Harmonica Masters Workshops
The Harmonica Masters Workshops in Trossingen, Germany were initiated in 2003 by Steve Baker in cooperation with the town of Trossingen and the Hohner Musical Instrument company. They are now under the direction of the Hohner Conservatory. The no. 1 educational event for blues harmonica in Europe opens its doors again at the end of October on the new campus in the historical heart of Trossingen, the fully renovated site of the former Hohner production facilities.
The choice of instructors has always been a mainstay of the concept. Every year, Steve has brought together some of the world's leading harmonica educators to join him in teaching the Master Workshops at this event. Joe Filisko has been on the team from the very beginning and David Barrett has been involved since 2006. Joe's duo partner Eric Noden will again be teaching acoustic blues guitar.
The international character of the Harmonica Masters Workshops has always meant that the majority of the classes have been held in English. As the HMW take place in Germany, last year we decided to offer a Master Workshop in German for the first time, taught by Marko Jovanovic. His class was a great success and we're glad to welcome Marko back in 2016. He also speaks excellent English, so non German speakers need have no fear of registering for this workshop.
This year we're very happy to be able to include a class for chromatic harmonica once again. In his youth, Antonio Serrano was the protegé of the great Larry Adler and has since gone on to become one of the world's most highly regarded players. Antonio's course at the Harmonica Masters Workshops 2016 is aimed at players of all levels of ability and stylistic directions and offers the rare opportunity to study with a modern master of the chromonica (language: English). We will once again be offering a class for beginning and intermediate players under the guidance of former Harmonica World Champion Riedel Diegel. This is aimed at people who have previously participated in Riedel's beginners classes, either at the HMW or in the Conservatory, or who don't feel up to joining one of the Master Workshops (language: German).
This year we have decided to extend the lunch break and strike the first afternoon teaching block from Thursday onwards. The supporting program (factory tour, service workshop, new harmonica museum) has been rescheduled to take place during this time, so that everyone will be able to enjoy it without time pressure.
The majority of the classes will take place in the Trossinger Musikschule, located in the former Hohner Conservatory building, which has been extensively renovated following storm damage and now offers optimal teaching conditions. Concerts and sessions take place as always in the unique atmosphere of the Kulturfabrik Kesselhaus, the former factory power station located a two minute walk away on the other side of the campus and now a listed building. It isn't just our world class team of instructors, or the concerts and sessions, which make the Harmonica Masters Workshops such an unforgettable event. It's the combination with that remarkable cameraderie which makes the international harmonica community so special, and four days of total immersion in one of the pivotal locations in the history of our instrument - the Mecca of the harmonica - which ensure a unique experience that continues to attract new students every year.
Trossingen is located in beautiful hill country on the edge of the Black Forest, not far from the A81 motorway. The town has a railway station (Trossingen Stadt) and is also within easy reach of the international airports in Stuttgart and Zurich (Switzerland). Accommodation is available nearby in categories ranging from budget to 3 star hotel and everything is accessible on foot. There are also parking facilities for mobile homes on the outskirts of town. From Thursday to Saturday, an inexpensive lunch will be available for participants on the campus (please register for this on arrival) and there are numerous restaurants and shops in the immediate vicinity. The Harmonica Masters workshops start with a reception at 2pm on Wednesday November 2nd and end with a chill-out breakfast from 10am - 2pm on Sunday November 6th. Register now to be part of the harmonica event of the year 2016! We look forward to welcoming you to Trossingen.
Steve Baker & Michaela Kitzke