130x130_sq_1313464634857-kgharp

Kari Gardner - Harpist

Grayslake , IL
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LOCATION

Grayslake, IL US 60030 (map)

WEBSITE

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ABOUT US

Kari Gardner is a talented professional harpist who performs primarily in the greater Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI areas. Her amazingly extensive repertoire includes a broad range of... Read more
Kari Gardner is a talented professional harpist who performs primarily in the greater Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI areas. Her amazingly extensive repertoire includes a broad range of styles, for example: classical (from Medieval and Renaissance to French Romantic and Contemporary), Celtic, Christian, Jewish, Chinese, Broadway, and popular (from the Phantom of the Opera to Enya, and from Sinatra to Metallica). She has had the pleasure of arranging music for the harp specifically to suit her client's requests. Some examples include Indian Bollywood movie music, 80's metal, current R&B hits, and Romanian hymns. For December events she can perform a mix of Christmas, Hanukkah, and secular seasonal music in order to be inclusive of all of your attendees, or narrow her repertoire to one category to suit your specific tastes.

Background: Kari began studying music at the age of 2 1/2, starting with violin. By the age of 11 she was also taking harp and piano lessons. She went on to complete both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in harp performance from Northwestern University, where she studied under Elizabeth Cifani, Lyric Opera principal harpist. Other teachers include Minnesota Orchestra Principal Harpists Joan Mainzer (retired) and Kathy Kienzle (current).

Experience: Kari has been freelancing part-time since she was in highschool and full time since obtained her Master's degree in 1996. She has performed as principal harpist for many orchestras, composes and arranges music for harp and various folk harps, and held steady background music gigs. Her longest running background music engagement was as a Sunday brunch harpist at a hotel in Deerfield, IL--every Sunday for six years as well as major holidays. In her work as a musician for weddings she has played for many types of ceremonies, including Christian, Jewish, Islam, Hindi, Zoastrian, multiple faith, non-religious, and various themed weddings. Wedding size has ranged from just the bride and groom, the minister, and Kari (she was even asked to sign as a witness!) to hundreds of people. She has the experience and professionalism necessary to make her part of your event smooth and worry-free. Read less
Ceremony Music

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR CEREMONY MUSIC

What ceremony music arrangements can you provide?
Instrumental - Duo, Instrumental - Solo
What instruments does your group play?
Harp

