Cross Harp“ROOTS: A Black Heritage Art Show” 

Cross Harp by Nedra Russ  

 “ROOTS: A Black Heritage Art Show” to Open in January in Jackson CA 1/24/2020 thru 3/16/2020 Artist reception 1/31/2020 4 to 7 P.M. 617 South State Hwy 49, Jackson CA 95642

During Black History Month, AmadorArts is proud to present “ROOTS: A Black Heritage Art Show”. This landmark exhibit will celebrate the contributions of Black Americans with a presentation of art and artistry by our fellow citizens. The celebration of art and culture in America recognizes the contribution of all our various citizens over the course of our history.

 

In the 20th-century, southern black musicians found the devil in the harmonica. The cheap and portable instrument was made at Hohner’s workshop in Germany for use in traditional European waltzes and marches, but when it made its way to America’s Southern neighborhoods, black musicians began to develop a totally new way of playing, which bent the harmonica’s sound (quite literally) to fit the style of the country’s increasingly popular “devil’s music,” or rather, the blues 

Blues harp or Cross harp denotes a playing technique that originated in the blues music culture, and refers to the diatonic harmonica itself, since this is the kind that is most commonly used to play blues. The traditional harmonica for blues playing was the Hohner Marine Band, which was affordable and easily obtainable in various keys even in the rural American South, and since its reeds could be "bent" without deteriorating at a to rapid rate. 

This changed history of the harmonica forever. 

In this painting I have a Marine band taken apart to show you the cover plates reeds and  wooden comb this is an old original harmonica that used nails to hold it together now screws are used . 

Richter tuning is a system of choosing the reeds for a diatonic wind instrument (such as a harmonica or accordion). It is named after Joseph Richter, a Bohemian instrument maker who adopted the tuning for his harmonicas in the early 19th century and is credited with inventing the blow/draw mechanism that allows the harmonica to play different notes when the air is drawn instead of blown. 

Richter tuning is designed as a compromise between diatonic melody and harmony. The lower portion of the harmonica is designed to play the tonic and dominant chords on the blow and draw respectively (in the key of C, this would be the C major and G major chords). The remainder of the instrument is tuned to, in this example, blow entirely in the key of C major, with each successive note following the sequence C E G 

and the four notes not in the C major chord arranged on the draw in the sequence D F A B. 

Once in the hands of the Black southern musicians bends were found that is to say you can on the bottom half bend them down as far as 1 and a half steps. 

Cross harp was invented  Second Position (cross harp) 

Bending notes is, without a doubt, one of the the important technique in harmonica playing. It adds that special bluesy something to your play, and allows you to play semi-chromatically on a normally diatonic instrument - especially in second position. is the most commonly used position for playing blues, rock and country. This position consists of mostly draw notes on the low end of the harmonica (holes 1 through 5) and it is important to master bending to play in this position. 

In the 1970s, Howard Levy developed the "overbending" technique (also known as "overblowing" and "overdrawing".) Overbending, combined with bending, allowing players to play the entire chromatic scale. When bending, the player forces the lower of the two reeds in a chamber to vibrate faster, while the higher pitched reed vibrates slower. When overbending, the player isolates the higher of the two reeds and by so doing can play higher pitched notes. By using both bending and overbending techniques a player can play the entire chromatic scale using a diatonic harmonica. This has allowed diatonic harmonica players to expand into areas traditionally viewed as inhospitable to the instrument such as jazz. 

The overbend is a difficult technique to master. To facilitate overbending, many players use specially modified or customised harmonicas. Any harmonica can be set up for better overbending. The primary needs are tight tolerances between the reed and reed-plate and a general level of air-tightness between the reed-plate and comb. The former often necessitates lowering the "gap", the space between the tip of the reed and the reed-plate. Another often used technique called embossing is to make the space between the sides of the slots in the reed-plate and the reed itself as small as possible by drawing in the metal on the sides of the reed-plate slots towards the reed. While these modifications make the harmonica overbend more easily, overbending is often possible on stock diatonic harmonica, especially on an airtight design. 

Now the small 3 inch photos top four corners of my art work feature 

1.DeFord Bailey was an American country music and blues star from the 1920s until 1941. He was the first performer to be introduced on the Grand Ole Opry and the first African-American performer on the show best known for his harmonica tunes.

          

2. Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton is considered one of the greatest female blues player on harmonica. 

3. Sonny Boy Williamson, was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. He was an early and influential blues harp stylist who recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s 

4. Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music, he is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th century 

Now on to the three 8 by 7 inch graphic art pieces. With my inspiration, teachers and great artist with the players that were their inspiration and influenced their playing harmonica as a career ! 

