The story of my musical path began with an old piano on which I would regularly tinkle away. At 7 years old, I started playing the violin, but it didn’t last very long.Soon, I discovered another stringed instrument: the Harp, much bigger and more fascinating. I was 10 years old and found that it was grand and resounded beautifully. I then enrolled into a Harp class at the Conservatoire National in Grenoble, France where I studied until I earned a Gold Medal. I then spent a year in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique and participated in a musical writing class (Harmony and Counterpoint)


In 1989, my life took a totally different path.
I left for Kuwait for 8 months where I played background music with a violonist and a bass player in a very luxurious hotel. With them, I began to learn jazz, a style of music that I decided to study. But it is not easy to learn jazz when you are a harpist. There were no existing learning methods, and not even a jazz teacher for the harp in France. What could I do? I began taking jazz harmony courses with Pierre Drevet (who would later become Liane Foly’s trumpet player) and I went to Scotland to do an internship and met the American jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant. Around the same time, I appeared briefly on television next to ZUCHERRO on the program Champs-Elysees, in Grenoble, France.In 1991, I left for Boston, U.S.A. to study for one year with Deborah Henson-Conant,a world-famous harpist.In April 1992, Deborah Henson-Conant invited Magali Zsigmond and the Austrian Harpist Monika Stadler to play with her in concert. « The Harp Breakers », a jazz harp cabaret, achieved a great success.1993, I won 1st Prize at the International Competition of Pop and Jazz Harpfest in Chicago. This was followed by performances in several places, particularly at the 31st National Conference of the American Harp Society in Boston (1994), and during the Pop and Jazz Harpfest in Tucson, USA (1995).
In the meantime, I met Jean-Claude Mara, a panpipes player. We then toured around the world between 1993 and 1997 in Germany, Jerusalem, Japan and Paris (particularly in the famous church :Sainte-Eustache in front of 3000 people). We also recorded the CD « Allegoria » in 1994 (Meditative and improvised music).

1995

© Karim Ramzi

In 1995, I met the drummer Bruno Delepouve. We created a jazz trio with the bass player Frederic Vieste. We performed concerts in Paris. Then Patrick Manet, composer and double bass player joined our group. Our compositions made up most of the « MZ TRIO » repertoire.

© Karim Ramzi
© Karim Ramzi

In August 2000: Our CD « Tout Va Bien » (All is well) was released.
We performed in concerts throughout France : Bourges, Cogolin, Clermont-Ferrand, Maubeuge, Dinan, Fontenay le Comte, Niort, etc…
Another unique creation, is the duet HARPOSPHERE with the drummer Bruno Delepouve. This duet exclusively plays background music.

From 1997 to 2004, we had the opportunity to perform in luxurious hotels and restaurants, and for various eclectic events during which we played an original and innovative repertoire, like jazz standards, bossas novas, some French old songs ….
Since 2001, I have been discovering this « new » instrument: the electric celtic harp. A new horizon opened up for me with new possibilities and ways of playing, new sounds and compositions. This is mainly the instrument I now play.

© Photographie de Sophie Etchart et graphisme de Sandrine Pagnoux, réalisée à l'occasion du dernier album : Harpa Incognita.
© Sophie Etchart & Sandrine Pagnoux