Cassie Watson, teacher – Endless gratitude for Jazz Pop Harp Weekend 2020. So many lives and hearts touched. Thank you for your commitment to building a community. This is a dream come true and only by your tears, sweat and vision.

Erin Hill, Teacher: I’ve performed at several Harp Festivals across the country, and the New Orleans Jazz Pop Harp Weekend was a unique experience in many wonderful ways.  For example, students told me how exciting it was for them to get to play along on group songs during the public performances.  And the way the festival was organized to involve the city of New Orleans was amazing!  Involving local venues both for performance and also for going out and listening to music, and being able to discuss all of this over the course of the intensive workshop was really great. I also thought the variety of classes offered and the way many of them incorporated New Orleans songs & styles of music was fantastic, and something you can’t get anywhere else.

NOJPHW student evaluation 1: The range of harpist teaching workshops was great and I really liked learning from so many talented people. Great Value!

NOJPHW student evaluation 2: I liked the variety of professional approaches, especially regarding improv(isation). More Improv!

NOJPHW student evaluation 3: I liked the helpful hints about how to use chords. Too bad we couldn’t have more time with the instructors. Keep it up.

NOJPHW student evaluation 4:  It was nice to have the course materials online, to print or save to Dropbox with the library’s internet. Very good value. The Perks Café Artist showcase was a fun venue. The repertoire was very good.

NOJPHW student evaluation 5: I liked practicing with other people.

NOJPHW student evaluation 6: I had a great time. Thank you all. I had a hard time reading some of the handwritten stuff (course materials), but no big deal. I liked spending time with other harpists.

NOJPHW student evaluation 7: The classes gave very valuable information. Five stars.

See Karla Williams Facebook testimonial video at


Ben Creighton Griffiths (Welsh harpist/Faculty NOJPHW 2017) on Nashville Public Radio: “I think this is the seventh time that they have run the New Orleans Jazz Pop Harp Weekend. They have different faculty every time. That was really fun! I was there from Friday through Sunday, doing some teaching, some courses, some performances and jam sessions. There is a nice mix of things. That was great fun. I love New Orleans. I really enjoyed myself. I am more of a jazz musician, than a classical musician these days and I do it on the harp primarily. That’s what I really enjoy doing, more than anything else. In the Jazz Pop Harp Weekend, everyone is trying to show the harp in a different light. Hopefully, people do, because it’s got an awful lot more to offer than people think.

Cass Watson (Assistant Producer NOJPHW): What a weekend it was! Lever and pedal harp teachers alike pleasantly challenged us to emerge from our shells and we rose to occasion!  The classes were small this year, but functioned exceptionally well as an intimate and safe space to explore and refine our own voices in harp expression. I admire each one of you and feel so fortunate to be able to witness your growth and journey.  Wishing you the best in harp until we meet again! B#

Eyler Coates Jr. (student NOJPHW): Thanks to you all for a wonderful weekend. It was very helpful and fun.

Elizabeth Webb (student NOJPHW): Thanks for putting on a great festival. Even though I was only able to attend one day I really enjoyed it. I would have liked was more information about the sessions ahead of time (more detailed descriptions). I think the instructors would benefit from more information about the participants as well (type of harp and level of experience with that topic). Hope to see you again. Thanks!
Martha Gallagher (Faculty NOJPHW 2017): It was a fabulous event.
Rachel Van Voorhees  (Faculty NOJPHW 2017): What a beautiful weekend for everyone! All the students seemed engaged, enthusiastic and anxious to learn. The other teachers were great and things seemed to run very smoothly, thanks to lots of good planning.
Joyce Buie (student NOJPHW): I really enjoyed the classes. Maybe it is because I have been playing longer now, but this year, I could understand things better and the classes seemed to flow better, especially Rachel’s and Luke’s classes.

Beth Stockdell (student NOJPHW): It was great to have small classes and individual attention.

New Orleans Jazz Pop Harp Weekend 2016:

Frances Grafton, Louisiana harpist attending: Thank each of you for a wonderful weekend of exploring Jazz.  The concerts were absolutely wonderful. The course offerings were fantastic! The listening tour was an amazing experience! Excellent!

Al Kennedy, concert audience member: Congratulations to Patrice Fisher and Carlos Valladares for another successful New Orleans Jazz & Pop Harp Weekend. The concluding concert was the perfect Sunday afternoon treat. Great music from Becca Babin and Heather Feierabend  and a moving performance by a duo from Moscow.

Stephanie Parker,  Baton Rouge harpist attending: I liked: the variety of classes, the guest musicians and instructors, the Open Mic concerts in the library. The only thing I didn't like is that it is only once a year. Thank you!

