Born: August 12, 1956 Primary Instrument: Harp
Miami’s Stacey Berkley is an exciting performer who’s changed many peoples’ minds about what can be played on a harp. With her first place winning performance at Harpfest 1997 Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Competition, Stacey has established herself as an artist with her own unique sound. Her music takes you on a World Music journey, from evocative and moody ballads to dynamic Brazilian rhythms, contemporary Celtic to Caribbean Calypso. Her talent is very much in demand by some of the biggest names in show business, as she has performed and recorded with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, John Denver, Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Arturo Sandoval, and Jose Feliciano. Her chamber group, Serenade Ensemble, was nominated in 2002 for a Grammy for best Classical Crossover album. She has released 2 albums, “On Top Of The World”, and “Music To Soothe The Savage Beast”, and she is currently performing both with her band and solo at festivals and concerts throughout the USA and Europe.
Born on Miami Beach, she began taking piano lessons for several years until she discovered the harp. When she was 15, she had the considerable fortune to become a student of the late and great Edward Vito, soloist and harpist under Toscanini. Stacey originally envisioned music education as her future, and received a Bachelor of Music Education with honors at the University of Miami. It was while she was studying classical harp at the University of Miami that she had the opportunity to hear some of the best Jazz musicians in the US. She began to improvise and incorporate Miami’s melting pot of musical styles into her playing. This led to her participation in the 1997 Lyon & Healy International Pop & Jazz Competition at Monterey, California. Her natural talent for combining rhythm and jazz harmony with emotional interpretation was recognized with a first place win in this prestigious competition.
Artists performing and recording in South Florida soon discovered her talent. She has recorded with Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees, Lauryn Hill, John Denver, KC & the Sunshine Band, Jose Feliciano, Braulio, Nelson Ned, among others. She has performed in concert with Stevie Wonder as a featured soloist, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Melissa Manchester, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mathis, Marvin Hamlisch, Peter Allen, John Davidson, Anthony Newley, Steve Lawrence & Edie Gorme and others.
Stacey formed a chamber group with her violinist partner, Miriam Stern, called Serenade Ensemble, that regularly performs in South Florida. A premier group, they have entertained Presidents, Governors, Foreign leaders and dignitaries. The group is also in demand for recordings, and in 2002, they were nominated for a Grammy for best Classical Crossover album, ‘La Musica de Ernesto Lecuona’ by Enrique Chia, the Cuban pianist.
Stacey found her greatest calling in jazz, world, and pop music. Her debut CD, ‘On Top Of The World’ is a collection of smooth jazz, latin and world music, performed with her band. This band is a ‘Who’s Who’ of the top session musicians in Miami, and includes Concord recording artist, Ed Calle on Sax. Stacey performed at Harpfest 99 held at Belmont College, in Nashville TN, and she was also featured at the 1999 World Harp Congress, Hilton Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic and also gave a master class called ‘The Happening Harp’. Stacey is passionate about performing live. She regularly gives concerts with her all star Miami based band, and also enjoys solo performance.
Hatha Yoga is an important part of Stacey’s life. She is a certified Yoga instructor, and enjoys the symbiosis between music and yoga. Her second CD, ‘Music to Soothe the Savage Beast’ was inspired by the peace of mind that yoga offers.
She just completed her third CD, 'Real Harpists Have Curves' with her husband, Tim Devine, a grammy nominated producer and arranger for major recording artists.
Stacey never forgot who started her off on the harp. Every Friday morning, her mother comes over for her harp lesson followed by yoga class.
Awards:Winner of the prestigious 1997 Lyon and Healy International Pop and Jazz Harp competition.
“Jazz fans, this is the jazz harp recording you've been waiting for!” China Valles, WTMI Jazz After Midnight
A kaleidoscope of exiting rhythms by a great harpist. Roberto Perera, artist
“Great tunes ....... great playing ....... congratulations!” Deborah Henson-Conant, artist
“Stacey Berkley transformed the harp into a smoking Latin instrument, pumping out solid Brazilian and other Latin bass rhythms. It's a revelation to hear her turn the harp into its own driving rhythm section.” Ann LeBaron, World Harp Congress
On Top of the World is like a breath of fresh air! The cool harmonies and Latin rhythms kept me dancing while I was listening to the music and I continued moving even after the CD was finished. Cindy Horstman, artist
Willing to teach: