At the end of the 20th century it was possible to find harmonica players, their records and their concerts thanks to this medium. They were stages of interesting movements and we reflected them in this medium. Next we enumerated to a good representation of them in those days, being impossible to present them to all, next we began.
Domingo Balaguer (31-05-57) Sevilla (España)
He started playing the harmonica at about eleven years old during a school trip, and since then he has been passionate about this tiny instrument, a few years later he discovered what the blues was by accident when listening to someone who made bluesy sounds with the first blues harp that saw in his life. As a result of that time he became totally hooked on the blues and this has become one of the most important facets of his life.
After collaborating and playing during the second part of the decade of the seventies and first of the eighties, in non-professional formations, in 1985 he joined the “Caledonia Blues Band”.
Caledonia has been considered by the critics as a legendary band within the national blues, they have toured almost the entire national territory participating in numerous festivals of Blues and Jazz during the ten years that have remained together.
In July of 1994 they crossed the pond to play in Chicago, in the clubs Schubas Tavern and Buddy Guy’s Legend, it was an unforgettable experience. In November of 1995 they were the Spanish representation in the days of Jazz of Celle (Hannover) in Germany.
After dissolving “Caledonia Blues Band”, and after a brief hiatus, Mingo Balaguer and Quique Bonal guitarist and also member of Caledonia, decided to meet again to form a new band that begins to take shape towards June of 1996, “The Blues Machine”.
They hit the road with a model under the arm that contained three versions: Sinister Woman (Rod Piazza), Knocking Back on your Door (Rod Piazza) and Narcolepsy (Ronnie Earl). In 1997 the independent company from Granada, Big Bang, publishes their first work “Here We Are”.
At the beginning of the 2000, again Mingo Balaguer and Quique Bonal, they found “The Blues Blasters”, for which they throw of their companions with which they shared rows in “The Blues Machine”, Fernando Torres (under) and Alberto Miras (keyboards) , later replaced by Julian Maeso, and incorporating two key members for this formation: the Australian singer Brent Larkham and the drummer Xavier Reija, recently arrived from the Berklee College of Music (Boston).
A year later the Granada company Big Bang, would publish its first CD “Keep The Blues Alive”.
“The Blues Blasters” is a compact band with an explosive live and its style is as much for the electric Blues of Chicago as for the West Coast of California.
In July of 2002, they have the great opportunity to make a tour of two weeks, by the coast this of the United States, that consisted of a series of concerts in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and Baltimore sharing stage with its great friend and musician Bruce Ewan, “The Red Harmonica King”. The concerts of “Kennedy Center Millennium” (Washington DC) on July 25, 2002 and “Artscape 2002” (Baltimore) (27/7/02)
Also currently part of an acoustic trio called “Bluesville”, founded in the 90s and consisting of two acoustic guitars, harmonica and voice. Their repertoire is inspired by the purest roots of blues and they move within the field of folk-blues and the purest sound of the blues of the Mississippi, interpreting themes of great bluesmen like, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Walter Horton , Lightnin ‘Hopkins, Sonny Terry & Brownie Mc.Ghee etc.
At the beginning of the summer of 2002, Mingo made the decision to lead a quartet called “Mingo & The Blues Intruders” and decided that to develop this project it is essential to have partners with whom he has been side by side for years, with whom There are no musical secrets, they know what they have to do on a stage just by looking at themselves and, above all, with those who have “good vibes” at all levels. It is clear that these partners are: Quique Bonal, (guitar) Fernando Torres, (bass) and Juan de La Oliva (drums).
His proposal covers a wide range of styles within the field of blues. from the West Coast of California to the purest style of electric blues of Chicago, going through jump – blues and Texan blues.
Mingo has had the privilege of playing with international musicians such as Charlie Musselwhite, Carey Bell, Gary Primich, Kenny Neal, Bruce Ewan, Miguel Rios, Bobby Radcliff, Charlie Sayles, Paul Lamb, Jerry Portnoy and Otis Grand among others, with the latter has been doing various tours of Spain since 2004, along with “The Blues Intruders” as a support band.
His favorite old-school harmonica players are Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Walter Horton, George “Harmonica” Smith, James Cotton and Carey Bell, and among contemporaries I would like to highlight Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, William Clarke, Rick Estrin , Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, Paul Lamb, Bruce Ewan, Paul Delay and Gary Primich.
Currently he is also teaching blues harmonica classes for three different levels: beginner level, intermediate level and advanced level; at the music school “Jazz Corner” C / Rodio (Industrial estate Calonge) Seville.
Antonio Serrano began his musical studies at the age of seven. His father is the one who initiates him in this art, teaching him (through a personal and original method, and using the harmonica as the first instrument) the fundamental keys to learn to play any instrument and interpret any musical style without effort. This teaching, according to Antonio the most valuable of its formation, is extended and complemented with studies of piano, violin, percussion, musical reading (formerly called music theory), harmony, history of music, art history, choral ensemble and aesthetics in the conservatories of Madrid and Alicante.
Very soon he starts to stand out as a harmonica player and after winning several national and international competitions, he is called by the great maestro Larry Adler to play with him in a concert organized by the United Nations in Paris, where he will share the stage with musicians like Lorin Maazel, Salvatore Accardo, Barbara Hendricks, Placido Domingo, etc … From this concert is born a great friendship and mutual admiration (between Antonio and Larry) that will last until the death of the Grand Master on September 7, 2001 at 87 years old. The last time they had the opportunity to play together was in London in 1999 for the celebration of the Master’s 85th birthday.
Throughout his career as a classical harmonica player, Antonio had the opportunity to play with the Symphony Orchestras of: Hidelberg, Kiel, Radio Television of Cologne, Istanbul, Belgium, European, Spanish Radio, Granada, Seville, Las Palmas, made recordings with those of Colonia, Las Palmas, ORTVE, and the European.
