Land of 10,000 Harmonicas
This year featured American artists appearing at SPAH 2010 include Howard Levy, a pioneer of modern day harmonica playing techniques; Joe Filisko, a world renowned innovator in harmonica construction and a master traditional blues player; Andy Just, a west coast rock n' blues wizard; Clint Hoover, local Minnesota legend that "does it all" on many styles of music; Dick Gardner, another Minnesota native who was a member of the "Harmonicats", the harmonica group that stormed the popular music charts. International headliners include Susan Sauter, a classical sensation from Germany; Bart Leczycki, a blues/jazz phenom from Poland and Thiago Cerveira, a multi-instrumentalist from Brazil. Many more notable players will be added before show time.
International harmonica manufacturers play an important role in the festivities. Hohner, a gold sponsor for the SPAH organization, along with Seydel and Suzuki will be exhibiting their instruments and promoting the artists that play them. A number of boutique vendors will also be catering to the harmonica players' needs.
This five day harmonica extravaganza is not reserved for the elite. In fact it is the "everyday" harmonica lover that makes these annual events so special. A record crowd of over 500 attended last year's meeting in Sacramento. Larger numbers are expected this year. Seminars, workshops and star studded show's occur daily but all take a back seat to the most important facet of these conventions; the interaction of hundreds of like minded fanatics. The jam sessions never stop!
World-wide popularity of the harmonica is increasing. Since its invention back in the early eighteen hundreds, the "tin sandwich" as it is sometimes called, has been a smile making machine that has touched the lives of people in every country of the world. In today's modern music scene the harmonica takes a back seat to no other musical instrument. There are virtuosos of the harmonica thriving in every genre of music. Many will be headed to Bloomington in August.
Click here to read today's full Day in Pop report