The Harper and The Minstrel
A Featured 3 Star Act!
The Harper and The Minstrel - Jay and Abby Michaels
The Harper and The Minstrel incorporate elements of Celtic, Folk, Rock and Early Music into something that is uniquely their own. Abby's angelic alto and Jay's cindery baritone are accompanied by a variety of instruments including Celtic Harp, Silver & Divergent Flute, Recorder, Penny Whistle, Bowed Psaltery and Guitar. This duo can perform an all-instrumental program, or include vocals.
The Harper and The Minstrel specialize in beautiful Airs and Ballads, and their unique arrangements of Traditional Celtic tunes, Baroque and Renaissance Music and songs by artists like Sting, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
Their music is enjoyed, and their musicianship is appreciated by audiences of all ages.
"You can best judge a musician's acumen by the way they interpret music, whether that music is familiar to you or obscure. Jay and Abby Michaels' deft adaptations of songs from Sting to Robert Burns are thrilling, and they reveal the pair to be artists of some skill."
"Sheer uniqueness" -Dirty Linen Magazine
Jay Michaels has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Anna Maria College. He has been composing and recording music since the early 90's. He has many instrumental pieces licensed to film/TV libraries. His New Age Harp instrumental "Opening The Harp Chakra" was placed on the NBC series "Parenthood" and on Fox's "Lie To Me".
Abby Michaels earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Westfield State College where she studied opera. Before becoming a full time musician she taught music in the public and private school systems, and has also taught recorder and voice privately. Abby's performance background includes rock bands and various choirs, she was a popular soloist for church services.
The Harper and The Minstrel have performed throughout New England at Weddings, Private Parties, Coffee Houses, Folk and Celtic Festivals, Farmers Markets and Senior Living Facilities. The duo have also performed Early Music Programs in Libraries, Schools and at Renaissance and Medieval festivals in New England, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, Arizona and California. They have recorded eight CD's together. Jay Michaels has recorded two solo CD's.
This is an excerpt from a CD review of their 2010 instrumental release "The Road To Lindemar" from issue #79 of Renaissance Magazine:
THE HARPER AND THE MINSTREL
The Road to Lindemar
This all-instrumental collection by Jay and Abby Michaels, together known as The Harper and the Minstrel, is surprisingly varied. Between them, the Michaels play Celtic harp, silver and divergent flute, recorder, penny whistle, bowed psaltery, and guitar, and all of them quite well indeed.
Though most of the tunes are traditional, there are surprises, foremost among them an arrangement of Led Zeppelin's “Stairway to Heaven.” Classical pieces include Bach's “Minuet in G,” Beethoven's “Für Elise,” the ubiquitous Pachelbel's “Canon,” and two pieces by English renaissance composer William Byrd. Harpers are probably inclined to include the Turlough O'Carolan pieces among the classics, and the arrangements here are graceful and straightforward.