Corrina Hewat is a singer, harpist and composer, and widely recognised as one of Scotland’s most unique and innovative musicians. Born in Edinburgh and raised in the Scottish Highlands, her huge range of musical influences has contributed greatly to her very individual take on traditional music. From an early age she was taught piano and fiddle before taking up the harp at the age of 13. She went on to study music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow before attending the City of Leeds College of Music where she gained a 1st-Class Honours Degree in Jazz & Contemporary Music on pedal harp and small harp, studying with Maire Ni Chathasaigh.
In the years following, Corrina achieved recognition and critical acclaim for her work with bands Bachué (with pianist David Milligan), Shine (with Mary Macmaster & Alyth McCormack) before going on to form Scots supergroup the Unusual Suspects, also with David Milligan.
The essence of Corrina’s music lies in her passion for Scottish traditional music and song, but what sets it apart is her effortless blending of other musical genres. Her love of folk, jazz, contemporary classical and pop music has in no small part influenced Corrina’s style of performing and composing over the years – a style shaped by a fascination with experimental music and improvisation, alongside a deep respect for the more formal architecture of music. She performs with a reverence for tradition and a dedication to innovation.
As a harpist, having developed a creative and powerful technique, Corrina is regarded as one of the leading players in the world today and has toured throughout Europe, the Far East, North America and Canada, taking the Small Harp to a new level of excellence. She plays a Camac Aziliz Harp (she calls it ‘Little Yellow’) and the “Big Blue” electroharp.
As a singer she is blessed with a stunningly beautiful and earthy voice, which resonates with years of soaking up Scotland’s musical tradition, while echoing jazz and contemporary elements. The diversity of her stylistic influences is reflected by some of the artists she has worked with; Eric Bibb, Carol Kidd, Maddy Prior, The Dunedin Consort, Karine Polwart, Horse, Carol Kidd, Peggy Seeger, Thea Gilmore, Karen Matheson, Karen Casey and Eddie Reader to name just a few.
As a composer, arranger and musical director, Corrina has earned an enviable reputation as one of Scotland’s most creative writers and band leaders. As well as being a prolific tunesmith and songwriter she has been commissioned to write several large-scale works for instrumental and choral ensembles, most recently ‘The Lorient Suite’, written for a twenty-five piece version of Scottish folk orchestra the Unusual Suspects and commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council and The Scottish Government to celebrate the Year of Scotland at the 2007 Lorient Interceltique Festival. Her natural flair as a leader has seen her called upon to direct a wide variety of shows such as ‘Songs of Conscience’ 2007, ‘Scottish Men’ 2006 and the annual ‘TMSA Young Trad Tour’ since 2005. Corrina has an astonishing ability to create and collaborate with others and this has led her to recording over 30 albums in the last twelve years. She is also very much in demand as a teacher and educator; she is a core tutor on the Traditional Music Degree courses at Newcastle University and the RSAMD in Glasgow, and her sell-out workshops and courses on harmony singing, arranging and vocal techniques have proved to be a source of inspiration for countless singers and musicians.
Aside from solo performances, recent projects include a duo with Kathryn Tickell, and vocal trio Grace, Hewat, Polwart with Annie Grace & Karine Polwart.