Antonio, a restless musician by nature decides to start at the Jazz after hearing Louis Armstrong and a recording of the master Toots Thielemans. To do this, he studies modern harmony with Felix Santos for a year and then continues to study in a self-taught way; although according to Antonio, what he has learned the most is playing with other musicians.
In his still short Jazz career, it can be said that he has played with most of the most outstanding musicians on the national scene (Perico Sambeat, Chano Domínguez, Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent, Tino di Geraldo, Guillermo Mac Gill, Lou Bennet, Carlos Carli , Horacio Icasto, Albert Sanz, Joshua Edelman, David Mengual, Javier Colina, Dan Rochlis, Bob Sands, etc …) having collaborated in record projects with Carles Benavent, Horacio Icasto, David Mengual, Pedro Ruy Blas, Joshua Edelman, and Tino di Geraldo.
Well accompanying these artists or their own group, has played at the following Jazz Festivals: San Sebastian, San Javier, Alicante, Salamanca, Menorca, Ciudad Lineal, Madrid, Cazorla, La Rioja, Canary Islands, IVAM, etc. .
His adventures in the world of Jazz, have led him to be requested by the best flamenco performers to collaborate on their albums and performances around the world. His collaborations with Vicente Amigo, Diego Amador (“El Churri”), Esperanza Fernández, Ruben Dantas (percussionist of Paco de Lucía), Carles Benavent, Chano Domínguez, Juan Cortes, Tomasito, etc …
The versatility of Antonio Serrano to approach any musical style and interpret it with delicacy, elegance and above all with respect, has made his harmonica can also be heard on the albums of: Pedro Guerra, Joaquín Sabina, Estopa, Rosana, Ana Belén, Rosario and Lolita Flores, Navajita Plateá, La Barbería del Sur, Tontxu, Ella Baila Sola, German Copini, Maita Vendeca, Armando Manzanero, Presumed Implicated, Rosa Leon, Paloma Verganza, Tribute to Maria Elena Walsh, Tribute to Serrat (Serrat are Unique), Tribute to Antonio Flores and Homage to Carlos Cano.
He has also collaborated in the original soundtracks of the films: Meat Tremula by Pedro Almodóvar, Mama is Boba by Santiago Lorenzo, Impulses by Miguel Alcantud, and Tiempos de Azúcar by Juan Luis Iborra. Although his solo discography is still small, his record “En el Central” recorded live at the Café Central of Madrid with the trio of Joshua Edelman, has had a wonderful reception by the critics specialized in Jazz, of all media and a second album is expected with this medium training term.
Currently, Antonio combines a busy schedule of concerts throughout the national and international geography, with the preparation of a record of his songs composed (most of them) during a trip to New York, and with the development of a repertoire exclusively of works by JS Bach to be also posted on disk.
If all this, we add that Antonio Serrano is only 27 years (1974), we can conclude without fear of making mistakes, saying that we are facing a musician of great sensitivity and delivered deeply and from the absolute conviction to the art of interpretation and the musical creation.
To finish, some words of Antonio Serrano:
“… I consider myself a seeker of beautiful sounds, and wherever I find harmony, I rest and watch, I learn, until I feel strongly enough to continue searching, which I hope will never end.”
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A life fully dedicated to the Blues. At the age of fourteen, in 1981, he left school and went down to the Madrid subway to accompany the singer and guitarist Malcolm Scarpa, with whom he would form a duo that lasts to this day.
In the period between 1981 and 1985, the duo combines this daily activity with small performances, in exchange for the will, by the clubs of the incipient neighborhoods of Malasaña and Centro. They also play in two groups led by Malcolm: El sonotone by Malcolm and the Standart Banda.
At the same time, during this period, Ñaco was invited every night to play with Whiskey David, a Scottish keyboardist who had been living in Spain for a long, long time. These jam-sessions are attended by numerous musicians such as: José Carlos Molina (Ñu), Ulises Montero (Cabinet), José María Guzmán (Cánovas, Adolfo, Rodrigo and Guzmán) and Toni de Juan (Coz), among others. It is precisely in these performances where he meets Tonky de la Peña, and after some performances, Ñaco becomes a member of the first formation of the Tonky Blues Band.
In this period, between 1986 and 1991, the Tonky creates its Blues circuit and performs in festivals such as: I Antequera Blues Festival, I Blues Festival of Madrid. They tellean Johnny Mars, with whom they do Jams in the Coquette Blues Bar in Madrid. In this bar they will play with the band: Michael Coleman and the musicians of James Cotton, Kevin Ayers and Ollie Hansel, among others. Also Tonky and Ñaco are invited to take the stage of San Juan Evangelista (Madrid) with Johnny Copeland. On the other hand, with Ñaco in the band there are two recorded LPs.
Ñaco collaborates, putting harmonica, in the single “Motoristas”, by Loquillo y los Trogloditas, from the album “Mis problemas con las mujeres”.
On the other hand, he recorded and performed together with the legendary group, “Jam”, since the death of El Moro, the group’s original harmonica, from the late eighties to the present day.
In 1991, Ñaco left the Tonky blues band and resumed his duo (which he will never totally leave) with Malcolm Scarpa and formed Los Jockers recording the LP “Doin ‘our Kind” with Francisco Simón, Steve Jordan and Elvia Aguilar.
The Jockers (1991-1995) return to play in festivals, cycles, supporting and accompanying on stage several times: Lazy Lester, Louisiana Red, Carey Bell, Bernard Allison and Rick `Eureka’ Jones; besides participating in performances with other national Blues bands: Mama Montse, Caledonia Blues Band, Algeciras Blues Expres, Armonica Couxa …
También Ñaco, por estas fechas, graba junto a Cool Jerks, Salvador Dominguez, Emilio Aragón, Le Mans, Cánovas, Adolfo y Guzmán, Rosa León, Clara Monte, Miguel Rios (en el tema “cerca del mar”); actúa en el Festival de Jazz de San Sebastián acompañando a Javier Vargas, aparte de tocar para anuncios y series de televisión (Al salir de clase) y salir invitado a escenarios por innumerables músicos tanto nacionales como internacionales (Bill Perry, Big Jack Johnson, etc.).
