Singer, harpist, and author Calvin Arsenia has built a reputation for turning the arts world on its head. Voted Kansas City’s Best Musician 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 (PitchKC), and featured on Billboard.com, NPR.org, NEWNOWNEXT, Pride.com, and GRAMMY.com, Arsenia’s angelic stylings on voice and harp create rare harmonies and arrangements that look past the boundaries of his traditional gospel and classical upbringing. Known for his elaborate and ceremonious sensory concert experiences that merge jazz and electronic influences, “Calvin has consistently deliver(s) genre-bending (and gender-bending) shows that tackle sexuality, religion, and race in a stunningly unorthodox manner - somewhere between sacred and sacrilege." A healthy serving of indie rock, neo-soul, R&B, and a splash of art pop, this multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter is a shimmering force to be reckoned with.
“Jeff Buckley meets Nina Simone with this soul of Sam Cooke, and the sparkle of Bjork.”
The music is just one part of his prodigious performances, for Calvin believes the art is in crafting the perfect moment. His music is best served live, with sensational performances and high fashion from the visually striking performer who stands at 6’6”.
Alongside his best friend and co-host New York based comedian Justin Randall, Arsenia explores the ups and downs of being a queer person raised in the Evangelical Church in the 2020-2021 podcast We Were Christian Kids.
In 2021, Arsenia released a book of poems and stories called Every Good Boy Does Fine; Both a journey of individual healing and a call for action, these poems show that, with a little love and acceptance, anyone can flourish.
Aug 11, 2021 "He glides onto stage with a cheeky elegance and, from the tip of of rose-crowned head, through the pillar of his Rainbow Acoustic Electric harp, to the souls of his sometimes bare feet, Calvin tells stories." AnotherSlice.life
Jan 25, 2020 "In this episode of Healing Masculine, Calvin and I play ourselves through a conversation on the freedom and confines of musicality, and how that relates to masculinity." Healing Masculine
Jan 24, 2020 "It’s easy to get trapped in the mindset of thinking about the harp as a part of his sound, but there is so much more about the artist." Crazeology
Jan 23, 2020 "A recent Calvin Arsenia album is a milestone in his professional and personal growth." NPR
“ What may seem like genre-hopping in his latest album, Cantaloupe, is actually Arsenia looking past the boundaries of his gospel background and classical training to find the most direct line of expression to inform our common struggles.”
“Arsenia’s music is highly conceptual and genre-elusive, so the show was equal parts opera, symphony, musical theater, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-7-inch harpist with natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.” - Tim Finn
“In his dark, orchestral-driven cover, Arsenia weaves in and out of the melody with Eurythmics-style dreaminess. The strings pulsate along tight, vibrating lines vacillate between reality and surrealism.”
“Arsenia blends his classically-trained voice with jazz and electronic influences, creating a melody that lulls you into his own dimension. Then when you hear his Celtic harp solo, you realize this artist is playing by his rules alone.”
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