On the left Walter Horton, better known as Big Walter or Walter "Shakey" Horton was an American blues harmonica player. A premier harmonica players in the history of blues. Willie Dixon once called Horton "the best harmonica player I ever heard. 

Joe Filisko is an American blues harmonica player and maker of customized harmonicas based in Chicago, Illinois. In 2001 he was named "Harmonica Player of the Year" by the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. Joe helped design the thunderbird low tuned Hohner harmonica. 

 

Second 8 by 7

.Junior Wells was an American Chicago blue harmonica player, He was one of the pioneers of the amplified blues harp-style associated with Chicago. 

James Henry Cotton was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, who performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time and with his own band is famous for his harmonica playing. 

Howard Levy. He drew attention for his chromatic playing style on a regular diatonic harmonica. He discovered the overblow and overdraw techniques for chromatic playing in 1970. These allow a harmonica player to obtain all the missing chromatic notes in the Richter-tuned diatonic harmonica. Witch he could not have done without the black masters leading the way. 

Third on the end far right.

Little Walter, was an American blues musician, singer, and songwriter, whose revolutionary approach to the harmonica and impact on succeeding generations has earned him comparisons to such seminal artists as Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix. 

Again Big Walter Horton 

Norton Buffalo, was an American singer-songwriter, country and blues harmonica player, record producer, bandleader and recording artist who was a versatile exponent of the harmonica, including chromatic and diatonic.

 

Annie Raines is an American musician, best known as a harmonicist. She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. Raines took up the harmonica at the age of 17. As a freshman, she left Antioch College to pursue a musical career

John Mayall,  Harmonica playing whaling and still going strong at 86 

Nedra Russ harmonicist see artist bio.Nedra Russ Artist/Musician/Harmonica 

 

 

Nedra Russ Artist bio and links 

1999 Nedra attended her first Master Class on harmonica put on in San Jose by David Barrett of the renowned School of Blues, https://www.bluesharmonica.com/home Also, she started studying under Howard Levy, a world-renowned master of all harmonica genres, at this time. 

2000 Nedra began hosting a successful weekly open mic event at the Union Hotel in Volcano and became a featured guest artist playing harmonica with local bands. 

2005 Nedra was awarded Certificate of Completion, Graphic Communication and Electronic Publishing from Sacramento City College. 

2006 Studied Small Business at Folsom Lake Community College for two semesters Completing her contract with the small business administration. 

2007 Also, Nedra began studying Speech Level Singing™ under Daniel Hayes 

2008 Nedra began teaching Speech Level Singing™ and Performance Training at Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families (BMCYF). http://www.rexfoundation.org/grantees/blue-mountain-coalition-for-youth-and-families/

2008 Was installed on Board of Directors for ART IN THE GARDEN, an annual West Point art with music event. Nedra continued as volunteer Art Director with them through 2017 

2009 Attended her second Blues Master Class sponsored by the School of Blues and attended the 46th Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement and Preservation of Harmonica (SPAH). http://www.spah.org

2010 Was awarded the 2010 Teamagic Award in recognition of her service to youth and community by BMCYF. 

2010 Nedra enrolled at Artist Works, an online teaching center, and began studying advanced harmonica techniques under Howard Levy, as noted above, a world-class master of all harmonica styles. https://artistworks.com/harmonica-lessons-howard-levy

2011 Nedra wrote the music, designed the art work, and produced the first album of her discography, Movin’ On. This marked the beginning of NJR Productions and she was soon accepting musician customers to record their work, which led to providing instruction and musical counseling services as well to her customers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 Attended the 48th Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement and Preservation of Harmonica (SPAH) in Virginia Beach, VA. 

2012 Formed the duo, nJr, with new music partner Julio Guerra, and wrote the music, designed the art work, recorded, and produced their first album, Everybody’s Been Somewhere. Everybody’s Been Somewhere was ranked as #2 People’s Choice album of 2012 by the World of Harmonica website in the UK.  Also, in 2012, the World of Harmonica ranked Nedra Russ as 94th out of the top 100 harmonica players in the world! https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/njr

2013 Nedra won First Place in the Harmonica Category for a rousing railroad train instrumental at the  “Singing Rails” contest at Railtown 1897 in Jamestown. 

