« What a combination: Wine and Harpkissax. The audience was nearly hypnotized by these two extraordinary artists. Both are multi-instrumentalists and are familiar with many musical styles. On stage they show their great talent and unique enthusiasm to play. It was a joy to welcome this duo in our wine cellar. »
Alessandra and Dominique Maigre, Domaine des Bonnettes, Lully, Geneva
Harpkissax, that’s us: Esther & Niko.
Initially, we started our careers in separate musical genres: Niko in the realm of Jazz, and Esther in the classical world. The participation in an orchestra project within our studies at Musikakademie Basel has finally brought us together.🇨🇭
In the end, curiosity for each other (and for the respective instruments 😉) has led to an uncommon combination. In fact, when have you seen a harp together with a saxophone? Exactly.
Thanks to more than 15 years of experience on stage, combined with a healthy openness towards other musical inputs, we’ve stretched stylistic boundaries and enjoy exploring a road less travelled.
Duo Harpkissax has played on several occasions in the past: birthday parties, marriages, festivals, funeral service, corporate events, concert venues, nursing homes, wine cellars, cafés, …🥂
Something that is still missing: our debut album!
Esther Sévérac was born in Geneva and lives in Basel, Switzerland, where her activity as a freelance harpist reaches from classical solo concerts to jazz ensembles. She plays in the classical ensemble Duo Estival with flutist Anne-Lise Teruel and is also the co-founder of the quartet Les Baronnes Underground. She holds two Master Degrees in solo performance and in music pedagogy from Music Academy Basel (class Prof. Sarah O’Brien) and performed as a soloist with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, I Medici Orchestra Basel and Sinfonietta Dachau. Since 2019 she’s principal harpist of the Geneva Camerata and for five years she was positioned solo harp in the Swiss Symphonic Youth Orchestra (SJSO). She plays regularly with the Basel Symphony Orchestra as well as other professional orchestras in the Basel region. She is a very dedicated harp teacher and teaches a great number of harp students in her harp studio in Basel. Prior to her academic career as a harp student Esther earned a bachelor’s degree in multilingual communication from the University of Geneva.
Saxophone and voice
Niko Seibold (*1987 in Stuttgart) is a German saxophonist, composer and arranger. His main projects are the Jazz quartet Seibolzing (Finals Neuer Deutscher Jazzpreis 2019 under curator Renaud Garcia-Fons) and the German-Tunisian collective Beyond Borders. He is the co-founder of the Toskana Jazzworkshop as well as the independent label Hout Records. Furthermore he organizes the Festival tis jazz Fest in Basel. He worked with a.o. Jorge Rossy, Mark Turner and Vince Mendoza and received commissions from the Metropole Orkest (2017), from Bobby Sanabria (Grammy nomination 2018) and from the Generations Festival in Frauenfeld/CH (2021 curator Django Bates). In 2021 Niko receives a scholarship from Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg. Niko studied at Manhattan School of Music in New York with Jim McNeely and Dave Liebman, with Domenic Landolf and Guillermo Klein at Jazzcampus Basel and at Musikhochschule Mannheim with Jürgen Seefelder. He resides and works in and out of Basel, Switzerland.