5th Harmonica Masters Workshops, Trossingen, Germany
October 29th - November 2nd 2008
Steve Baker (GB)
David Barrett (USA)
Joe Filisko (USA)
Carlos del Junco (CAN)
Dick Bird (guitar) (GB)
Concept & artistic direction: Steve Baker
Organisation: Charlotte Dressen / Trossingen Kultur
I started the Harmonica Masters Workshops in 2003 with the intention of putting together a top-line educational event for contemporary (mainly but not exclusively blues) harmonica with major emphasis on the fun factor. I wanted to assemble a team of absolutely world-class instructors and players to present a wide-ranging teaching programme plus great concerts and open sessions. The idea worked out beautifully and we've been repeating and developing the event every year since then, with the exception of 2005, when it would have conflicted with the World Harmonica Festival, also held in Trossingen every four years. Classes take place in the Hohner Conservatory, a bastion of accordion music and classical chromatic harmonica which we have succeeded in infiltrating so that the rooms now resound to a different sound. Concerts and sessions are in the post-industrial chic of the nearby Kesselhaus, formerly the power station in the old Hohner factory and now a protected building. Everything is close enough together to reach on foot.
The Harmonica Masters Workshops has become the premiere educational event for blues harmonica in Europe and draws up to 100 students every year from all over the continent and even beyond - we've had several visitors from the USA and Canada and last year there were two Australians. Participants can study the whole time with just one instructor, or move around from class to class if they wish. Classes start Wednesday afternoon and run until Saturday, totalling around 18 hours of instruction. There are sessions with professional accompanists every night in the Kesselhaus and on two evenings the instructors perform full length concerts. Their credentials are second to none.
David Barrett is the most published author of harmonica literature in the world and is considered by many to be the most accomplished teacher of the instrument anywhere. He is president of the School of the Blues in San Francisco CA.
As well as almost single-handedly popularising harmonica customizing and supplying instruments to star players from Neil Young to Kim Wilson and many more, Joe Filisko is the leading authority on traditional harmonica styles and a fantastic player into the bargain.
Carlos del Junco is a former star pupil of overblow jazz master Howard Levy and a groundbreaking stylist in his own right who fuses elements of jazz, blues and swing to create his own unique style.
I've been a professional harmonica player for nearly 35 years and have also written a few books on the subject as well as releasing numerous CD recordings and working as Hohner's international harmonica consultant since 1987.
Together we make a great team and ensure that the Harmonica Masters Workshops is one of the most enjoyable and stimulating musical education events of its kind anywhere. We look forward to welcoming harmonica fans from all over Europe and beyond to another unforgettable five days in Trossingen. As the Harmonica Masters Workshops will probably not take place in 2009 due to the planned World Harmonica Festival, this may be the last chance to attend for a while. Reservations will be accepted from now on (Annette Kempel, , Tel. +49 7425 25141) and enrolments commence in spring. Places and accomodation options are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment later.