 

2014 Began online study on Modern Musician Specialization Program, Berklee School of Music. https://www.coursera.org/account/accomplishments/specialization/certificate/F6AAA6EN7FVM

2014 Was accepted, based on her creative use of harmonicas in jewelry design, as an endorsed Hohner™ “Juke Joint Representative.” Hohner is the world’s largest harmonica manufacturer. https://www.hohner.de/en

2015 Completed the 4 modules, Songwriting, Introduction to Music Production, Developing Your Musicianship, and Modern Musician Capstone of the Modern Musician Specialization course and was awarded Certificate of Completion. https://www.coursera.org/account/accomplishments/specialization/certificate/F6AAA6EN7FVM

2015 Blues Gr., the Blues Society of Greece, published: Interview with Nedra Russ & Julio "Inglasses" Guerra - capturing the true spirit of Americana blues & roots. http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/interview-with-nedra-russ-julio-inglasses-guerra-capturing-the

2015 Nedra completed course: The American South: It's Stories, Music, and Art, and was awarded a certificate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

2015 Second nJr album, Dusty Roads is released. https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/nedraandjulio

2016 Nedra was interviewed and added to the roster of “Famous Harmonica Players” by the Netherlands-based Bluesharp Info. https://www.bluesharpinfo.com/interviews/nedra_russ.php

2016 Attended the 53rd Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement and Preservation of Harmonica (SPAH) in San Antonio, TX. Nedra prepared and presented a seminar, “Making the Music.” 

2016 Two successful monthly community events instituted by Nedra at BMCYF: Art With Nedra and Open Mic. 

2017 Third nJr album, Blues News, is released. 

2017 Nedra was asked, in addition to teaching the “Making the Music” seminar, to perform in the Variety Show on the Main Stage of the 54th Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement and Preservation of Harmonica (SPAH) in Tulsa, OK. The original tune performed, Happy Little Frog, 

2017  Nedra launched The Harmonica Lady Pod Cast on PodBean and iTunes. PodBean 

         A broadcast with all things harmonica what is going on around the USA and 

         beyond interviewing top players https://russnedra.podbean.com

2018   Nedra was asked to be a broadcaster at KQBM community radio with a reach that spans Northern California and from the internet the world. KQBM archives further promoting and keeping harmonica moving with the times. 

2018 Nedra was invited to submit songs to be published in The Amador-Calaveras Songbook, Lyrics and Links, a project sponsored by the Amador Ledger-Dispatch and the Jackson Rancheria. In addition to recording and contributing two of her own songs, Pine Grove and Happy Little Frog, Nedra was the Recording Engineer, harmonica player and music Producer on three other songs, Calaveras and Brick by Brick by Susan Preece, and The Argonaut Mine by Den McCue. This publication showcases local talent by presenting lyrics and music will be distributed along with the newspaper on February 15th, 2019 by the Ledger-Dispatch. 

2018   Nedra taken on board as a Harmonica Teacher by Hohner Harmonica and also now sponsored by Lone Wolf Harmonica company . 

2019   Nedra is the Art and Music Director for Blue Mountain Coalition for youth and family with a grant from the California Art Counsel State fo California. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 related Livin my Life Now https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/nedrajulio

 

For more visit www.nedrauss.com blog page and podcast link 

Off the bottom of the piece Little lady designs frog playable harmonicas by 

The Harmonica Lady trademark

SPAH Diversity At it's Best  

How many types of Harmonicas are there? I say as many as needed for the many types of music it is used for. Harmonicas come in all shapes and sizes, it is mind boggling.  At SPAH each year all types are showcased. 
A Diverse group of players from around the world come to perform, share, learn, teach and just hang out with other players - like a pilgrimage of epic harmonica proportions! 

1:Diatonic:The standard 10-hole major diatonic harmonicas come in all 12 keys of music and allow you to play a complete 7-note major scale of the key of the harmonica. 

2:Chromatic: The chromatic harmonica has a button on the side, which when NOT used, allows you to play a normal major scale in the key of the chromatic. With the button depressed, you have all the missing half-step notes in-between the major scale notes. This allows you to play in any key and any type of 
scale.  

3:Tremolo harmonicas are Diatonic models constructed with double holes (sometimes 8, 10, 12, or more sets of double holes), each containing two reeds tuned to the same note, one tuned slightly higher than the other. Since both reeds are either blow or draw, when played, both will sound together and the slight difference in tuning creates a vibrating or tremolo effect. "Octave harmonicas are similar to Tremolo models in reed layout and musical range. Instead of having reeds tuned to the same note, however, each double hole has one reed tuned an octave apart from the other. The resulting sound is stronger and full bodied, but without the tremolo effect.  

