Chromatic Harmonica Players
||Listed below are many of the world's finest chromatic harmonica players. We have also included bass and chord harmonica players on this page. Click here for Chromatic Harmonica Lessons.
- Jean "Toots" Thielemans
- "Belgium born (Brussels 1922), Toots is one of those first names that requires no second- like Dizzy, Chet and Django! Influenced by his first idol Django Reinhardt and later Charly Parker, Toots plays the chromatic harmonica in such a way that Quincy Jones said: 'Toots is one of the greatest musicians of our time. On his instrument he ranks with the best that jazz has ever produced. He goes for the heart and makes you cry. We have worked together more times than I can count and he always keeps me coming back for more..."
- Stevie Wonder
- From little Stevie to big star: Stevie Wonder wrote, performed, and played harmonica on some of the most memorable Motown songs ever.
- Larry Adler
- "American harmonica player; born in Baltimore. He played with the world's major symphony orchestras and is generally credited with elevating the harmonica to concert status in the classical music world." You can also check out "A Living Legend: Interview With Larry Adler" from The Free-Reed Journal.
- Jerry Adler
- "Jerry Adler was once known as the world's youngest virtuoso of the mouth organ. In his 66 years in show business he met famous composers, Hollywood stars and Singers who loved Jerry Adler for his extraordinary musical talent is his charming personality. He was the first call when Hollywood needed a harmonica soundtrack or somebody to show the movie stars how to handle a harmonica for certain movies. Jerry just finished his Book "Living from Hand to Mouth" that's loaded with entertainment and thrill."
- Cham-ber Huang
- Cham-Ber Huang, founder and designer of Huang harmonicas, has been characterized as both the Stradivarius and the Paganini of his instrument. You can read about his career and artistry and order his new CD as well.
- Bill Barrett
- "Bill Barrett plays the chromatic harmonica. He is also a man who transcribes Armenian Clarinet music, can diagram a Little Walter diatonic harp solo, and can take apart, clean, repair, lubricate and reassemble his instrument like a Green Beret unjamming his weapon in the heat of battle."
- Ron Kalina
- Considered one of the finest jazz harmonica players, as well as piano virtuosos, on the scene today, Mr. Kalina's talents can be heard on many motion picture and television sound tracks, including the ever popular "Moonlighting" and "Paradise", and on countless albums, such as Linda Ronstadt's "Canciones de me Padre". The recipient of many prestigious awards, and winner of the 1991 International Jazz Harmonica Competition, Mr. Kalina has performed concerts coast-to-coast and throughout Europe, including sell-out concerts in Vienna.
- Tommy Morgan
- "Tommy Morgan is the most "heard" harmonica player in the world today. As a composer, arranger and performer, his resumé includes television, motion pictures and pop albums, including recording with such diverse artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Michael Crawford. Additionally, Tommy has been serving as a church choir director for more than 20 years." Also see "Against The Grain".
- Billy Frye
- "Billy Frye looks like a virtuoso, but sounds like an orchestra. He sequences many different harmonicas as well as keyboard effects. His live performances are dynamic."
- Pete Graber
- "From the Philadelphia, PA area, Pete started playing diatonic harp around age 4 and began playing chromatic harmonica when he was 14. Now, for over 35 years, he plays anything from Rock to Pop, Blues to Classical, Jazz to Country, or Religious to Originals on chromatic harmonica. It is a gift he loves to share."
- Will Galison
- "Will Galison is one of the top studio/ Jazz harmonica players in the world. He has played on dozens of movie and TV scores and has recorded or performed with artists such as Sting, Donald Fagen, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Peggy Lee, Ruth Brown, Madeleine Peyoux and many more. Hal Leonard is releasing an instructional book/CD of my jazz solos for chromatic harmonica."
- Stan Harper
- "Stanley Harper, better known as “Stan”, was born in Brooklyn, New York, September 21, 1921. He learned musical notation, timing, harmony, composition and counterpoint. Mr. Harper also did some solo work, duets, trios, and quartets. His versatility was soon recognized in the United States by radio, television, record companies, and theaters. In the 1930’s, Stan Harper had a harmonica group in Brooklyn, comprised of the best harmonica players in the world. Over the years, Stan Harper performed with Eddie Shu (Shulman), Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Hal David, Werner Klemperer, Sam Wanamaker, and Leon Kirshner."