When the Jockers are dissolved, and together with Armando Marcé (former drummer of Tonky Blues Band among many other bands) they will form Los Bluescavidas with Oskar González, Phineas Sánchez, Salva Carsi and Kapo Alburquerque. As we have seen previously, Salva and Oskar will leave the band later, and lately Edu will be incorporated “big hands”.
Ñaco has participated in other important musical events, either with Bluescavidas, with Finnish Ille Hammalainen, with Amar Sundy, with Zack Pratter, with Malcolm Scarpa (with whom he would record his second Lp as Malcolm – Ñaco “Berriz Blues Sessions” and he would perform at the 1999 San Sebastian Jazz Festival [together with Tapia eta Leturia Jazbana] and at the Getxo Blues Festival that same year); forming a project with the great harmonicist Antonio Serrano “Harmonicas de fuego” (where in turn they were: Pancho Company, Francisco Simón, Jose Luis Martín, Dan Rochllis and Malcolm Scarpa).
In the year 2000, he recorded in the new Red House album “Hold on” and released the compilation album with Malcolm Scarpa “1980 – 2000 Ñaco Goñi – Malcolm Scarpa”.
And what we forget and above all, what remains.
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Born in Palma de Mallorca in 1958. Self-taught, he began his career in the music world at the end of 1982, following the birth of the HARMONICA BLUES BAND band, the result of the unity of three Mallorcan musicians: Pep Banyo, Toni Reynes and Víctor Uris With this training, start acting on the island with a repertoire of classic blues songs and own compositions. During the next two years other elements are joined until in 1985 it is consolidated. From here they act in the main celebrations and musical events of the capital and the rest of the island.
To the purest acoustic and piedmont style, having passed through such diverse formations as, the Harlemica Coixa Blues Band and multiple collaborations with diverse musicians of this country.
In 1987 they recorded their first single with a theme in a studio and a live one recorded at the PALMA AUDITORIUM during the VI PALMA JAZZ FESTIVAL. Shortly after they record an L.P. collective, JAZZ FESTIVAL, together with other Mallorcan groups. In 1988 they record their first L.P. of own production. That’s when he takes over from the Errol Woiski voice. In this same year they make a mini-tour through the Spanish state and appear in different television programs.
During 89 follow the actions along the islands and peninsula. At the beginning of the decade of the 90s, some changes in the composition of the group appeared, including the guitarist Vicenç Caldentey and the Catalan singer Big Mama.
With this training in 1991 they carried out the recording of their second L.P. “Wlaking Blues”. In 1992 Big Mama and Sebastian Catany leave the group taking Vistor Uris the voice relay and Manolo Mari the one of the Battery. In 1993 Hugo Socrate enters as vocalist and percussionist until 1994 when the group decides to take a sabbatical year.
In 1994, Victor Uris, together with Big Mama, toured Catalonia. The idea of recording an acoustic CD with the incorporation of Amadeu Casas (dobro and guitars) came to an end, achieving notable success and recognition in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
He is currently working on a project with the Victor Uris Band with a new repertoire of Blues and Jazz versions including his own songs.
On the other hand Víctor Uris has collaborated both in studio and live with other musicians from outside and inside the island, such as: Johnny Copeland, Kevin Ayers, Phil May Band (Pretty Things), Joan Bibiloni, Max Sunyer, Salvador Font .
In the theater, he composed the music of the play “Les nits blanque” by T.M. Dostoievsky adapted by L’Iguana Teatre and also the music of “Surabaya” performed by Aina Compte participating with her in the international theater festival of Tarrega (1992). And on television, she has participated in different programs of the T.V. national and regional, as well as different musical festivals and harmonica courses and seminars.
You will find your discs through Discmedi label.
Marcos Coll was born in Madrid in 1976, moving to Santiago D.C in childhood. At the age of 13 he began to play the harmonica thanks to his uncle, also a musician and influenced by the legendary Spanish harmonica player Ñaco Goñi …. After forming several amateur bands like the Red Blues Band in 1995, he formed his first professional band called Blue Rags. In 1999 he returned to Madrid to become part of the country’s oldest blues band and the Tonky Blues Band.
With this band, at 21 he had the opportunity to turn and record with blues and rock legends like Mick Taylor (guitarist of Rolling Stones) or Buddy Miles (drummer of Jimmy Hendrix Band of Gipsys) and even made a blues concert with Tom Jones !!! After all those experiences and learning, along with Adrian Costa decides to form The Kings of the KO, which soon became one of the great references of the blues in Spain, and in Europe, winning all kinds of awards and recognitions and even to appear in the music books of secondary education of Galicia.
With this band they share the stage around the world with great musicians such as Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry, John Mayall, Solomon Burke, The Animals or the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
As a recording session musician with a multitude of artists such as Siniestro Total, etc. as well as music for televison, or silent movies. Without being an extensive composer some of his songs can be heard on television and radio programs or in films such as the great blockbuster in Mexico “Suave Patria”.
He has also worked in Spain as a teacher in different music schools as well as doing mastarclasses and workshops all over the world, in Spanish, English or German. As an endorser and advertising image of the well-known brand of Hohner instruments, in the 2009 and 2013 editions, the workshop was already part of the jury of the most prestigious harmonica festival in the world, the World Harmonica Festival, held every four years in Trossingen. Today apart from playing as Marcos Coll Blues Jarana, with Rico MClarrin, Chris Rannenberg, or Guitar Crusher, his main project is the Latin music band Los Mighty Calacas, with which he currently toured around the world presenting his debut album , with guest artists such as Charlie Musselwhite etc.