REVIEWS

5.0
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5.0/5.0
4.9/5.0
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Raven*
Wedding:
6/12/2014
5.0/5.0
Kari was PHENOMENAL! My husband REALLY wanted a harpist for our ceremony - once we found Kari, we were sold! She was very easy to get in contact with and was very prompt and responsive to questions. She had a variety of songs on her repertoire list to choose from! We were able to incorporate a wide range of songs for our ceremony, from Star Wars to Rock to R&B. Our sit in consultation at her home went very well. We were just in awe at how talented she was on the harp. The ceremony was BEAUTIFUL, we received so many compliments - I would honestly say that Kari helped to make our wedding ceremony one to truly remember!
Kari was PHENOMENAL! My husband REALLY wanted a harpist for our ceremony - once we found Kari, we were sold! She was very Read more...
Kari was PHENOMENAL! My husband REALLY wanted a harpist for our ceremony - once we found Kari, we were sold! She was very easy to get in contact with and was very prompt and responsive to questions. She had a variety of songs on her repertoire list to choose from! We were able to incorporate a wide range of songs for our ceremony, from Star Wars to Rock to R&B. Our sit in consultation at her home went very well. We were just in awe at how talented she was on the harp. The ceremony was BEAUTIFUL, we received so many compliments - I would honestly say that Kari helped to make our wedding ceremony one to truly remember! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Carolyn
Wedding:
11/23/2013
5.0/5.0
Kari's music was beautiful and we got so many compliments from our guests about how they enjoyed her performance. She has a wide variety of music to choose from and was very fair and flexible with pricing.
Kari's music was beautiful and we got so many compliments from our guests about how they enjoyed her performance. She has Read more...
Kari's music was beautiful and we got so many compliments from our guests about how they enjoyed her performance. She has a wide variety of music to choose from and was very fair and flexible with pricing. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Devon
Wedding:
10/19/2013
5.0/5.0
Kari was AWESOME!! As a busy bride, I didn't have much time to meet with all of our vendors. Instead, Kari offered that we have telephone consultation, during which we went over song selections. She even went so far as to play some of them over the phone so that I could have a better idea of how R&B songs would sound on the harp. BEAUTIFUL! On our wedding day, she was very professional and polite, and all of our guests have been raving about her! (It's almost 2 months later, and people are still talking about her!) During our exchange of vows and rings, she played softly, and I swear it made the ceremony ethereal. Kari is an exceptional harpist with the perfect blend of class and elegance. I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone, and I can't wait for our next event to request her services again!
Kari was AWESOME!! As a busy bride, I didn't have much time to meet with all of our vendors. Instead, Kari offered that we Read more...
Kari was AWESOME!! As a busy bride, I didn't have much time to meet with all of our vendors. Instead, Kari offered that we have telephone consultation, during which we went over song selections. She even went so far as to play some of them over the phone so that I could have a better idea of how R&B songs would sound on the harp. BEAUTIFUL! On our wedding day, she was very professional and polite, and all of our guests have been raving about her! (It's almost 2 months later, and people are still talking about her!) During our exchange of vows and rings, she played softly, and I swear it made the ceremony ethereal. Kari is an exceptional harpist with the perfect blend of class and elegance. I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone, and I can't wait for our next event to request her services again! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Marilyn
Wedding:
10/5/2013
5.0/5.0
Kari was so wonderful to work with. We sat down for hours picking out the music with me,, she was on time and her music was beautiful! My guests continue to rave about her. Her music along with all the other choices made my day so special! It was everything I could of hope for!
Kari was so wonderful to work with. We sat down for hours picking out the music with me,, she was on time and her music Read more...
Kari was so wonderful to work with. We sat down for hours picking out the music with me,, she was on time and her music was beautiful! My guests continue to rave about her. Her music along with all the other choices made my day so special! It was everything I could of hope for! Read less
Services Used: Catering, Ceremony Music, Flowers
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Pat
Wedding:
9/22/2013
5.0/5.0