- Dave McKelvy
- "David McKelvy is an elequent and imaginative soloist with a technique that keeps pace with his ideas. An in-demand session player heard on TV, radio, and movies, his encyclopedic musical vocabulary contributes to recordings by artists as varied as Brian Wilson, Stanley Clark, Nelson Riddle, and Terrence Blanchard. David and Michael played together 10 years ago in the Original Harmonica Band, and now with Danny, they blend their individual virtuosities into a dynamic ensemble sound that is at once tight and spacious. One hearing of their blistering show stopper, "Orange Blossom Special," demonstrates that this is truly a three-diesel train, each engine pulling its weight."
- Danny Wilson
- Bass harmonicist with The Dave McKelvy Trio, former member of Jerry Murad's Harmonicats, and Executive Vice President Emeritus of SPAH Inc. One of the finest bass harmonica players around.
- Michael Burton
- Chord, Chromatic & Diatonic Harmonicas. "A former member of the popular Johnny Puleo's Harmonica Gang, the Harmonica Rascals, and the zany yet musically superb Original Harmonica Band, Mr. Burton's musical abilities and showmanship continue to entertain audiences worldwide as Chord Harmonicist Supreme."
- Jerry Murad
- He founded Jerry Murad's Harmonicats back in the early 40's and took the group to the heights of popularity with the biggest selling harmonica recording of all time, Peg O' My Heart. 1997 will be the 50th anniversary of that hit and Jerry is still playing professionally with his Harmonicats. A testimony to their continued popularity is the two pages devoted to the Harmonicats in an article on Harmonicas in the November 1995 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.
- Sigmund Groven
- "The official website of Sigmund Groven, the Norwegian chromatic harmonica
- Pete Pedersen
- "Petepedersen.com is devoted to the late and legendary chromatic player. It includes Pete's bio, photos, and information on how to purchase available CDs, sheet music, and BE OF GOOD CHEER: Memories of Harmonica Legend Pete Pedersen: the new biography by his longtime companion and lyricist, Jaine Rodack."
- John Sebastian Sr.
- One of the first classical harmonica players on the scene and the father of John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful fame). No site currently available.
- Bernie Bray
- Bernie was Canada's premier harmonicist, born October 2, 1921, in Medicine Hat, AB, lived in Saskatoon, SK, Winnipeg, MB, Calgary and
Edmonton, AB, and finally retired to Toronto and Scarborough, ON. He
was soloist and member of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, with
two tours of duty. He didn't have the opportunity to make too many
recordings, but he was commissioned to do a solo album for the CBC
as a promotional recording (1968), to be used by the CBC in its radio
- Alan Pogson
- Alan, a master of both the chromatic and chord harmonicas, is probably remembered most as the originator and arranger of
the famed chord solo for "Peg O' My Heart". Alan had broken the barriers of the chord instrument (designed and used solely as a chord/rhythm instrument in harmonica ensembles previously) and had been playing this unique solo for several years with the Borrah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals.
- Mike Turk
- "Mike Turk first made an international reputation for himself more than two decades ago as a master of the diatonic Marine Band model favored by the blues players. But as he fell into the gravitational pull of jazz, Turk turned to the chromatic harmonica. Turk's first solo CD project, "Harmonica Salad", was a brilliant travelogue of blues, jazz, standards, and several points in between, with scenery provided by a constantly changing cast of accompanists. "Turk's Works" is a more singleminded excursion in which Turk has set himself in the middle of a killer quintet. His latest release is "The Nature Of Things". All available on Tin Sandwich Records.
- Brendan Power
- This UK emigrated New-Zealander has built himself a reputation as a virtuoso of celtic harmonica, even if he doesn't limit his skills to that style. He has also played with Sting and Ray Charles and uses strange tunings both on diatonic harmonicas and on chromatics.