4+:For players that do not play chromatic harmonica, but may have the need for additional notes and scales in they're playing, they can pick up a special tuned (actually re-tuned from the standard major scale tuning) diatonic. Tunings include: natural minor scale, harmonic minor scale, major scale 2nd position tuned (Lee Oskar calls them "Melody Makers" and Hohner calls them "Country tuned"), and "high octave" (key of "G") and "low octave" (low D, Eb, E, F, and F#) tuned.  

5:Bass harmonicas, The Bass is actually two separate bodies, with one placed above the other, with the two held together by hinges on both sides, allowing you to angle the two mouthpieces in towards each other, or out away from each other. 

The bottom row has all the natural notes - it's just a C major scale, running from E to E. 

The top row is not in C# as you might expect. It's in Gb. Why? 

Well, the primary activity in most simple bass lines is to play the root and the fifth of the chord. It's easier to move between these notes if they're on the same row. Most chords have perfect fifths. The C scale does not give you a perfect 5th above B (F is a diminished 5th). B doesn't even occur in the C# major scale, so this would be a poor choice. The B major scale would not give you a perfect 5th on (or Bb), so that's out, too. 

It just happens that the C scale and the Gb scale in combination give you all the perfect 5th on one row or the other. 

Here is the layout for the regular bass: 

F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb 

E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E 

Note how the hole placements are staggered, to put the flat/sharp notes in between the natural notes. 

6:Chord harmonicas, Chord is actually two harmonicas hinged together. The player has access to 48 chords. The top section plays major chords on blow and 7th chords on draw, while the lower unit plays minor chords on blow and alternate draw chords between augmented and diminished. This model also uses windsaving valves to maximize airflow to its 384 reeds!  

 7:Polyphonias have a blow and draw reed, which are tuned to identical tones. They contain all 12 chromatic notes in a single line, allowing users to play notes in rapid succession without redirecting airflow. They are also capable of playing glissandos, a technique where successive notes are played seamlessly to create a sliding sound. 

and miniature 4-hole many listed and played here by Ken.  Now the harmonica Lady me Nedra here is a link to my face book page 
 

The Harmonica Lady Shows & More  

Getting ready for the shows we have on the books-check it out on the main page and look for the signs that point the way.
Adding more shows all the time so join our mailing list! New songs, as well as all the old favorites!


Ordered some new things from Hohner,
                                         now KHS America.                                            
The rich history of the harmonica, so interesting, I have blogs on the music page about all kinds of things at NJR MUSIC 

Interviews, all on Harmonica, its history and new topics of interest as well.  Music, songs, all things NJR
The Harmonica Lady  hit like
 
You Tube  visit and subscribe 


  SPAH (Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica)   

This year, 2017, the 54th annual convention: 

Hotel: 
Hyatt Regency Tulsa Hotel 
100 East 2nd Street 
Tulsa, OK 74103

The annual SPAH Convention is America's biggest harmonica party! 

We will be on hand at our booth
and playing music, as well as teaching:
Creating Music with Nedra and Julio     



Here is one we are working on, The Frog song 

 
There is also a vendor area with booths manned by the world's major harmonica manufacturers, together with smaller makers of specialty items such as harmonica cases, microphones, custom-made parts, and more. CDs by the convention’s featured artists and others are also available, and usually at least one repair booth is open to fix harmonicas.

Held in a different city every year, the SPAH Convention is a five day event that features seminars, jams, and world-class performances by and for players of all types of harmonica and all genres of music!

Also fun for your partner to come and see the city 

Best Luxury Hotel In Downtown Tulsa Located Minutes From Top Attractions 

Hyatt Regency Tulsa is located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma’s vibrant business, entertainment, and cultural districts. Our hotel overlooks the scenic gardens of the Williams Center Complex and is only eight miles from Tulsa International Airport. Adjoined via skybridge to Williams Towers, our luxury, high-rise Tulsa hotel is adjacent to the famous Tulsa Performing Arts Center and just a few walking blocks from the Cox Convention Center, BOK Center and 51 restaurants and bars.

In the heart of downtown Tulsa near major attractions, businesses, & restaurants 
454 beautifully appointed guest rooms & suites 
Daily Grill Restaurant & Bar serving classic American cuisine 
Outdoor rooftop pool & separate indoor pool 
Ihloff Salon & Day Spa 
24 hour airport shuttle 
24 hour full-service business center 
38,000 square ft of state-of-the-art meeting and event space 
Six blocks from Cox Convention Center 

Now on the NEDRARUSS.COM page you can find the other show I do lots of fun stuff 
like 







So we hope to see you out and about!

