Dorothy Ashby, hailed as the ‘Queen of Jazz Harp’, was a trailblazer of modern jazz harp and a prominent figure in American jazz, yet often overlooked in history. A gifted musician, composer, and civil rights activist, she led 11 albums as a band leader and collaborated with renowned artists such as Louis Armstrong, Freddie Hubbard, and Stevie Wonder. Along with her husband, she established “The Ashby Players,” a theater company that produced musicals shedding light on the plight of black Americans and advocating for social change. Despite facing resistance and criticism as a black female jazz musician daring to play jazz on the harp, her legacy now lives on as one of the most sampled artists of all time.
Tara Minton, a contemporary jazz harpist, vocalist, and composer, hailing from Melbourne, Australia, arrived in London in 2011 to pursue her dream of becoming a jazz harpist. Like Ashby, she also encountered resistance as a harpist trying to break into the jazz scene, but gradually made her way through. Starting with the 606 in Chelsea, Tara soon gained acceptance at other jazz clubs. Last year she made her headline debut at Ronnie Scott’s with Stan Sulzmann on tenor saxophone, and she has performed with Geoff Gascoyne, Tony Kofi, Rob Luft, Emma Rawicz, Eska, the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and even Björk!
Harp: Tara Minton
Trumpet: Miguel Gorodi
Double Bass: Ed Babar
Drums: David Ingamells