10th Harmonica Masters Workshops
Trossingen, November 4th - November 8th 2015
Artistic direction & concept: Steve Baker
Organisation: Hohner Conservatory / Michaela Kitzke
The Harmonica Masters Workshops were initiated in 2003 by Steve Baker in cooperation with the town of Trossingen and Hohner Musical Instruments. Now under the direction of the Hohner Conservatory, the no.1 educational event for blues harmonica in Europe opens its doors for the 10th time at the beginnng of November 2015 on the new campus in the heart of Trossingen, the fully renovated site of the former Hohner production facilities.
Harmonica Masters Concerts with special guests
Saturday November 7th, start 8pm
The Best of Modern Blues Harmonica
Big Pete Blues band feat. Alex Schultz
In addition to performances by HMW instructors David Barrett and Marko Jovanovic, the 2nd Harmonica Masters Concert on Saturday November 7th will feature appearances by two further blues artists of international stature.
As our backing band for the evening we've been able to engage the Big Pete Bluesband, fronted by Dutch singer and harmonica player Pieter "Big Pete" van de Pluym. Pete came to prominence as frontman of the Lester Butler Tribute Band, a homage to the late Red Devils singer which toured successfully in the USA and Europe. Thereafter he released the highly acclaimed solo CD "Choice Cuts" on Delta Groove Records, which received excellent reviews worldwide. In Trossingen Pete will be joined by the great Alex Schultz, one of the most highly profiled American blues guitarists. Schultz toured for years with harmonica legends William Clarke and Rod Piazza, and can be heard on their finest recorded work.
The evening kicks off with David Barrett, followed by Marko Jovanovic. Both will be accompanied by Alex Schultz and Big Pete's rhythm section. Alongside his groundbreaking work as a harmonica teacher, David Barrett is a highly regarded performer and studio musician. He was nominated for a Grammy for his contribution to John Lee Hooker Jr.'s CD "All Odds Against Me" and appears regularly in the San Franciso Bay area, both in clubs and at open air events. His concert in Trossingen will once again demonstrate his mastery of West Coast blues harmonica in all of its facets.
David Barrett Marko Jovanovic
After moving to Berlin in 1999, Marko Jovanovic has made a name for himself as an accomplished professional player in a wide range of genres. Whether with blues acts such as Lars Vegas & the Love Gloves or Ryan Donohue, the West African singer Miriam Hassan or Balkan guitarist and singer Branko Galoic, Marko shows himself to be one of the finest players of his generation, a consumate harmonica artist who can move freely between traditional and modern styles, as well as an experienced performer.
After the break, Big Pete will join his bandmates for a set of his own material. Following the success of the Lester Butler Tribute Band, Pete has worked with numerous internationally acclaimed blues artists including Mitch Kashmar, Monster Mike Welch and Hook Herrera. His powerful, authentic harp and convincing vocals have rightly earned him the reputation as one of the best younger blues performers from the Benelux region. Together with Alex Schultz' brilliant guitar work, this show promises some serious blues pyrotechnics.
Big Pete Alex Schultz
For the subsequent Grande Finale, all HMW instructors will take to the stage under the direction of David Barrett for the notorious closing session with the band and play both themselves and their audience into blues harmonica heaven.
Harmonica Masters Concerts with Special Guests
Friday, November 6th, 8pm
Abi Wallenstein & BluesCulture feat. Steve Baker & Martin Roettger
Joe Filisko & Eric Noden
The Harmonica Masters Concerts 2015 will feature a number of additional top-line guests. For the first time in several years, European blues legend Abi Wallenstein returns to Trossingen for a concert appearance in the Kesselhaus with Steve Baker and Martin Roettger.
Wallenstein has always been a proponent of the stripped down approach, creating maximum impact with minimal means. The direct and open personal contact, the creative interaction with the audience which allows listeners and musicians to become one, is absolutely central to his music. BluesCulture is dedicated to this spirit! The music is a refreshing and unconventional fusion which integrates deep delta blues with hip-hop beats and wild boogie-woogie with grooving protofunk. The dynamic interplay between the three musicians is unpredictable and gripping. Their spontaneity and energy create a fascinating blend of diverse musical elements which which lives from the dynamic interplay between the musicians and allows them to shine both as soloists and as ensemble players. Wallenstein and Baker share a lengthy musical association reaching back to 1990 and have performed as a trio with Martin Roettger since 2002. Next day, on Saturday November 7th, Roettger will also present a cajon workshop.
The evening begins with the eagerly anticipated concert appearance by Harmonica Masters' veterans Joe Filisko & Eric Noden. In recent years, Filisko and Noden have worked their way up to become one of the most highly regarded acoustic blues acts worldwide, breathing new life into this often neglected music. Their exciting performances combine respect for the blues tradition and a deep understanding of the music, with vibrant original songs, presented with enormous energy and enthusiasm as well as the remarkable instrumental virtuosity for which they are justly famous. This promises to be a truly magical night!