Apart from his discography with the Kings of the Ko, the Mighty Calacas, and many collaborations, include his double album Marcos Coll “Under the wings” a totally eclectic album where they meet the most archaic blues with funk, Latin music or hip hop and where he reviews a trajectory of 20 years, and that includes colabaraciones of musicians with whom I work at that time as Buddy Miles, Mick Taylor, Aron Burton, and a long etc …
Currently, apart from working with the Mighty Calacas, he also presents that record for countries in Europe, America or Africa ……..
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“Harmonica” Zúmel Blues Band has been, with the help of Vicente “Harmonica” Zúmel the pioneer band of the “blues” in our country. His vast knowledge of this genre in all its aspects, has allowed them to specialize in the most representative style of the blues, that is, the Chicago blues, which they honor in their performances from beginning to end.
This line-up has performed practically throughout the Peninsula. In 1989 they released their first album “Stratto blues” (PDI), an excellent album that in only three months runs out its first edition.
Their extensive experience leads them to accompany great American figures such as Memphis Slim, Champion Jack Dupree, Johnnie Mars (with whom they appear on TVE), Louisiana Red (Festival “Blues a l’Estiu” of Hospitalet 1989, Festival of Blues of Getxo 1991, Festival de Blues de Valls 1992), the bands of Buster Benton, Magic Slim, etc. In 1987 they were chosen by the “Blues Foundation” of Memphis (U.S.A.) as one of the best non-American white blues bands.
In 1990 they traveled to France (Normandy) to represent Spain in the European Blues Festival, along with bands from France, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Germany.
He has been the blues introducer in our country. Dedicated to these tasks since he was 18 years old, he has collaborated as a critic and photographer in national and international magazines -Solo Blues, Quartica Jazz, Route 66, Rocks Musiczine in Spain, Living Blues in Chicago, Blues Forum in Germany, Il Blues in Italy- , etc … His program “La hora del Blues” has been on the air for more than fifteen years, and it airs on 96.6 FM Barcelona, ??every Wednesday from 22:00 to 23:00 and Friday 18: 45 to 19:45. If you live in Barcelona city or surroundings, do not hesitate to tune in with Zumel whenever you can, because in the Blues hour the latest news appearing in the national and international market is punctured, as well as succulent CD raffles and other surprises. Zúmel has also collaborated in the organization of international blues festivals-Figueres, Valls, Hospitalet-and at the head of the “Harmonica” Zúmel Blues Band, a band in which names such as August Tharrats, Big Mama or Amadeo Casas have been formed. traveled all the Spanish geography. His harmonica style is typical of the South Side of Chicago and is influenced by names like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Walter Horton and, among the contemporaries, Jerry Portnoy, Kim Wilson or Charlie Musselwhite.
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Born in San José (Los Angeles-USA) moved to Spain where he has released two CDs. Starting as a guitarist, later moving to the harmonica, we will pay attention to his harmonicist side, from which he extracts a sweeping sound which creates a way to create personal environments, where we find his love for the West Coast sound, fusions with the Swing, his melodic harmonica, softness and hardness and of course, its Chicago sound. He coincided in the late 80s and early 90s with some of the greats such as William Clarke, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, even joining a season with the Allman Brothers.
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Harmonic player and singer of the blues group of the city of Valencia, “Danny Boy and the Jumpers”. Self-taught musician, starting on the harmonica at an early age in the mid-eighties, thanks to a concert by Buddy Guy and Junior Wells when he directed all his interest towards the blues, classic blues being his source of inspiration without neglecting all research into new techniques and styles, going from the canonical sound of classical masters, such as Little Walter, both Sonny Boy, Walter Horton, including the chromatic facets of George Smith or William Clarke, to more current sounds in the Billie Branch line , Mark Hummel, etc. Danny Boy and the Jumpers were formed in 1997, being a quartet of bass, drums, guitar and harmonica, moving between Chicago Blues, West Coast and acoustic blues.
JOSE LUIS NARANJO GONZALO
Born in Cáceres, on February 6, 1963. His love for the harmonica goes back to childhood. He always wanted to have a harmonica teacher, but he never had the luck to find it and, therefore, this forced him to exercise with this instrument in a totally self-taught way.
Regarding his musical education, he studied at the Salamanca Conservatory, and, although he later left the same, he continued his musical studies in a self-taught way, but always with the help of professional musicians, which allowed him to acquire knowledge of solfege, harmony and arrangements.
He has participated since 1986 in numerous musical formations of different styles: Blues, jazz, bossa, flamenco. Such as Karen James Blues Band, Bluebirb (acting with artists such as Louissiana Red and Carey Bell); in Germany and Holland, with Flamenco-Harp, and the harmonica orchestra of Hamburg and Happy Harp quartet, both with the same name. Later forming the Blues Poker group with which I act for a large part of the Spanish geography and recorded the CD “Step by step”. He currently resides in Trujillo (Cáceres) and alternates his musical activity with an acoustic training with two guitars and bass, still in preparation, and private lessons. It is also preparing a seminar on harmonica to be taught at the municipal music school of Cáceres in a few months.
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MAURICI “LITTLE COMET” MORERA
Maurici “little comet” Morera (1968) harmonicist and singer of the band. It brings the best known of the great harmonists of the Blues as Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, George Smith. He has played with important musicians from Catalonia such as Víctor Uris, Amadeu Casas, August Tharrats, and internationals such as bassist and singer from Chicago Willie Kent, rocker Sleepy Labeef, or Hook Herrera. It plays with diatonic harmonica or chromatic harmonica, thanks to the great harmonica player Jordi Odena “Harmony george”, a classical harmonica player who only plays with chromatic.