- Willi Burger
- "Italy born, Burger is considered one of the finest classical chromatic harmonica players, on the scene today. He played as a soloist with Italian and European orchestras and he has four Albums on his‚ credit. His repertoire includes classical and modern Authors and original pieces written for him by world famous composers: Abbado, Bandel, Cattaneo, Coggiola, Negro, Reverberi and Teodori. In 2003 he played in Rome (I) at Quirinale (the Italian President‚s House). In 2004 he organized the first Italian workshop for chromatic harmonica. He designed „Amadeusš harmonica, Hohner top model. He also transcribes classical music for chromatic harmonica. He performs regularly in Italy."
- Chris DePino
- "Chris is a classically trained chromatic player who has brought great blues chops and wonderful tone to the chromatic harmonica. He currently tours with Czech Trumpet sensation Laco Deczi. His recently released CD "DePino Plays Deczi'' has 10 original jazz compositions of Deczi's music adapted for the harmonica. If you are a lover of soulful jazz chromatic harmonica. This guy is for you!"
- Damien Masterson
- "Jazz harmonica master and Hohner endorsee Damien Masterson brings his music to the web, featuring high quality sound samples taken from his new CD 'Intercambio'."
- Art M. Daane
- "Harmonica Website of Art M. Daane - Stories; Articles; Harmonica Poems; Pictures; Sound Files and Links."
- Helio Rocha
- "Personal page of a chromatic harmonica player, music teacher and midi user."
- Don Les
- "Don Les Harmonicats, featuring Mo Vint - Vol 1 & 2 Cassette format only. Featuring Don Les playing diatonic 1st position jazz/pop, with Mo Vint on chord and harmonetta, while also playing electric pedal bass."
- Robert Bonfiglio
- "The New York Post calls him "America's leading Harmonica Virtuoso" This is the Classical Harmonica player that is playing Harmonica Concertos with major orchestras around the world including the Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suiise Romande, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Bonfiglio has perfromed the Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto over 350 times."
- Julian Jackson
- "Julian Jackson, the UK's leading Jazz harmonica player. As a teenager living in Machester, Julian captured the Hohner British Harmonica Championships three years in a row. Julian's unique style and ability in both jazz and classical harmonica playing has won him the recognition of many musicians and composers. Julian was featured soloist on the Oscar winning sound track for the film 'The Full Monty'. Julian is a frequent session choice for films, TV and ads, but his greatist love is to play jazz."
- Marcus Milius
- "Diatonic and Chromatic Harmonicist/Guitarist/Singer/Composer."
- George Fields
- "George Fields has been a professional harmonica player for more than 50 years, having started his career in his early teens by forming the Brooklyn Harmonica Symphony Society in the years before World War II. At age 19 he joined the Cappy Barra Harmonica Gentlemen as soloist, traveling throughout the country on the vaudeville circuit. Subsequently he spent a year with the Borrah Minevitch Harmonica Rascals as soloist, after which he came to California to play with the Leo Diamond trio. He soon established himself as the harmonicist of choice at the Hollywood studios, where his playing could be heard on many film scores -- "Ruby Gentry", where he introduced the song "Ruby", "Breakfast At Tiffany's", where he introduced the song "Moon River", to name a few."
- Paul Templar
- "Back in the 1960's, Paul was always on BBC Radio, in workers playtime and midday music hall plus Blackpool Night and other radio shows. In 1976, he won the British Harmonica Championships taking the modern rhythm section as well. He has just completed on Computer, the Michael Spivakovsy harmonica concerto with full orchestra, all three movements."
- Dino Soldo
- "A true Los Angeles native, multi-instrumentalist, Dino Soldo, has played Chromatic harmonica with Lionel Richie, Take 6, Sheila E, and countless Jazz artists. His debut CD, "Strange & Beautiful" (2000/tobaccobagg Records) was an instant critical success ("Dino is LA's best kept Secret!" Sonic net- AnandrOnline.com)."
- Graham Pike
- Unique styled chromatic player. Styles : Mainly jazz - also trad folk, Irish, Classical. Composer/Musical Director TV/Theatre. Other instruments : Piano, Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Vocals. Studio producer.
- Barry Watson
- "A Music and poetry web site for Barry Watson of Westerham, Kent, England. Barry's debut Jazz harmonica album "Building Dreams" is available from his web site."