My situation was a bit unusual and Kari made every effort to offer an excellent value for my wedding. Her presentation was lovely, her music was beautiful and she helped to make my dream wedding ceremony come true.
My situation was a bit unusual and Kari made every effort to offer an excellent value for my wedding. Her presentation was Read more...
My situation was a bit unusual and Kari made every effort to offer an excellent value for my wedding. Her presentation was lovely, her music was beautiful and she helped to make my dream wedding ceremony come true. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Kari is an exceptionally talented harpist. She was delightful and extremely easy to work with in selecting a program both for our ceremony and our reception. Her range of music is boundless, and she is a consummate professional who makes a fabulous impression in her performances. She is exactly what anyone would want a harpist to be.
Kari is an exceptionally talented harpist. She was delightful and extremely easy to work with in selecting a program both Read more...
Kari is an exceptionally talented harpist. She was delightful and extremely easy to work with in selecting a program both for our ceremony and our reception. Her range of music is boundless, and she is a consummate professional who makes a fabulous impression in her performances. She is exactly what anyone would want a harpist to be. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Lisa
Wedding:
7/27/2013
5.0/5.0
Kari invited us over to her home to listen to as many songs we liked. And she had quite an extensive selection of many different types of modern, classical, even 80's and rock music. In the wedding day everything went PERFECT! Not a single complaint! I watched our video of the wedding day and hearing the beautiful harp in the background (we had an outdoor wedding) it made me tear up!
Kari invited us over to her home to listen to as many songs we liked. And she had quite an extensive selection of many Read more...
Kari invited us over to her home to listen to as many songs we liked. And she had quite an extensive selection of many different types of modern, classical, even 80's and rock music. In the wedding day everything went PERFECT! Not a single complaint! I watched our video of the wedding day and hearing the beautiful harp in the background (we had an outdoor wedding) it made me tear up! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Kari was amazing!
She understood exactly what we needed and played beautifully at our outdoor wedding this summer.
We would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a harpist.
Anna and Ed
Kari was amazing!
She understood exactly what we needed and played beautifully at our outdoor wedding this Read more...
Kari was amazing!
She understood exactly what we needed and played beautifully at our outdoor wedding this summer.
We would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a harpist.
Anna and Ed Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Wonderful, beautiful in all aspects.thanks!
Wonderful, beautiful in all aspects.thanks!
Wonderful, beautiful in all aspects.thanks! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
Kari was easy to work with, affordable and played beautifully.
Kari was easy to work with, affordable and played beautifully.
Kari was easy to work with, affordable and played beautifully. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Laura
Wedding:
3/24/2012
5.0/5.0
What a talented musician! Very professional, but Kari also went out of her way to make sure the music was just what we wanted... She is very experienced and thorough- on the big day the harpist is one thing you don't even have to think about, let alone stress over.
And her skill is another story- her beautiful music added extra dimension to our ceremony.
PS- The harp is 10 times more moving in person... I'm not a weepy person, and I teared up when she demonstrated what would be our processional.
What a talented musician! Very professional, but Kari also went out of her way to make sure the music was just what we Read more...
What a talented musician! Very professional, but Kari also went out of her way to make sure the music was just what we wanted... She is very experienced and thorough- on the big day the harpist is one thing you don't even have to think about, let alone stress over.
And her skill is another story- her beautiful music added extra dimension to our ceremony.
PS- The harp is 10 times more moving in person... I'm not a weepy person, and I teared up when she demonstrated what would be our processional. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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newwife
Wedding:
9/10/2011
5.0/5.0
Kari's music repertoire was exquisite and we did get a lot of compliments on our choice of music and musician! We are so happy that we chose Kari to play for our ceremony! She made it a very special day for everyone!
If anyone would ever ask us to refer a musician for their wedding or event, we would HIGHLY recommend Kari! She is the best!