I am part of the blues group, The Midnight Rockets, which base their repertoire on Blues classics of all times, but they are not the most typical classics, but classics of musicians such as Junior Wells, George Smith, Frank Frost, Albert Collins etc … the song is analyzed and played as it has to sound as if the author gave them a master class. Given the general experience of the members of the band, they can do this work, as if each song was a different book (one sad, one laughing, one hopeful etc.)
Taking into account the problems of the Spanish Blues, it is not genuine, the language is a problem, there are not many musicians that like and play the blues, (the blues in Spain, is a minority, that’s why it is important that the few they like, be united), The midnight Rockets what it does is simply enjoy on stage and sound like it really was a band coming from Texas, the test is simply the work edited by Discmedi “Midnight Jump”.
CONTACT MAURICI: 93-7268190
JOAN PAU CUMELLAS
Known in our country for his interpretive ability with the diatonic harmonica, Joan Pau Cumellas is a lover and student of this instrument and explores all its sound possibilities in different areas.
His versatility as an interpreter allows him to excel in fields as diverse as blues, country or traditional jazz. It combines the classical techniques with the most modern ones and converts the diatonic harmonica into an instrument without limits in this musical field.
His most outstanding groups are Barcelona Bluegrass Band bluegrass and country, J.P.Cumellas & M.Talavera duet of acoustic blues and Mr.Hurricane Band blues fusion. With these formations, plus his collaborations with the popular blues singer Big Mama, adds 10 CDs published until 2010.
He has also participated in over 25 cds of artists as diverse as singer-songwriter Quico Pi de la Serra, pop singer Manolo García, jazz singer Lotti Lewis, bolero singer Moncho or boogie player Lluis Coloma.
He has also released cd’s with bluegrass and country groups (Sam Lardner, Alex Warner, The Wild Turkey), and with the musicians of gipsy swing from Les deux guitarres.
He performs in the main festivals of Blues and Jazz of Spain and is known in countries like France, England, Holland and Ireland for his participation in numerous Blues and Bluegrass events.
He works as a studio musician for radio and television advertising and other musical productions such as film soundtracks.
He is a harmonica teacher in Barcelona, he gives the annual Harmonica de Roses Workshop together with Greg Zlapczysnki and organizes harmonica didactic workshops for young people in schools and institutes, as well as pedagogical concerts on blues for schools with the singer Big Mama.
contacto: [email protected]
MANUEL SOTO “ITO”
He calls himself Manuel Soto, although he is commonly known as “Ito” … born in Huelva in 1963, at the young age of 13 and influenced by his brothers and older cousins, he began to discover bands like John Mayall & Bluesbreakers , Canned Heat, Allman Brothers, etc …, until getting to their hands the first vinyls of Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Paul Butterfield Blues Band, for whom he felt special admiration, due mainly to the fascination that exerted on him. harmonica solos …
His first harp, a Portuguese Ofado-Trémolo, did not quite convince him (being still a teenager) because he was only able to make sounds to interpret popular songs.
It was then when he decided to go to an instrument store to get his first Blues harmonica, a Special 20 for 500 pts.
In the absence of anyone to teach him or advise absolutely nothing about this small-great instrument, he had no choice but to train in a self-taught way, spending long hours daily in his room, accompanied by good and varied blues records, which made possible that little by little it was realizing its own bendings, trills and other essay techniques. With the help of Quique Bonal (ex-Caledonia, ex-Bluetones, ex-Blues Machine and current guitarist of The Blues Blasters) he was able to catch up on tonalities and different positions of the harmonica, perfecting his own style and knowledge .
Pioneer of the Blues in the province, he joined in 1990 with his ‘compadre’ Antonio Toscano (better known as “Pin”) who decided to form the “John Doe Blues Band”, the first blues band in Huelva, which would later pass some of the best blues musicians onubenses (JM Morueta, Antonio Mesa, Fidel Suarez, Fernando Torres or the always remembered and missed Carlos Pandero, tragically deceased in 1997, among others) … “All Friends Band”, “Avenida Sur Blues Band “and different formations of duo and trio with some of the friends and friends mentioned above, maintain the spirit of the Blues in that city during practically the whole decade of the nineties, playing in small and medium-sized” clubs “of all kinds.
Due to personal circumstances, he is forced to suffer a musical “parenthesis” in his life of two years, completely removed from the ‘little world’ … returning in 2000 much more experienced and with more desire than ever. Known as Carey Bell, he has shared the stage with some of the best Blues musicians and musicians within our borders, such as Mingo Balaguer, Ñaco Goñi, Manolo de Arcos, Quique Bonal, Juan Arias, Julio Colin, Michael Lindner, Little Boy Quique (Caledonia Blues Band, Tonky Blues Band, Algeciras Blues Express, Blues Boys …) and recently he has played as a guest musician in La Big Band de Huelva.
His favorite harmonists are in the style of Chicago and the West Coast Blues, and among his most notorious influences in the classic Blues Little Walter, Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson, George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, Carey Bell and James Cotton, being his favorite interpreters of modern Blues Charlie Musselwhite, Jerry Portnoy, Kim Willson, William Clarke, Rod Piazza, Sugar Ray Norcia and Gary Primich … lately he listens to and also analyzes the touch of people like Mark Ford, Andy Just and the Californian Helge Talqvist . For his team he usually uses Lee Oskar harmonicas, although he is still attracted by the old and hard to get Marine Band … he also uses the Micro Grand Bullet 520-D and the Fender Pro-Junior 15 W tube amp. He is currently studying harmony studies, expanding knowledge about Jazz (Antonio Serrano and Toots Thielemans) and perfecting techniques with chromatic … waiting for a new musical project with people in the same vein!
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Also known at the time as “Harmony George” The Harmonica Plus, technical teacher and virtuoso soloist of the harmonica, one of the most international Spanish harmonica player of all time, first Spanish harmonica player awarded with the gold harmonica, active member of the France Harmónica Club, also nominated Vice-President of the International Federation of Harmonists for Spain.
