Saturday, April 20, 2013


Harpist Olivette Miller at New York's Café Society, Downtown with (l-r) Cliff Jackson, Gene Sedric and Josh White circa March 1947.
Photographer William P. Gottlieb (1917-) for Down Beat Magazine.
Rights Info: Mr. Gottlieb has dedicated his works to the public domain, but rights of privacy and publicity may apply. Repository: (negative) Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington D.C. 20540 USA. 
Olivette Miller was the daughter of vaudevillian Flournoy Eakins Miller (1887-1971), and niece of producer Irvin Colloden Miller (1884-1975). She was married to dancer Freddy Gordon in the 1940s, divorced then married comedian Bert Gibson in the 1950s, and was called Olivette Miller Darby in the 1970s, but later went by Olivette Miller-Briggs, when she was married to tap dancer Bunny Briggs (b. 1922). It is sourced that Olivette passed away in Inglewood, CA. sometime in January, 2010.

Coalition of Harpists of African Descent

Thursday, April 11, 2013


We are please to welcome again harp technician and guest author Steve Moss of The Harp Herald who presents a series of informative articles to our blog about harp care. In today's article, Steve gives an abridged version of buying used. Thank you, Steve!

You may have noticed that harps cost a lot of money. You check the prices of new pedal harps and then you pick your jaw up off the floor. At this point, you may ask yourself "I wonder if I can find a good used harp?"  

The answer, of course, is "maybe." It depends on luck, timing, the number of resources you consult with, and mostly, luck again. While there are definitely some good buys out there, you’ll need to do some detective work, get to know the market and educate yourself on what to look for when you look at an instrument to determine whether it's a gem or should be sent to the junk heap. 

In my perfect world, only experienced harpists would get into the used harp market. People who have been around harps for a while are more able to assess a given instrument’s sound and may also know better how to assess whether it has reached the point where major repairs are going to be necessary. 

In reality though, it is very often beginners who look to save some money and get into harp playing on an affordable instrument. This is a perfectly logical idea, but unfortunately I’ve seen a few occasions when beginners bought a harp because the price was right, only to find that it was in need of major structural repairs, which ended up adding thousands of dollars to the purchase price.