Jina & Dan Kollross
Kari's music repertoire was exquisite and we did get a lot of compliments on our choice of music and musician! We are so Read more...
Kari's music repertoire was exquisite and we did get a lot of compliments on our choice of music and musician! We are so happy that we chose Kari to play for our ceremony! She made it a very special day for everyone!
If anyone would ever ask us to refer a musician for their wedding or event, we would HIGHLY recommend Kari! She is the best!

Jina & Dan Kollross Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Jessie
Wedding:
8/21/2011
5.0/5.0
Kari was amazing to work with! we had communicated entirely by email and everything went smoothly. she was very quick to respond and helped ease my nerves about certain queues and set ups. She asks for a lot of details - which is a very good thing. i wished that we were able to meet her in person to discuss things, but we did not have time. i would highly recommend her for ceremony music. i even wished we had used her for the reception! all the guests raved about her beautiful harp and how lovely the music was. i would tell all brides to please consider her for your ceremony if you want a harpist. even if you may not initially want a harp - i would strongly recommend it because it is incredibly beautiful.
Kari was amazing to work with! we had communicated entirely by email and everything went smoothly. she was very quick to Read more...
Kari was amazing to work with! we had communicated entirely by email and everything went smoothly. she was very quick to respond and helped ease my nerves about certain queues and set ups. She asks for a lot of details - which is a very good thing. i wished that we were able to meet her in person to discuss things, but we did not have time. i would highly recommend her for ceremony music. i even wished we had used her for the reception! all the guests raved about her beautiful harp and how lovely the music was. i would tell all brides to please consider her for your ceremony if you want a harpist. even if you may not initially want a harp - i would strongly recommend it because it is incredibly beautiful. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Bianca
Wedding:
8/14/2011
5.0/5.0
Kari played for my wedding which was held on August 14, 2011. She did a wonderful job. I wasn't sure if it was going to rain that day or not and the wedding was delayed by 45 minutes. However, Kari hung in there and really did an excellent job in setting the tone of our wedding. She not only was patient but she also added additional background music during other segments of the wedding. This showed that she is extremely attentive and responsive to additional needs that one may have in the ceremony. I would recommend Kari to anyone that is looking for a harpist for their wedding!
Kari played for my wedding which was held on August 14, 2011. She did a wonderful job. I wasn't sure if it was going to Read more...
Kari played for my wedding which was held on August 14, 2011. She did a wonderful job. I wasn't sure if it was going to rain that day or not and the wedding was delayed by 45 minutes. However, Kari hung in there and really did an excellent job in setting the tone of our wedding. She not only was patient but she also added additional background music during other segments of the wedding. This showed that she is extremely attentive and responsive to additional needs that one may have in the ceremony. I would recommend Kari to anyone that is looking for a harpist for their wedding! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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nadinetyler
Wedding:
8/13/2011
5.0/5.0
You couldn't ask for a better harpist than Kari!!! She was absolutely amazing, the best part of our wedding. Everyone loved her! We received comments after comments about how wonderful and universal she was. She plays beautifully and has an amazing list of songs she can play. She took so many requests from our guests and everyone could not believe all the songs she could play. She was extremely flexible. She played at both our ceremony and reception. Our reception was way behind on time which meant the time Kari should have left was not on track. She never once got up to leave and never said anything while she was there. She just kept on playing until it was the point in the evening for her to leave instead of the time. I thought that was so wonderful of her to do. She sounded so beautiful playing while walking down the aisle! I have no regrets with Kari and think every bride should use a harpist and that harpist should be Kari!!!
You couldn't ask for a better harpist than Kari!!! She was absolutely amazing, the best part of our wedding. Everyone Read more...
You couldn't ask for a better harpist than Kari!!! She was absolutely amazing, the best part of our wedding. Everyone loved her! We received comments after comments about how wonderful and universal she was. She plays beautifully and has an amazing list of songs she can play. She took so many requests from our guests and everyone could not believe all the songs she could play. She was extremely flexible. She played at both our ceremony and reception. Our reception was way behind on time which meant the time Kari should have left was not on track. She never once got up to leave and never said anything while she was there. She just kept on playing until it was the point in the evening for her to leave instead of the time. I thought that was so wonderful of her to do. She sounded so beautiful playing while walking down the aisle! I have no regrets with Kari and think every bride should use a harpist and that harpist should be Kari!!! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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gdamato
Wedding:
7/30/2011
4.8/5.0
Having the harp at our wedding really helped set the tone. It was so beautiful. Kari plays rock and other popular music and this is why we chose her. She was very professional:)
Having the harp at our wedding really helped set the tone. It was so beautiful. Kari plays rock and other popular music Read more...
Having the harp at our wedding really helped set the tone. It was so beautiful. Kari plays rock and other popular music and this is why we chose her. She was very professional:) Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Alyssa
Wedding:
7/16/2011
5.0/5.0
Kari did a wonderful job at my wedding ceremony. She was very patient and helpful when we came to pick out music. We didn't really know what we wanted and she helped us figure it out. The music was beautiful!
Kari did a wonderful job at my wedding ceremony. She was very patient and helpful when we came to pick out music. We Read more...
Kari did a wonderful job at my wedding ceremony. She was very patient and helpful when we came to pick out music. We didn't really know what we wanted and she helped us figure it out. The music was beautiful! Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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Cara G.
Wedding:
6/5/2010
5.0/5.0
Kari, her harp and her music were absolutely wonderful. We were so excited to have her play during our ceremony and bring the magical tones of the harp to it. I was brought up in Ireland and have always loved the sound of Harp Music. So many of our guests (Irish and US) really appreciated the mood that the harp music provided also. Kari was a total professional throughout our planning phase. We selected our ceremony music at our consultation with her, and by all accounts the music before the ceremony was fabulous also. We would highly recommend her for any event (Ceremony / cocktail hour / party)
Kari, her harp and her music were absolutely wonderful. We were so excited to have her play during our ceremony and bring Read more...
Kari, her harp and her music were absolutely wonderful. We were so excited to have her play during our ceremony and bring the magical tones of the harp to it. I was brought up in Ireland and have always loved the sound of Harp Music. So many of our guests (Irish and US) really appreciated the mood that the harp music provided also. Kari was a total professional throughout our planning phase. We selected our ceremony music at our consultation with her, and by all accounts the music before the ceremony was fabulous also. We would highly recommend her for any event (Ceremony / cocktail hour / party) Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music
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raeyn
Wedding:
1/30/2010
5.0/5.0
Kari is truly wonderful. Her music is so beautiful and we were so excited to have her play during our ceremony and cocktail hour. She has some really interesting music in her repertoire, which is what drew us to her initially. We selected our ceremony music at our consultation with her, but for cocktail hour we just told her to go crazy with rock and other popular music. We had several guests rave about her rendition of a Metallica song! I highly recommend her to anyone considering a harpist.
Kari is truly wonderful. Her music is so beautiful and we were so excited to have her play during our ceremony and Read more...
Kari is truly wonderful. Her music is so beautiful and we were so excited to have her play during our ceremony and cocktail hour. She has some really interesting music in her repertoire, which is what drew us to her initially. We selected our ceremony music at our consultation with her, but for cocktail hour we just told her to go crazy with rock and other popular music. We had several guests rave about her rendition of a Metallica song! I highly recommend her to anyone considering a harpist. Read less
Services Used: Ceremony Music

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Grayslake, IL 60030 See On Map
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