Kari Gardner - Harpist
Kari was easy to work with, affordable and played beautifully.
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...
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 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 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!
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!!!
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:)
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, 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 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 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.