Harp Boogie – 1944

Adele Girard


Adele Girard shows that the harp can swing

Adele Girard (1913-93) was the second jazz harpist in history, only being preceded by Casper Reardon.

She played early on with the Dick Stabile Orchestra and the Three T’s (a group featuring Jack Teagarden and Frankie Trumbauer) but most significantly clarinetist Joe Marsala who became her husband.

Adele Girard could swing as hard as most pianists and she took hot solos with Marsala’s group which was the house band at the Hickory House in NY for ten years.

After 1946, she was primarily a studio musician when not working with her husband’s swing combo, recording an album as late as 1991.

Arguably the finest jazz harpist of all time (with Dorothy Ashby being her main competition), Adele Girard was not filmed very much in her career but she stars in this Soundie from circa 1944, performing “Harp Boogie,” joined by dancer Rusha Holden.

-Scott Yanow

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