Co-founder and teacher of “El Harmonica Club de Barcelona”, of which we will record his detailed history in his long life as a chromatic harmonica musician:
First teacher of the world champion
Spanish of harmonica soloists, Ramón Boter.
Technical teacher of the “Quartet Néixer”, world runner-up of harmonica.
Twice champion of Catalonia and great name of contests.
First champion of Spain of harmonica soloists.
Soloist of the musical group “Boys of Kansas City”. Solist of the trio of harmonicas “Rávels”.
Collaborator in the improvement of the Latorre Method to learn to play the harmonica.
Collaborator with teacher X.
Montsalvatge, in the recording of the musical band of the movie “Districte Cinqué”.
Award-winning active member, distinctive gold by the France Harmónica Club.
He is the author of the arrangements he interprets.
He has brought his particular and original style of interpreting music with the harmonica around the world such as: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Purmerend (Holland), Dakar, Nigeria (Ivory Coast), Buenos Aires, Maracaibo (Venezuela), Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) ), Los Angeles, San José de California, VI SAIPAN Aircraft Fleet (US), Sant John, New Brunwick (Canada), Dublin (Ireland), Ardrossen (Scotland), Manchester, Barry, Bristol (United Kingdom) , Alborg (Denmark), Goteborg (Sweden), Institut d’Estudis Musicals (Andorra), Abbey of Sant Miquel de Cuxá, Prades de Conflent (France), Canary Islands 1998 (26 concerts), 1999 Paris, romantic concerts in the Bateaux Moushes on the Seine.
For contacts, contracts, lessons or questions:
Phone: 93 435 8966
MANUEL DE ARCOS
(1954) As almost all began with a harmonica in the pocket going to school (a Piccolo that cost 40 dollars). By then, in the late 60s, he was hooked by what Bob Dylan put into his songs or those that came from groups like Canned Heat or Paul Butterfield (which he could hear with amazement thanks to the LPs they got from the American bases during those years psychedelics) and of John Mayall or Duster Bennett (the one who put them with Fletwood Mac) on the English side. He began to play in public with more trembling than anything else at 17, accompanying a colleague to the voice and guitar and by the end of the 70s he began to be part of the rock-blues-rythm & blues-jazz group called Entresuelos, a long-standing the Sevillana scene through which numerous musicians passed and that curiously only published an album in 1990 (“Entresuelos” Cambaya Records) in which it can be heard on almost all subjects. In the mid-80s he began to hear blues by right from the same sources that all my admired white bluesmen drank, incessantly devouring all styles, for decades, for regions …
While he was documenting via subscriptions to magazines, books or videos, at the same time and working near Tarifa, he meets the members of the Algeciras Blues Express that invite him to join the band, which he does without hesitation starting a collaboration that lasted until 92 and of which he remembers very good concerts and good vibes. They recorded 2 LP but only the first one came out (“Algeciras Blues Express” Cambayá Records 1990).
Of the 90 it also keeps good memories of groups like the Electrical Dama or later the Perkins with which it returned to record in the 96 (“Blues Horse” Antequera Records). Apart from these groups with which he had the opportunity to play in many festivals of Blues in the country has participated in various projects and training of all kinds to adapt to the demands of the owners of the gambling den, which, incidentally, are not many. In short, much blues and greater ruin, but above all a great pleasure every time he touches that nobody takes away from him and that he survives as the years go by.
His favorite harmonicas are undoubtedly the Hohner. He does not care about the Marine Band that the Harp Blues in wood or the Pro Harp in plastic. If he has to use a Tombo he suffers a little and does not know why because they really are better in design and duration of the tabs. Micros has a good assortment: Green Bullet, Astatics JT30, Shakers, Shure SM58, Shure 545S … but his favorites are 2 Electrovoice metallic of the magnificent 70, a 664 and a super 638. As for amps he uses either a Fender Super 60 with a 12 “or a reissue of the Fender Vibroverb 68 in brown tolex with 2 of 10” that sounds incredible since I changed some lamps. His jewel however is a small ampli with an 8 “speaker and only 3 lamps (previous, power and rectifier) of old radio and a brand not known (Sound Project) and that once warm it sounds like it would have already wanted Little Walter.
For contacts, contracts, lessons or questions:
Brief Curriculum: He studies his music studies in several workshops in Castellón. Soon discovers, due to his passion for color music (Jazz, Blues, funky, etc …), the sound of the harmonica.
He began to investigate the technique of the instrument in a self-taught way, relying on old methods, since there was no conservatory or workshop that paid attention to the harmonica.
After more than 16 years dedicated exclusively to the harmonica, she knows and maintains regular contact with national and American harmonica players to share experiences and continue to advance in the study of the technique of this instrument, as versatile as it is unknown.
Musical Trajectory: He has performed in numerous venues in the country such as; Sala Clamores (Madrid), Sala Siroco (Madrid), El Corral de las Cigüeñas (Cáceres), Sala Folky (Valladolid), Matisse (Valencia), Club Roxy (Valencia), etc … and on numerous occasions in our unforgettable Café from sea.
In 1997 he was included with his band in the INJUVE program (Ministry of Labor) in its Jazz-Blues section (only five bands were selected from across the country), with which they toured many venues across the country, the Jurado was composed among others by the critic and director of the program “Jazz por que si” of Radio 3 RNE Juan Carlos Cifuentes “Cifu”.
As a harmonicist of studio and direct he has collaborated for the most diverse formations of the most diverse styles, from Jazz to New Age, Fussion, etc … for both National and European bands.
COLUBRARIA Project: “I have always felt in debt to the Islands, there is a very strong bond between Columbretes and my family, where we have enjoyed indescribable moments. For two years most of my time as a musician has been devoted to the composition I have had the immense luck of finding a musician and friends related to this project who have helped me in an altruistic way, catching us in the mood to see how the compositions took shape, there is a part of each of them in this project.”
