Sunday, November 24, 2019


Mario ‘Harp’ Lorenzi (May 29, 1894 - June 1, 1967) was a popular harpist of the 1930's, whose styles ranged from classical to ragtime and jazz.  Born in Florence, Italy, Lorenzi  began playing the harp at the age of four, being taught by his well-known harpist father, Georgio Lorenzi.

In 1908, Lorenzi received his diploma in harp at the Royal Academy of Music in Florence. Soon after that, the Lorenzi family moved to London.

During the 1920's Lorenzi performed with a number of popular dance bands in the UK, including the Jay Whidden Band where he played alto sax, clarinet and harp. Lorenzi's harp playing can be heard for the first time in a recording made by the Jay Whidden Band in 1926 called. “I Don’t Want Nobody But You”, one of the earliest appearances of a harp on a dance band recording.
The harp begins at 1m 03sec.

In the early 1930s, now highly regarded in the dance band circuit, Lorenzi created a series of dance band recordings featuring himself on harp. For many years he appeared in numerous variety shows as Mario ‘Harp’ Lorenzi.  Along with his own dance band, Lorenzi would perform light classical as well as swing and dance numbers.

Lorenzi continued to perform, retiring in 1957 due to severe arthritis. He passed away in the North Hertfordshire District, Hertfordshire, England at the age of 73.  

Below is a recording of Mario 'Harp' Lorenzi and His Rhythmics playing "Ain't She Sweet".

No comments: