John Hughes, Kora (West African Harp) - Harpist - Northampton, MA - Hero Main
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John Hughes, Kora (West African Harp)

Harpist from Northampton, MA Will travel up to 500 miles

  • Avg 5.0 | 8 Reviews
  • 11 Verified Bookings
  • Member Since 2014
  • 3 Awards & Badges
  • Virtual Services Offered
  • Accepts Online Payment
  • Starting at $250 per event

About Vendor

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Joyful music for all occasions! John Hughes is an innovative kora (West African harp) player, percussionist and vocalist whose style ranges from elegant and stately classical West African harp music to jazzy, hypnotic grooves that cross cultural boundaries and fuse disparate cultural influences. Playing ancient traditional instruments not often heard in the United States (many of which he builds himself), John takes his audience on an intimate tour of universally musical expressions of joy and hope, at once soothing and up-lifting. Whether playful or romantic, Johns music will cast a web of delight, creating the ideal ambience to unite all in attendance in fellowship and joy. Perfect for: * Weddings * Receptions * Cocktail Hour * Garden Parties * Corporate Functions * Dinner parties * Galas * Fundraisers * Openings * Etc. The kora is an ancient 22 stringed harp from the Mandeng people of West Africa. Nearly as far back as a thousand years ago, the kora set the tone in the royal courts of the emperors of West Africa. It was present at all community celebrations including weddings, births and initiations. It was played in courts of law to ground and harmonize disgruntled plaintiffs. It inspired celebrants at parties to dance and sing and soothed children gathered in village courtyards each night before bed. John Hughes is an internationally recognized kora player, percussionist, singer, dancer, sculptor, instrument builder and educator. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, England. John has studied the music song and dance of West Africa for over 25 years, training with numerous master drummers and dancers from Guinea and Mali, including Mamady Keita and Famoudou Konate. As a Kora player, John is primarily self-taught and has developed a style all his own, though deeply rooted in the ancient Mande tradition. John has released five CDs of original music. Also available: The Kora & Cello Duo Kora player John Hughes and cellist Stephen Katz are each exceptions to many a rule. The duo's avant-garde fusion of African and European strings reaches, at once, deeply into their respective traditions and far and wide outside of the proverbial 'boxes' of both. The result is an errant complicity of deeply poetic proportions. Focusing on the essence - rhythm, harmony, and silence - John and Stephen bring to their collaboration unique and proprietary styles of playing as well as the compositional agility and deep listening of consummate improvisers. Stately and elegant, intense and passionate, precise and playful, the music frolics through time and space like bees in a field of wildflowers - euphonic praise of life and fellowship! The k o r a & c e l l o d u o is available for concerts, weddings, private parties, etc.


Check out these verified reviews from bookings on The Bash.

Avg 5.0 | 8 Reviews

See all 8 Reviews

Review by Nancy N.

CelebrationReviewed on August 29, 2021From Cumberland, RI

If you are seeking to find a harpist for any event, I highly recommend John! His music is exceptional and its such a pleasure to working with him I highly recommend!

John Hughes, Kora (West African Harp):

Thank you, Nancy!

Review by Lisa D.

Community EventReviewed on August 20, 2019From Stillwater, NY

John is amazing. He takes the time to explain what a Kora is, how he came to play one, and the history of the music he performs. He plays both traditional and original music. It is equally impressive that he makes his own instruments and shares that process with the audience. From relaxing to upbeat, John's music will leave you wanting more.

Review by Nikki W.

Wedding CeremonyReviewed on September 8, 2018From Walpole, NH

John was a wonderful addition to our ceremony, all of the guests were in awe of the beautiful sound and the look of the harp itself and how it enhanced the ambiance of the barn and really made us happy that we chose him as our wedding musician. Thanks again! The Magees

John Hughes, Kora (West African Harp):

Thank you!!

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Date Selected: 11/29/2021

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Past Events

October 14, 2021 • Funeral
Thu9:30 PM - 11:00 PM Beachwood, OH
October 9, 2021 • Wedding Ceremony
Sat3:00 PM - 3:30 PM Andover, NH
August 29, 2021 • Celebration
Sun2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Cumberland, RI
September 13, 2019 • Wedding Ceremony
Fri5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Jamestown, RI
August 20, 2019 • Community Event
Tue12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Stillwater, NY
September 8, 2018 • Wedding Ceremony
Sat3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Walpole, NH
November 17, 2017 • Corporate Function
Fri5:30 PM - 8:00 PM Toronto, ON
November 5, 2016 • Birthday Party (Adult)
Sat5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Malta, NY
September 17, 2016 • Wedding
Sat3:00 PM - 5:30 PM Kensington, NH
July 29, 2016 • Private Party
Fri5:00 PM - 9:00 PM Little Compton, RI
September 12, 2015 • Birthday Party (Adult)
Sat2:00 PM - 7:00 PM Clifton Park, NY

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