Musical Analysis: The musical analysis of Colubraria is the execution of traditional rhythms and melodies in our folklore, such as paso doble, la marcha mora or rumba, with a solo instrument like the harmonica associated with other music. What at first sight can be a shock, every time becomes more familiar when recognizing in the sound of the harmonica a similarity to that of the Dolçaina.
“The musicians who have helped me and endorse the quality of this project are:”
Jesús Gimeno: Drums and Percussion, Diego Barbera: Bass Fretless, Michel Llorens: Accordion, Ximo Muñoz: Mandolin and Brouzouki, Manolo Brancal: Spanish Guitar and Palmas, Joaquín Pinilla: Electroacoustic Guitar, Leticia Casañ: Violoncello, José Ramírez: Palmas, Paco Vila: Trombone, Juan Carlos Tomas: Technical Producer and Acoustic Guitar.
Recorded at La Seta Azul Studios with Soundcraft Saphire LC and Mesa Yamaha O2R, Pro-Tools Computer System, Astatic Chrystal Ball and Neumann Microphones, Lee Oskar Melody Maker Harmonicas, Harmonic Minor and Suzuki Promaster Diatonic Major, Guilt X-170 Guitars, Alhambra CTW-5P and Takamine, Fender Precision Fretless Electric Bass, Suzuki MF 250 Mandolin, Paolo Soprani Accordion, Yamaha Power 5 Battery – Paiste and Sabian Plates, Trombone King 4B.
Thia CD consists of 7 tracks with a total duration of approximately 28 minutes.
Finalidad: Dar a conocer el trabajo de los músicos de Benicassim (Castellón), así como la música folclórica de esta tierra, bajo la dedicatoria a un enclave tan mágico como nuestras Islas Columbretes.
Este proyecto no acaba con la grabación ya que se esta ultimando un repertorio de 60 minutos aproximados de duración para presentar en casas de cultura, teatros, auditorios, salas y festivales de carácter étnico.
Destino: Las principales emisoras de radio, principalmente en programas de contenido cultural (RNE, Catalunya Radio, Radio 9, etc…). Puntos de ventas especializados, así como a catálogos especializados.
Harmonist, singer and composer born in Bilbao in 1978, began with the harmonica by chance, after receiving one as a gift for his 19th birthday. He considers himself a partially self-taught musician, because although he never studied music formally, he has learned a lot from the musicians he has known and touched over the years. His influences are very varied, since he was always fond of very diverse genres that he has been incorporating into his music: jazz, swing, dixieland, Caribbean and New Orleans music, country, etc., apart, obviously, from the blues in all its aspects.
After some early blues and rock projects, where he was always the singer and harmonica player, he founded Basin Street Café in 2002, together with bassist and guitarist Adán Arsuaga, an open formation, still active and heterogeneous repertoire, aimed at integrating diverse elements taking as reference the music of New Orleans.
For her, many musicians from different styles have been playing, contributing their influences and making the band evolve, which led her to perform in many contexts and with very varied repertoires: mestizo blues, swing, jazz standards, etc. The Basin participated in 2004 in the blues festival of Cazorla, and recorded two self-published CDs “Basin Street Café” (2002) and “Takeaway Gumbo” (2004). In 2006, I participated with several songs in the soundtrack of the documentaries “Txakurkalea” and “Sonido Gordo” by David Civico and recPLAY. At present, Pablo Almaraz, together with Basin Street Café, conducts the blues jams of the Residence Café in Bilbao every first Saturday of the month.
In addition to the Basin, Pablo collaborates with other Bilbao bands such as Los Reverendos, with whom he sings and blows Californian blues jump, or the veteran R & B and pub rock band Los Muelles, where he adopts the role of harmonica accompanist. His occasional collaboration with the great Malcolm Scarpa, with whom he acted in duo at the Elorrio blues festival in 2005, the occasional duo with his former colleague Adan Arsuaga, and the collaborations with the singer-songwriter Solo, occasional guitarist of Basin Street, is also noteworthy. Coffee. Currently, Pablo also teaches private harmonica lessons in Bilbao.
In 2007, and with two companions of the last formation of the Basin, the bassist David Martín and the pianist and producer Israel Santamaría, Pablo recorded and self-edited “Rootless Background”, under the name of Pablo Almaraz & Los Voodoo Santos, a CD which collects ten own songs representative of their varied influences and obsessions.
For contacts, contracts, lessons or questions:
CLASSES OF HARMONY – CONTACT
Yes, another of the things I do is to give private classes of harmonica, both those who start from scratch and those who are stuck and want to progress or expand their repertoire.
My method (to call it that in some way) is to provide guidelines, advice and exercises to help speed up the progress, while enjoying it; It is clear that you can not learn to play an instrument as if it were a heavy work, you have to have fun from the first day, because if not, it is most likely to be abandoned. That is why I am interested in a student being able to play simple things from the beginning, to feel that he is progressing and having fun while he works the routines that will make him get to know the instrument. Of course, the blues is a perfect field of exercises, where you can experiment, practice the rhythm (essential), phrases and, in short, lose fear and shame. I usually recommend reference recordings and I provide essay materials (bases, programs …) In the case of a student who already plays at a certain level (blues, probably), he usually wants to gain in versatility and expand horizons. For this we have to work different scales, learn to know several positions and take advantage of what they offer, control all blessings well, start with overbends, dare with other styles of music, etc. In general, it is about understanding the harmonica as an instrument with all of the law, and not just as a characteristic element of the blues.
Anyway, for any questions, you can write me here on myspace or [email protected]. Of course, I only teach in Bilbao.
Born in Rome (Italy) in 1962.
The study of music begins at the age of 7 years. In 1971 the study of the viola prisoner begins “Conservatorio Musical G.B. Martini “in Bologna and successively with M ° Dino Asciolla.
