Celtic and Early Music performed on a variety of instruments.
The Harper and The Minstrel are Jay & Abby Michaels.
Their unique sound is influenced by Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque Music.
Abby's angelic alto & Jay's smokey baritone are accompanied by a variety of instruments:
Irish wire-strung Harp
Celtic Folk Harp
Irish Wooden Flute
Alto, Soprano & Tenor Recorders
Bowed, Plucked & Hammered Dulcimers
Classical & Baroque Guitar
Viola da Gamba
Beautiful Ballads, Jigs, Reels & Dances. A vast repertoire spanning centuries From Medieval to Modern.
Will perform anywhere in USA with stipulations
Wonderful cocktail hour band, great sing-alongs. Really made my wedding. Jay and Abbey are super friendly and really brought me back to Ireland with their jigs and reels. Their vast arrays of instruments kept the music lively and entertaining throughout. I can't thank them enough for their performance !
Price Range: $400 and up
Gig Length: 60 - 120 minutes
Insurance: $1,000,000 - We have liability insurance. A certificate is available upon request.
What to Expect
The Harper and The Minstrel are Jay and Abby Michaels
Passionate performances of Music from the past sung and played on a variety of Traditional Plucked, Bowed, Hammered and Woodwind Instruments including:
Cláirseach (Irish wire-strung Harp)
Celtic Folk Harp
Irish Wooden Flute
The Greek Aulos (also called the Double Flute or Divergent Flute)
Alto, Soprano & Tenor Recorders
The Harper and The Minstrel specialize in beautiful Ayres and Ballads, but are quite adept at Jigs, Reels & Dances. Their vast repertoire includes unique arrangements of Music ranging from Medieval Spain's 13th Century Cantgas de Santa Maria to the music of Elizabethan era English Lutenist John Dowland to 17th Century Irish Harper Turlough O'Carolan to the Music of Sting, The Beatles and much more;
Medieval & Renaissance Love songs sung in many languages including Ladino, Galician, French, Italian, Catalan and Gaelic.
Traditional & Popular Music from The Celtic Lands.
Secular and Sacred Music.
Their own Enchanting Compositions.
A Concert with The Harper and The Minstrel features an array of instruments expertly played, and Music that spans many centuries.
Concerts can be themed:
-Early Music (Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque)
-Renaissance Love Songs
-Early Music Wynter (Winter & Holiday Music Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque)
-General (A mixture of the above genres with more contemporary Music as well)
Educational Library & School Assembly programs on Celtic & Early Music.
The Harper and Minstrel can appear in Medieval/Renaissance costuming or modern Formal Attire.
The Harper and The Minstrel are featured Entertainers at Florida's Annual Florida Renaissance Festival, The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire and The Maryland Renaissance Festival.
They have performed at The ICONS Irish Festival, The Boston Green Fest, The Dundee NY Scottish Festival, The Sterling Renaissance Festival, The Great Lakes Medieval Faire, The Soule Homestead Folk Festival, The Taunton River Folk Festival, The Connecticut Renaissance Faire, King Richard's Faire, The Beal House at The South Shore Folk Music Club, The Phoenix Faerie Festival, The Southern California Pleasure Faire, The Boston Spring Flower Show and at many other events.
Since 2002 The Harper and The Minstrel have brought their music to many venues in America including Folk, Renaissance, Medieval, and Celtic Festivals, Coffee Houses, Libraries, Schools and Open Air Markets.
"You can best judge a musician’s acumen by the way they interpret music, whether that music is familiar to you or obscure...Jay and Abby Michaels’ deft adaptations of songs from Sting to Robert Burns are thrilling, and they reveal the pair to be artists of some skill."
"Sheer uniqueness" -Dirty Linen Magazine
"Gentle, lovely music...Stunning Voices" -Renaissance Magazine
The Music of The Harper and The Minstrel and Jay's Harp playing have enhanced several Television programs including ABC's Nashville & Secrets and Lies, NBC's Parenthood & Parks and Recreation, Fox's Lie To Me, & Rosewood, the HBO Series Hung and the WIGS web-series PALOMA.
Jay's Harp Music also appears in the Independent Films How To Be A Latin Lover and Baby Baby Baby
Jay and Abby Michaels are members of
Early Music America
Jay Michaels is a member of
The Viola da Gamba Society of America and
The Historical Harp Society
Jay Michaels has spent his entire life studying and performing Music.
He started on the Trombone in 5th grade and moved to Guitar, Piano and Voice studies in his teen years.
Jay earned a BA in Music from Anna Maria College where he studied Classical Guitar.
He taught Music for many years while performing at various venues in Massachusetts and eventually taught himself to play the Harp.
Jay Michaels plays many instruments including the Cláirseach (Medieval wire-strung Irish Harp), the Renaissance Gothic Harp, the Celtic Folk Harp, Baroque Guitar, Classical Guitar, Bowed Dulcimer/Viol, Rebec, Mountain Dulcimer and he sings. He has been a full time musician for the most of his life
In addition to his duties with The Harper and The Minstrel, He maintains a solo Harp career, and produces music for film and TV productions.
Abby Michaels has been involved in Music since she was old enough to reach the keys on the family Piano.
She began singing at an early age and became very involved in the school Music programs.
Abby earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Westfield State College where she studied Opera.
For several years Abby taught music in the public and private school systems, and has also taught recorder and voice privately. She was also a popular soloist for Church services.
She now pursues a full time Musical Career performing hundreds of Concert every year at a variety of venues.
In addition to being an accomplished vocalist, Abby plays Hammered Dulcimer, Irish Wooden Flute, Double Flute, Bamboo Flute, Recorders, Penny Whistles, Guitar, Harp and Bowed Psaltery.
Additional Booking Notes
This depends on the venue and the type of gig. We generally require a stage area at least 8 feet wide (10 - 12 is better) and 8 feet deep. If the venue is providing sound, we require 2 vocal mics, 2 instrument mics 4 boom stands and (depending on the type of show) a quarter inch DI with a 10 foot chord.
Past Booked Events
|October 21, 2017 • 6:30pm - 9:00pm||Wedding Reception|
|February 25, 2016||School Assembly|
A Typical Set List for a Celtic Concert might include:
The May Song
The Stolen Child
Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór
The Irish Washerwoman
Comin' Through The Rye
I'll Tell Me Ma
Whiskey Before Breakfast
The Sally Gardens
King of the Faeries
The Road to the Isles
Old Rob Morris/Come Under My Plaidy
She Moved Through The Faire
The Parting Glass
A Typical Set List for an Early Music Concert might include:
Joy to the Personne of my Love
A La Una Yo Naci
All in a Garden Green
The Rustic Duck Dance
If I Were a Blackbird
A Sonnet for the Queen
The Torch Bransle
Once I Had a Sweetheart
Our Revels Now Are Ended
A Typical Set List for a Wynter Concert might include:
The Wassail Song
Drive the Cold Wynter Away
The Christ Child's Lullaby
Salten y Ballen (Shepherds Come Dancing)
Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming
Pat a Pan
El Decembre Congelat (Cold December's Winds)
Quant Je Voy Yvers
In the Bleak Midwynter
L'Inverno (Largo from Vivaldi's Winter)
The Boars Head Carol
The Basque Carol
All Through the Night
O Come Emanuel
The Children in Bethlehem
Deck the Halls
The Gloucestershire Wassail
Auld Lang Syne
|Jay and Abby Michaels||The Harper and The Minstrel|
Influences & Inspiration
The Baltimore Consort
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