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Laurie Rasmussen has been playing the harp for over 25 years and was a top prize winner at the 2007 Lyon & Healy International Jazz and Pop Harpfest competition. As a performer she has toured across the US, Canada and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with a variety of international musicians from violinist/fiddler extraordinaire Gilles Apap to the King of the Pipers, Paddy Keenan and Celtic harpist Kim Robertson. While living in Italy in 2000-2003 she was a featured artist at Celtic music festivals around Italy and Germany, opening for The Boys of the Lough and Altan and sharing the stage with uillean pipers Diarmaid Moynihan and Massimo Giuntini, guitarist Roberto Dalla Vecchia, cellist Christian Kewitsch and the Celtic group Inisfail. In 1999 she appeared on stage nightly and served as Music Director for the Irish dance show “Spirit of the Dance” at the Eldorado in Reno, Nevada.

As a pedal harpist Laurie has enjoyed performing with a variety of ensembles including the SBCC Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Maria Philharmonic, The Santa Barbara Master Chorale, the Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, the Adelfos Ensemble, the SBCC Lunch Break Jazz Band and the Montecito Jazz Project as well as appearing in such music theatre productions as
The Fantasticks with the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. She is currently a member of the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara.

Music has been a part of Laurie's life since childhood when her grandmother bought her a piano. Although she did not realize her grandmother's dream of becoming an international concert pianist, that instrument launched her toward other interesting musical adventures: she learned to improvise while playing vibes in a jazz band; as a clarinet player and percussionist she had many occasions to march in intricate half-time shows for the Denver Broncos and spent a summer touring Austria, Switzerland and Germany with an award-winning orchestra.

After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1985, Laurie found her calling when she fell in love with the sound of the Celtic harp and built her first instrument from a kit. This inspired her interest in the building and design aspects of the harp so she moved to California and spent two years working as a luthier.

Learning about harps from the inside out was a great experience but she grew tired of breathing all that sawdust and discovered that she enjoyed playing harps more than she did building them. Time spent living and traveling in the British Isles and studying with native players instilled in her a love of the traditional Celtic genre. Consequently, her passion has become interpreting this music on the harp.

Laurie laughs at harp

Currently, Laurie makes her home in Santa Barbara, California where she teaches harp and performs at public concerts and private events.

Adjunct Harp Instructor - Santa Barbara City College
Member - Music Teachers’ Association of California
Member - American Harp Society, National Organization
Member - American Harp Society, Los Angeles Chapter
Member - Suzuki Association of the Americas
Member -
Santa Barbara Event Professionals