In 1981 he graduated in viola with the highest score and honorable mention prisoner the “G. Rossini Conservatory” of Pesaro.
In 1982 he won the Contest as Prof. de Orquesta prisoner “Ente Autonomo Teatro Comunale di Bologna”.
During this time (7 years), you have the opportunity to play under the batuda of the best Directors like; George Solti, Riccardo Muti, Riccardo Chailly, Chung … and also record with the best singers; Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Frani, José Carreras …
For more than ten years she has been dedicated to Harmonica Cromática as a soloist.
His Cameroonian and Symphonic Repertoire includes original works dedicated to this instrument of Composers such as; Heitor Villa Lobos (Concert for Harmonica and Orchestra), Darius Milhaud (Suite Anglaise for Harmonica and Orchestra), Gordon Jacob, Vaughan Williams, William Walton, Luciano Chailly.
In 1997 he recorded the Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra by Heitor Villa Lobos for the label Arte-Nova B.M.G. , accompanied by the Orchestra O.F.G.C. director Adrian Leaper.
For the 2000-2001 season you have scheduled Concerts in Italy and Spain. In April 2000 he was guest of the Colombian Symphony Orchestra, director Alejandro Posada, where he performed the play “Five Pieces” for Harmónica and Gordon Jacob Orchestra.
This same year he also collaborated with the prestigious Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale del Santa Cecilia in Rome under the direction of M ° M.W.Chung, recording for the Deutches Grammophone a Suite for Symphonic Orchestra and Big Band by Duke Ellington “Night Creature”.
The recording of this CD “live” is the result of three Concerts at the Auditorio Nazionale in Rome as part of the Official Season of the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia, where the Harmónica, highlighting as a soloist instrument, raised great enthusiasm of the public and critics .
He collaborates with the Chamber Orchestra as “I Cameristi Italiani”, prestigious Ensemble integrated in its entirety by member of the Orquestra Accademia Nazionale del Santa Cecilia in Rome.
With this set he played and recorded his third CD in December 2000 at the Oratorio del Gonfalone in Rome, the composition of the M º Luciano Chailly, “Improvvisazione nº9” per Harmonica, String orchestra and percussion.
With “I Cameristi Italiani” will be on tour in Japan (Tokyo-May 2001) for concerts in the framework of the most important cultural events planned for 2001 between Italy and Japan.
On this occasion they will premiere the composition of the famous composer Mr. Ennio Morricone for Harmónica and String Orchestra “Immobile nr. 2 “, composed expressly for this occasion and by” I Cameristi Italiani “and Gianluca Littera.
Always with “I Cameristi Italiani” they will be touring Spain playing in the main cities, performing works by Cámara for Harmónica and String Orchestra, in addition to their free arrangements on Piazzolla’s contemporary Tango, always for Harmónica and String Orchestra. Gianluca Littera, also a composer and arranger in 1998, finished the work “Concierto para Bandoneón y Orquesta”.
Visit his personal page at:
Soon his page will be updated with more information, news about his next CD and next tour through Spain with chamber orchestra in 2002.
“… In the second half of the concert, Gianluca Littera played splendidly the Five Pieces by Gordon Jacob, he was able to help one of the rarest works written for this difficult instrument…”
Franzina Ancona, Rinascita
“I composed “Immobile 2” after having heard Gianluca Littera’s artistry. His talent is evident and my decision to compose this piece is the sign of my appreciation of his art.”
Sincerely, Ennio Morricone
“Dear Mr. Littera, I listened again to the recording of my Improvvisazione #9, and it renewed my complete satisfaction with your “great artist” recording, it was performed with high class. When John Sebastian died I thought that this composition would never be played again, it was quite demanding for him. Instead you arrived on the scene with such skill and self-assurance that enabled to maintain the required high level of performance.”
“Gianluca Littera is one of the rarest musicians who dedicated himself professionally to the classical repertoire for harmonica, allowing us to be amazed at the potential of this instrument.”
Edoardo Tomaselli, Planeta Musica
H. Villa Lobos
Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra
Suite Anglaise for Harmonica and Orchestra
Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra
Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra
Prelude and Dance for Harmonica and Orchestra
Repertorio de camara:
Five Pieces for Harmonica and Strings
Divertimento for Harmonica and Strings
(originally for Harmonica and String Quartet)
Improvvisazione #9 for Harmonica, String Orchestra and Percussion
R. Vaughan Williams
Romance for Harmonica, Strings and Piano
Immobile #2 for Harmonica and Strings
(world premiere G.Littera Tokio May 2001)
Concertino for Harmonica, Strings, Harp and Percussion
Seven Greek Folk Dances for Harmonica and Strings
Las 4 Estagiones para Harmonica y Orquesta de Cuerdas
(arranged G. Littera)
(transcribed and arranged G. Littera)
Divertimento for Harmonica and String Quartet
Quintet for Harmonica and String Quartet
(arranged G. Littera)
Repertorio de Armonica y Paino:
Five Pieces for Harmonica and Piano
(original arranged by the composer)
Seven Greek Folk Dances
Prelude and Dance
Pavane for Harmonica and Piano
(transcribed G. Littera)Astor Piazzolla
(arranged G. Littera)
Following harmonica groups we find Harmonicant in Barcelona, which is still betting on a harmonic formation. The project was born in December 2013, from the desire of Juan Pau Cumellas to create a musical group exclusively of harmonicas, with a classical formation structure of soloist, bass and chords. The task was not easy because, if the harmonica is a little extended practice instrument, finding a harmonica player of bass and a chord was almost impossible.
The project became a reality when they joined Agustín García, bass harmonica and César Gómez, soloist and chords of the Harmonikando group that had dissolved at the end of 2012 after ten years of playing in Folk-Traditional style circles.
They represent in their repertoire different musical styles, blues, country, bluegrass, traditional, movies, etc in their repertoire.