Zanna Evans began playing piano from the age of four but her passion for the harp was sparked whilst watching a harp competition at the age of nine. Since 2004 Zanna has been freelancing, performing with various orchestras and choral societies as well as at weddings across the UK. She has played in a variety of venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, The Cobden Club and The Troubador. Zanna is also a teacher who passionately believes in a creative approach to learning and inspiring anyone who wants to play.
Zanna is passionate about exploring the versatility of the harp and has a desire to work with other genres and artists creating innovative sounds. Zanna went to the London Jazz Festival in 2009 and, inspired, attended the first Harp Jazz Academy in 2010. In 2013, she went to live in Brazil to study jazz harp and as a result, has produced a beautiful album, Dreams Rising, a collection of famous bossa novas and jazz standards. This has just been released on iTunes.
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
Being able to do something I love and enjoy is a privilege and making music with others is such a buzz, creating beautiful sounds and rhythms from scratch.
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
I have two! There are two harpists who I have met and worked with and deeply admire. My professor in Brazil, Cristina Braga and Deborah Henson Conant from the US. Both have not been afraid to push the boundaries using the harp through working with other artists and have found their own voices in their playing and are pioneers. Cristina has developed contemporary and traditional Latin music on the harp,using complex rhythms and works alot with bands. Deborah plays a variety of contemporary music, including jazz and blues and even has an electric harp named after her! In doing this, both ladies have opened the gateway for so many other harpists to explore other genres that the harp can be played in. They are both incredibly talented, creative musicians, with so much energy, passion and positivity. Their commitment and focus to new projects is exciting and inspiring as is their generosity in sharing their work and giving advice.
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
Talk to as many people as you can in your field and don't be afraid to ask questions to those that you admire and follow.
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
Take some time out, go for a walk or swim maybe and don't try to resolve the problems in your head. Just allow yourself to do something different that is relaxing to take your mind off it all. Give yourself some time away from the work you are doing and then come back to it
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
I would be a summer shoe that is pretty with a small heel, with some bright colours and is open so that I can dance latin stylie!