Beatty, Gypsy with Bette Midler, Cobb with Tommy Lee Jones, the Frank Sinatra mini-series, A Romantic Christmas by John Tesh, music videos including Trisha Yearwood and Aerosmith, and television shows including Bones, Murphy Brown, Falcon Crest, Sisters, and Picket Fences.

Personal life[edit]

Born Stephanie Bennett. After the death of her father and her mother’s remarriage a few years later, Bennett's last name was changed to her adoptive father’s name and she was known as Stephanie Pelz during the early years of her career. She changed her name back to Stephanie Bennett in the early 1980s.

Honors[edit]

In 1979, Stephanie Bennett won first prize in the Second Salvi International Competition of Jazz and Pop Harp.[5] The Hollywood Reporter has called her “one of our country’s top harpists”.[6]

Discography[edit]

Recordings featuring Stephanie Bennett include:
Harpworld Music Co., Voyage of the Dreamer (produced & recorded by SB) At Peace Music, Lumiere: Baroque Music for Relaxation (produced & recorded by SB)
Harpworld Music Co., Bardina's Forest (produced & recorded by SB) At Peace Music, Avalon: Celtic Music for Relaxation (produced & recorded by SB)
Harpworld Music Co., Imaginocean (produced by SB) Northsound Music, The Wedding Album
Harpworld Music Co., Stories Seldom Told (produced by SB ) Harpworld Music Co., Sapphire (cassette only) (produced by SB )
Wrightwood Records: Unicorn's Journey (Harp and Grand Piano for relaxation and meditation) Toshiba-EMI (recorded & released in Japan) 'Finger Magic' (under former name, 'Stephanie Pelz')

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Music arranged by Stephanie Bennett includes
All selections on CD "Celtic Cello" by Marston Smith, 2000
Selection on CD "La Belle Dame" by Susan Craig Winsberg, 1999
Selection on CD "Walk Between Worlds" by Golana, Oginali 1999
Selection on CD "Moon of First Snow" by Golana, Oginali 2002
Several selections on CD "Changing Seasons" by Mary Barton, Mt. Tabor Music, 1999
Selection on CD "A Child Is Born", by Midnight Skye, Hyalos 1998.

==

Other recordings on which Stephanie Bennett played harp include
The Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way"
Paul McCartney "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard"
Linda Ronstadt, "A Merry Little Christmas"
LeAnn Rimes, "Twisted Angel"
SpongeBob SquarePants, "The Best Day Ever"
David Arkenstone: "World of Warcraft Taverns of Azeroth"
David Arkenstone: "Celtic Romance"
Windham Hill: Rubaja & Hernandez, "High Plateaux"...
Narada Records: Bernardo Rubaja, "New Land"...
Narada Records: "Christmas Collection Volume 2"...
Everlast, "Eat at Whitey's"
Lamb, "Between Darkness and Wonder"
James Durst, "Like the Wind"
Susan Craig Winsberg, "La Belle Dame"
Susan Craig Winsberg, "Celtic Love Songs"
Midnight Skye, "A Child is Born"
Frank Gambale, "A Present for the Future"...
Good Charlotte, Chronicles of Life & Death"
SST Records: Pat Smear, "So You Fell In Love With A Musician"...
Lifescapes: "Celtic Music for Stress Relief"
Ray Conniff "My Way"
Ray Conniff "S'Always Conniff"
Ray Conniff "40th Anniversary"
Ray Conniff "I Love Movies"
Ray Conniff "Live In Rio"
Ray Conniff "S'Country"
Ray Conniff "S'Christmas"
Michael Benghiat "Harmony" (formerly titled "Music from Big Sur"
BMG Latin: "Juan Gabriel"
Miyuki Nakajima,"Fairy Ring"
Golana, "Walk Between Worlds"
Golana, "Moon of First Snow"
Del-fi Records, "Shots in the Dark"
James Durst, "Songs of a Wondering Minstrel"
Prince Diabate, "New Life"
Lifescapes, "Celtic Music for Stress Relief" )

==

Other recordings containing Stephanie Bennett compositions include:
Campanile, "Nocturnal Journeys" (CD and live DVD)
Campanile, "White Chocolate"
Centurion Productions: "America Speaks From the Heart"

==

Film & TV containing Stephanie Bennett compositions include:
Murphy Brown (source music on 2 episodes)
The Single Guy (source music)
Feature film "A Time for Dreaming" (source music)

==

Other recordings on which Stephanie Bennett wrote lyrics include:
Stephanie Bennett "Bardina's Forest"
Frank Gambale, "Noteworker"
Frank Gambale, "Thunder from Down Under"

References[edit]

  1. ^ International Harp Archives
  2. ^ http://www.harpworld.com/womacktour.html
  3. ^ International Harp Archives
  4. ^ American Harp Journal, Winter 2000, page 52
  5. ^ American Harp Journal, Winter 1979
  6. ^ Hollywood Reporter, October 30, 1980 (Hank Grant, ‘Rambling Reporter’ column)

External links[edit]