- Don Wessels
- "Don is a chromatic (only) player with a passion for traditional Scottish and Irish music. He has appeared throughout the United States in a number of configurations, and has shared the stage with the likes of Hall and Oates, Maynard Ferguson and Steve Goodman. For the past decade he has concentrated on "Irish" chromatic, enlightened by the great playing of Brendan Power and Eddie Clarke, but working to create a new "old" sound closer to the bagpipes and fiddle. He performs regularly, over the past few years with Dave Rowe and Murphy's Lawbreakers, following that with partnerships with Irish flute player Davy Maguire of Antrim and with uilleann piper Tom Wilsbach. He also teaches chromatic at the River Tree Arts School in Maine."
- Eddie Gordon
- "Hired by Borrah Minevitch personally in 1950. Nurtured by Johnny Puleo
and the Harmonical Rascals until the rascals retired. Played all over the
world with the Harmonica Rascals tours. Fluent on chromatic and diaonic
harmonicas, he is also the master of the Millioniser 2000 invented by
WQalter Miller of Switzerland."
- Chris Bauer
- "Chris is a jazz chromatic harmonica artist that has performed and recorded with "Jerry Murad's Harmonicats" and numerous jazz artists in the New York City area. He began playing harmonica at the age of 9 and by 13, was playing with his father Bob's New York trio "The Harmonikings." In 1987, Chris placed 4th in a field of 27 chromatic harmonica soloists at the International Harmonica Federation competition in England. His music has been used in production libraries and on ABC television. This website has clips of his debut solo CD "Now's The Time", pictures, and performance information."
- Dirk Friedrich
- "Chromatic jazz-harp player with a sound of his own. He started as a diatonic blues player and then developed his own way of improvising. All jazz styles, often performing with guitar players(:"DOUBLE D"), also solo artist."
- Albert Maksimov
- "Albert Maksimov is an chromatic harmonica player. He is a chairman of the Ukraine Harmonica Assotiation and director/conductor of the harmonica course at Kiev Harmonica Club. Classical music, jazz, blues. Composer. In 2006 he recorded first Harmonica CD in the history of Ukraine called "Not Only Jazz".
- Gregoire Maret
- "He is a well-known jazz musician who currently plays with Pat Metheny."
- Marcelo Heras
- "Marcelo Heras is an original chromatic harmonica player, specializing in "tangos", who has played in several world tango festivals. He normaly plays with Aldo Saralegui piano player, in the Buenos aires, Argentina, scene. You will be able to watch "RealVideo 8" examples and read about his career and artistry as well at the ARMONITANGO site."
- Harry Pitch
- "Soloist on hit parade No. 1 Groovin' With Mr Bloe, played the theme and incidental music on BBC longest running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine from 1972 until 1998 , featured on 50th Anniversary of the Goon Show, played harmonica on several concerts with Carl Davis on Silent movies, and as he was one of Larry Adlers favourite players, he delivered a eulogy and played at his funeral and also at his memorial concert. He also plays regularly with his jazz combo Rhythm and Reeds with accordion virtuoso Jack Emblow. He has 2 great CDs out, Bossa Meets Ballads and Harmonically Yours."
- L'harmonica de Clakos
- "Un site sur l'harmonica de Clakos et sur l'histoire de l'harmonica. A site about the Clako's harmonica and the story of the harmonica!"
- Jan Verwey
- "Chromatic harmonica and jazz; as one of the few who dared to play the harmonica for their livelihood, Jan is probably the only one who succeeded in creating his own style on this characteristic instrument.
He is, for instance, the only one who plays octaves on the harmonica. Also in his solos. Jan Verwey is very much a bebopper and entirely self-taught. Thanks to his unique self-developed instrumental technique, he boldly brings about his desired harmony and melody to his solos."
- Anthony Lau
- "I am a classical harmonica player and like to perform and teach classical harmonica using a chromatic harmonica." A member and soloist of the YMCA Harmonica Orchestra, Hong Kong, since 1956.
- Wim Dijkgraaf
- "Wim Dijkgraaf (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a world class chromatic harmonica player specialized in Brazilian Jazz and highly respected for his "effortless mastery" playing technique. Besides playing the harmonica, he is a composer of contemporary classical music mainly writing for small ensembles and symphony orchestra."
- Yvonnick Prene
- (in French) "The home page of the french harmonica player Yvonnick Prené, including samples, transcriptions, schedule. This man plays chromatic harmonica like Mark Turner his heroe."
