Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celtic harp, Modern Pop and Anne Roos

So what do Celtic harp, airlines, and modern pop music have in common? Anne Roos!

Anne’s career spans nearly three decades with a repertoire covering traditional Celtic, English, folk, Broadway, rock, jazz and contemporary music. She’s performed and appeared all over the world from the Tahoe Tonight show to the Lord Mayors mansion in Dublin, Ireland, while still finding time to serve as a teacher, mentor and consultant to other burgeoning artists. Anne is literally everywhere — in fact, if you’ve flown on United Airlines lately, you probably heard her on their in-flight music service. Here’s a bit more about our favorite Celtic harpist:

Spotlight on Anne Roos

  • Website:
  • Hometown: Presently residing in South Lake Tahoe, CA, but grew up in Southern California in Studio City
  • Influences: “My biggest influence is Alan Stivell. He is a Celtic harpist from Brittany, and I first saw him perform at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica in the ’80s, just after I had begun taking harp lessons. I remember sitting in the second row trying to make sense of his hand technique. His performance was simply magical, and he is credited as one of the first musicians to help popularize the Celtic harp in the U.S. He continues to perform, and his most recent CDs contain cutting edge world music.”
  • Cover song licensed: Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven”
  • Story behind the cover: “There’s always someone who requests me to play “Stairway to Heaven” and then retract their request saying, “I’m just kidding. I know you can’t play that.” So, I decided to call their bluff. Now when they ask, I say, “Yes, really, I can play that,” they look at me with a big smile of disbelief. After I finish playing it, they usually say, “Wow, do you have that on a CD?” The answer has been a disappointing, “No,” but after working with RightsFlow and getting this tune and other covers licensed, I can now turn a request into a sale. When I began landing gigs playing at restaurants, wedding receptions, corporate events, and even private clubs, such as the high rollers’ lounges at local Tahoe casinos, the audience wanted more than the traditional Celtic music tailor-made for the Celtic harp. I wanted to play music that they recognized and loved, so I worked at taking their requests. It was a stretch to play modern-day songs on the Celtic harp, but I succeeded, and my repertoire expanded exponentially.”

“Stairway to Heaven” is just one of 22 cover tunes on her new CD “Blue Jeans: Modern Pop on the Solo Harp”, available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. Signed copies are available for purchase from Anne’s website at or call or email Anne at 800-255-6318.

Original post on Limelight Artist Spotlight as written by Alex Holtz