Elizabeth was born in New Haven, Conneticut. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, but spent three years of her childhood living in Madrid, Spain. She received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and has been studying percussion since 1990. Her primary focus has been the research of Afro-Cuban percussion. Elizabeth is of Cuban descent and has studied in Havana, Cuba at Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, and in Matanzas, Cuba with the world renown percussion ensemble Los Munequitos de Matanzas. She has sought out specific instructors throughout her career delving into the drumming dialects of Brazilian Batucadas,Carribean rhythms of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and more.
In 1992, she moved to Seattle, Washington, and formed an eclectic percussive jazz group, Manah. The group composed collaboratively, received positive press, and gained recognition mostly for their live performances and tours. This increased exposure paved the way for other musical avenues for Elizabeth including recording session work, as well as becoming a member of the band Tuatara, led by Barrett Martin, with members of R.E.M., Los Lobos, Luna, and Screaming Trees. She has recorded and toured with the band BRAD, featuring members of Pearl Jam, and also performed regularly in Seattle with Reggie Watts, who is currenty band director of the James Corden Show. Elizabeth feels that she strengthened her voice as a percussionist through playing with musicians in Seattle whom she considers family. The invaluable experience she gained from improvising and performing with these players was formative to the development of her signature sound.
Elizabeth moved to New York in 2004 and formed the seven-piece Latin Jazz group La Buya, with acclaimed west coast saxophonists Skerik, Cochemea Gastelum and Jessica Lurie. She also began freelancing as a musician, and provided percussion for NYC dance classes and theater productions with The Actors Temple Theater, Double Helix Theater, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and Djoniba Dance and Drum. Elizabeth has shared the stage with a variety of Latin artists, such as David Oquendo, Nestor Torres, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Obini Ashe, Ozomatli, Neil Ochoa, San Rafael Band, Pacha Massive, Abe Delgado Gomez, and Alvaro Benavides.
One of Elizabeth's greatest strengths is her versatility as a player. She has been featured in DRUM! magazine, toured internationally, and has performed and/or recorded with a wide variety of artists, including Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, John Legend, Mark Ronson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, TV On the Radio, The Roots, Jovino Santos Neto, Nels Cline,Chris Potter, Donny McClasin, Federico Aubele, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lee Fields and The Expressions, Mavis Staples, Robert Walter, Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Cochemea Gastelum, Michael Leonhart Orchestra, Jenny Scheinmann, Kenny Wollesen, Joey Baron, Zach Danziger, Uri Caine, Sinead O'Connor, Dj Logic, John Ellis,The Tiptons, Skerik, Stone Gossard, Kwaku Obeng, Divahn, Charles Bradley and The Menahan Street Band,Brian Adler’s Human Time Machine,and at Peter Gabriel's WOMAD festival with Zakir Hussain, Joan Osborne, Michael Franti, and Hukwe Sawosa.
score and studio Work
Currently, she is enjoying a variety of session work. In particular, she is affiliated with Dunham Records, Diamond Mine Recording, and daptone records.
From 2015-2019, Elizabeth contributed her percussive skills to a variety of recordings and productions. Some highlights include:
Cochemea Gastelum All My Relations on Daptone Records
Harding's record placed in npr's 10 best r&B albums of 2017
Score and songs for the documentary, “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America" Produced by Tom Brenneck
Auxiliary Percussion (cabasa, shekere, clave, maracas, etc…
Roland Handsonic digital percussion
11/19/2018 Kennedy Center - House band led by Binky Griptite for the Julia Louis Dreyfus Mark Twain Prize
Michael Leonhart Orchestra residency @Jazz Standard NYC 2018-2019
BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)5/25/17with The Michael Leonart Orchestra performing the score for Jose Parla's film ONE: Union of the Senses
Irving Plaza, NYC 1/7/17
Lee Fields and the Expressions
RED ROCKS Amphitheater, Colorado 09/12/2016
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Riverside Auditorium, California 11/04/15
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Herodeon Amphitheater Athens, Greece 07/16/2014
monika with andrew wyatt
Thalia Hall - Symphony Space, New York 09/16/2014
Galeet Dardashti and Divahn
Lincoln Center, New York 08/13/2013
Les McCann and Mocean Worker- in honor of legendary record producer Joel Dorn
Lincoln Center, New York 07/20/2012
In honor of Curtis Mayfield with The Roots, Sinead O’Connor, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dr. Lonnie Smith and more...
Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. 01/31/2012
Tribute to Marvin Gaye with John Legend and Sharon Jones and the Dapkings
Bridgestone Music Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil 05/16/2010
Bedrock featuring Uri Caine, Zach Danziger, Tim Lefebvre
UMass Amherst Fine Arts
Galeet Dardashti and Divahn
The Blue Note, NYC 2007
Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet
The Blue Note, NYC 6/09/2006
Samita Sinha & Sunny Jain
Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, Prospect Park, Brooklyn 07/14/2005
Pacha and Ozomatli
Zebulon, Brooklyn, Ny. 12/12/2004
Symphony Space, NYC 12/05/2003
Obini Ashe Afro Cuban Folkloric Ensemble
Peter Gabriel's Womad Music Festival, Seattle, Washington 07/2001
Tuatara, Zakir Hussain, Michael Franti, Hukwe Sawosa, and Joan Osbourne
Baltic Room Seattle,Wa. 12/15/2000
Jambalaya with Reggie Watts and Nikol Kollars
Gorge Amphitheater George,Wa. 5/20/1999
opening up for Santana
Seattle Opera House 08/30/1997
Tuatara featuring members of R.E.M. and Los Lobos
High Sierra Music Festival, Bear Valley, Ca. 06/1997
Elizabeth has been in over 50 musical projects and recorded with many groups.