Jazz & Pop Harpist

Jazz Performer

Amanda has always had a love for pop and jazz and after supporting Jamie Cullum and consequently recording with Dannii Minogue, her new path was set. In 2013 she achieved her Masters in Jazz studying under eminent teachers Paula Gardiner, Huw Warren, Ian Bellamy, Dave Cliff and Dudley Phillips (amongst many others)in RWCMD.

In 2015, she was invited to be a headline act at Edinburgh International Harp Festival with her trio The Whiting on the Wall. They also recorded their first album Butterflies

One of the highlights of her career has been performing at International Jazz festivals across the world with Jazz trumpeter Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra. Festivals and venues have included Hamburg, Johannesburg Union Chapel London, Jazz Cafe ( Camden), Pori Jazz66 (Finland), Ghent Jazz festival, London Jazz Festival, Gateshead and AB Belgique, Brussels.

Jazz education

Amanda is the Jazz harp teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has taught at RNCM and Junior RNCM. She is also co- author (with Tony Robinson) of a series of new Jazz harp books on the syllabus of Trinity College, London.

In July 2018 Amanda earnt her place on the Keep an Eye Summer Jazz Workshop in Amsterdam studying with the most incredible line-up of jazz musicians including John Riley, Dick Oates and Justin Dicioccio.

Jazz groups

The Whiting on the Wall – Jazz Trio

“A fresh new sound that transports you to afternoons of sunshine.” The trio of harp, bass (Deej Williams) and drums (Tony Robinson) manage to capture the perfect atmosphere. Appearing in Hay and Brecon festivals in 2013, the trio are in high demand throughout the country. 2015 saw the trio as a headline act in Edinburgh International Harp Festival.

Amanda and Tony Robinson Duo

See the Video page for more (In a Sentimental Mood, All of Me)

And something different?

Deborah Henson-Conant

In April 2010, Amanda was honoured to be asked to perform with legendary jazz harpist Deborah Henson Conant in Carnarfon. ‘Danger Zone’ – a small jazz concerto with orchestra, was about an experiment into the ‘strapless evening gown’ and Amanda played the role of a mad scientist. 

“Amanda’s talent, commitment, and above all her willingness to fully involve herself in the process of collaboration, epitomises the power of the composer/performer relationship. She then sat down and poured her heart and soul into the performance.  And the audience absolutely loved her.”

Deborah Henson-Conant

Amanda has performed in Miss Moneypenny’s in Birmingham, improvising over the DJ, leading the way for harp music being incorporated into dance music.

She has also recorded an improvised track ‘Pass-On‘ for the up and coming film director Pablo Magee. Recorded individually, the harp was layered on a bass and drums track to which saxophonist John Altman (who played with Bob Marley, Hendrix, Prince and Sting) added his unique sound.

The harps…

As a jazz harpist, Amanda plays an electro-acoustic 47 string Lyon and Healy and 44 string Camac Blue with AER amplification.

And what the jazz critics say:

Whiting’s harp, full of flowing, cascading notes, similarly couldn’t help draw comparison to Alice Coltrane: the harp is a rare instrument in jazz, and Alice Coltrane one of it’s pioneers. In the Gondwana Orchestra, the instrument was used to great effect, adding another layer of texture. 

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra
(Islington Assembly Hall, 15 November 2016. EFG London Jazz Festival. Review by Patrick Hadfield)

The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday night, at the RNCM.
Amanda Whiting’s Welsh trio imaginatively reimagined jazz favourites such as Art Blakey’s Moanin’ and Miles Davis’ Blue In Green, the three musicians complimenting each other beautifully and bringing a real warmth and intimacy to the venue.
Where one song was lolling and delicate, the next could be haunting and disquieting, Whiting controlling the room with what seemed like the most minor movements.
When the trio were joined by the the peerless Park Stickney, things went to another level. The depth of sound given by the two harps was remarkable. It wasn’t quite jazz from another dimension, but perhaps another version of this one; the subtle differences between these versions of classic songs and their originals brought some extra layer to the sound which was hard to pin down.
It was jazz at its intriguing best, leaving you with a tapping foot and a raised eyebrow, eager not to miss anything.

Review: Wild Strings Jazz and Pop Harp Festival @ Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester 6 October 2018
Mancunian Matters

Performing at Wild Strings with Park Stickney

October 2018 Performing at Wild Strings with Park Stickney  (Aidan Thorne (bass)/Jon Reynolds (drums))

Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra at AB Belgique, Brussels 2019

Posted by Ferdinand Feys on Monday, 29 April 2019