Maria Kulakova,  Russian harpist attending NOJPHW: Everything was wonderful! We loved meeting you and Carlos and visiting New Orleans. You are amazing people.

Libby Guillory,  Baton Rouge harpist attending: Luke (Brechtelsbauer), it was so enjoyable to experience your talents at the New Orleans Jazz and Pop Harp Weekend. Thanks for your hard work and determination with your presentations and concert. You are fascinating!

Erin Riley Lawless,  volunteer and mother of harp student, Caroline Lawless: Really fabulous weekend, Patrice. Thanks for all of your hard work!

Anton Kotikov, Russian saxophonist attending NOJPHW: We would like to say thanks Patrice Fisher, Rachel Van Voorhees and others for wonderful weekend in New Orleans! And special thanks to Carlos Valladares!!!)))

Brandee Youger, (Jazz harp teacher) I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality and careful attention to detail last weekend for the NOLA Jazz + Pop Weekend. It was an awesome weekend with some really incredible and dedicated students.

Catherine Ashley ( harpist attending from Australia) I liked the concerts by the faculty, the open mic, songwriting and composition classes, Lever and pedal harp techniques for jazz and Clave rhythms!



Bette Vidrine:   I just returned from a great weekend in New Orleans at the Jazz Harp Weekend Festival.  Those of you who weren't there missed a great time with presenters Lori Andrews, Bart Samolis, Louise Trotter, and Ivory McCann, and amazing concerts with all of the above plus Patrice Fisher and her band Arpa and Rachel Van Voorhees.  I only got there on Saturday morning, so I may have missed anybody who was involved on Friday.  New Orleans is always a fun place to go, and it was so good to be with old friends again. Folks, keep your eyes out for the next one!  Remember, jazz was born in New Orleans, and what better place to learn it?
Ivory McCann:   I had such a great time! This was definitely my favorite JHW! It is because of your dedication and vision JHW has ever happened to  begin with. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my beliefs and journey!

Ann Seward :   Having folks with us made our trip more fun too. Already looking forward to next year!

Karla Williams:    Thank you and Carlos tremendously for your hospitality and a fantastic conference.  I had such an incredible time!  I can't wait to see all the pictures! You are so awesome and I feel so blessed to have met you!   Thanks for the great pictures. I am so grateful for your understanding during such a stressful several months.  You were a ray of sunshine during that time and I will never forget it!

Lori Andrews: Bart and I just wanted to say we had a BLAST with y'all this weekend!! I'm soooo sad it's over. We sure hope to hear from each and every one of you in the VERY near future.

Cassie Watson: You continue to illuminate the community with your selfless dedication and transcendent vision. Thank you for everything and for inspiring each life that you know. We are very blessed to know and love you.

Rebecca Todaro: In my short experience with the chapter I have been touched by the level of sacrifice and industriousness of you two.  Your efforts have built some very special traditions in this amazing city. Working together, being inclusive to all who wish to throw their efforts in- this speaks volumes about the kind of people you are. You are my heroes!

Cathy Anderson: Thank you for all the organizing and time you spent with the weekend.  I think everyone really enjoyed it, and I was glad to be able to attend. Congratulations on pulling it off!


Brenda Bowen Cox:

The N.O. Jazz and Pop Harp Weekend exceeded my expectations. It was extremely well put together - you did your homework and you did it very well. The instruction was top quality - all the instructors are not just great performers, but also excellent teachers. The Weekend had the perfect amount of material presented. There was plenty of material to be challenging yet not so much as to make one feel overwhelmed. The variety of class topics as well as instructors and activities made it interesting at all times - there were no "lags."

Jeff McFadden:
The best money I've spent in a long, long time. Please also share my blog, There will be a long post about the festival, after I catch my breath. There is also a daily blog I sent out in real time available at forum.

Cheryl Kripke Cohen:
Thank you Patrice for all the hard work and time you and Carlos and everyone else involved in teaching and hosting the event put in. It was a great weekend!

Ann Seward:
I met so many wonderful people this weekend, with whom I want to stay in touch. Thank you again, and please extend my thanks to each of your volunteers, for all your work for this event. Every one of you truly went above and beyond the call of duty, and made for a great event.

Deborah Henson-Conant:
Thanks so much Patrice, Yvonne, Carlos & Lindsey — what great work you did!!! Thank you for letting me be a part of it.

Sharon Affeltranger:
Fabulous weekend. More than I expected and well worth flying across the country to attend. Thanks again for all your excellent organization and help. I loved getting to know you all.

Arlene Rector:
I had a wonderful time at the Jazz Conference.

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