- Hermine Deurloo
- "An internationally known jazz chromatic harmonica virtuoso born in Amsterdam. She has performed all over the world and with musicians such as Al Jarreay, Toots Thielemans, Candy Dulfer, The Metropole Orchestra, The Concertgebouw Orchestra and Orchestra Jazz Siciliana. She is completely self-taught and has a original and unique sound. She truly 'sings' on the chromatic harmonica."
- Angelo Adamo
- (in Italian) "Usually I play jazz, NU-jazz and classical music. Sometime I work in the pop area too recording my harmonica in some singer's track. In the myspace page you can listen to some track from my two CDs "Quanta" and "Film Ciechi". You can find review of my works oin the sites www.doctorharp.it and www.bluestime.it."
- Slide Man Slim
- "Slim Heilpern is a chromatic harmonica and guitar player living in Santa
Cruz, CA, USA. He is also a producer and writer of music. Slim's
chromatic style and tone are unique, but also influenced by the greats.
Over the years he has played jazz, R&B, country, swing, and popular
music, most frequently with his long time partner in musical crime,
Penny Hanna. Slim and Penny have lots of free downloads available on
their websites, where you will also find their 2007 CD "Topsy Turvy" for
- Jim Watkins
- "Watkins is a retired university professor who has been playing the chromatic harmonica since childhood. Music, especially jazz, has been a very significant part of his life. He earned a diploma in modern harmony, orchestration, and improvisation from the Berklee College of music in Boston, by means of a correspondence course. Also a keyboard player, he accompanied the legendary chromatic harmonica player, Pete Pedersen for over a decade. He continues to perform regularly at various locations around Memphis. He can be heard on Sunday evenings jamming with other jazz musicians at the Java Cabana, a Memphis coffee shop."
- Bill McLean
- "Harmonica music and original songs."
- Johnny Maxim
- "I have been a professional harmonica player and entertainer for over 50 years playing all the major theatres in the country with all the top stars of the day. I did not start playing till I was 21 and by the time I was 25 I had taken 2nd prize in the World Harmonica Championships in Duisberg in 1953. In my career in showbiz, I have played solo, had a harmonica trio, and finished with my family act consisting of my wife, son, and daughter known as The Musical Maxims. In 1980, I was made member of the very prestigious showbiz fraternity, The Grand Order O Water Rats, whose membership never exceeds 180."
- James Monroe German
- "New CD "Favorite Hymns #2 by James and Pat German" The first "One-of-a-Kind" CD is yet sold on the market. Pat plays chords on the Omnichord. James Plays the 64 reed chromatic harmonica in 4 part harmony...soprano, tenor, alto and bass in very close harmony!"
- Alain Delhotal
- "Creator and leader of the french original trio "harmo & Co." Alain Delhotal is a self-made harmonica player. He created the jazz festival "Swing A Xirocourt" in the french village of which he is the mayor, where he met many musicians. In the "Caveau de la Huchette" in Paris, or in Xirocourt, he played with Georges Arvanitas, Maxime Saury, Pierre Michelot, Raüs De Souza, Brad Lealy or the great Rhoda Scott. "harmo & Co." trio played in 2005 at the TRANSE-ATLANTIC festival in Marocco in front of 25 000 spectators."
If you have a harmonica-related website and would like it listed here, please email us with the web address, site title (or player's name), brief description, and the page it should be included on. Also, if you find any 'dead' links or have changed the URL to your site, let us know so we can make the update.
To open any of the pages in a new browser window, right-click and select "OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW" ("NEW WINDOW WITH THIS LINK" in Netscape). Macintosh users should click and hold on the link until you can select the same option.
SAMPLE VIDEO: Harmonica Instruction for Beginners
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Attend up to 12 Live Classes per Month
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SAMPLE VIDEO: Advanced Harmonica Instruction
Dave explains how the concept of "Follow Through", as found in many sports, also applies directly to your breathing and airflow.
Dave explains the value of not just learning a scale up and down, but dividing it into smaller "bite-size" chunks, which can then be used as blues riffs.
Dave demonstrates how you can use the "Tonguing" technique to create interesting sounds such as the "Chicken Call".