The Harmonica Lady goes to SPAH  

Well this year I hit the road to take my show to San Antonio for this years SPAH 2016 SPAH's annual convention, August 8th to Aug 13th
with lots of seminars, tons of great performers, a wonderful banquet, and more harmonica jamming than you could imagine.
What is SPAH you ask well it is:
The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica, known as SPAH, is an international non-profit (501(c)3) organization incorporated in the State of Michigan in 1963 by a small group of visionary harmonica enthusiasts who were passionate about the instrument and about its relevance to historical, contemporary and future music. Check out on the link below.

SPAH wants to inform everyone about the rich heritage of harmonica music, the many talented musicians currently playing diverse styles of music with this phenomenal instrument and the great pleasure to be derived from learning to play the harmonica.

As The Harmonica Lady I am a Hohner Representative and will have a lots of new and cool items for sale. The link here can give you some information on  Hohner

Gonna Bee BUZZ BUZZ fun!
Lots of great music day and night Check out my blog on my NJR page from years past Nedra other blogs on the Music page.

So getting ready is what I am doing right now, planned the trip, ordered new product and am busy making lots of one of a kind neckwear. New to the line is the Kumihimo which is the traditional Japanese technique of braiding strands of silk to create intricately colored cords. The cords, also called kumihimo, are strong but slender, and have a multitude of uses. Samurai once used kumihimo as laces for their armor. The traditional belt of the kimono, the obi, was once bound by a cord of kumihimo called an obijime. It is an art both culturally significant and beautiful.  

In Japanese, the word kumihimo means to gather or combine cord or thread. As the ornately jewel-like ropes suggest, modern kumihimo can involve many strands. At first, the process was done entirely by hand without the help of any sort of tool. These earliest kumihimo are generally monochromatic or at least very limited in color. Later, weavers developed tools that could accomplish more complicated patterns, permitting makers to include more colors. The first kumihimo looms, called takadai and marudai, are rather large and unwieldy, and fairly stationary. I love the fact that I can combine many colors or just one color. 

                      So how about that, beautiful elegant and strong, just what we like!


                                                          I will have all price ranges and different options hey you may just have to buy more then one.. 


I will be making them in different lengths and with the always fully tuned in C Little lady Harmonicas . I will also have a few of the less expensive toy neckwear for the kids or for the non playing harmonica supporters.. 

I will have the Little Lady 50th Anniversary Space necklaces .
 




             I have been painting small works and having greeting cards made for sale to show how much you love harmonica too...







 

I plan to update the Facebook pages as we go with photos and videos so hit like on the lines below to say tuned. .  

Nedra and Julio's Music Facebook page                The Harmonica Lady








Creating the Music  
Nedra Russ & Julio Guerra  
This husband and wife acoustic duo will show you how a team works, writing original material, working out songs, making cover tunes your own and doing shows. You don’t have to be in a duo to attend. Bring your harps.


visit the link below to see all of the Seminars this year 












 

Team Magic  

When working as a team magic leader it means being able to connect with the other people . I personally love when that happens! When working with Kids it is magic anyway making it very easy. When working with adults it can be more challenging as there are bad habits and sometimes ego in the way. I feel like with art it is a intuitive process any way so tuning in is important . We all have ideas to share and to grow with and from and it is great when the magic works.
Learning to sing or play an instrument takes time and practice and working with others it is very important to nurture your new found creative outlet and to share that for creative critiquing and when done right can make mile milestones. Sitting in with people that play allot can help as well as going to open mics. When going to a open mic remember to pay attention and be polite do not take it personal and have thick skin as not everyone is helpful and there is lots of competition out there but keep going anyway.  www.nedraruss.com .

SPAH Diversity At it's Best  

How many types of Harmonicas are there? I say as many as needed for the many types of music it is used for. Harmonicas come in all shapes and sizes, it is mind boggling.  At SPAH each year all types are showcased.
A Diverse group of players from around the world come to perform, share, learn, teach and just hang out with other players - like a pilgrimage of epic harmonica proportions!

1:Diatonic:The standard 10-hole major diatonic harmonicas come in all 12 keys of music and allow you to play a complete 7-note major scale of the key of the harmonica.

2:Chromatic: The chromatic harmonica has a button on the side, which when NOT used, allows you to play a normal major scale in the key of the chromatic. With the button depressed, you have all the missing half-step notes in-between the major scale notes. This allows you to play in any key and any type of
scale. 

3:Tremolo harmonicas are Diatonic models constructed with double holes (sometimes 8, 10, 12, or more sets of double holes), each containing two reeds tuned to the same note, one tuned slightly higher than the other. Since both reeds are either blow or draw, when played, both will sound together and the slight difference in tuning creates a vibrating or tremolo effect. "Octave harmonicas are similar to Tremolo models in reed layout and musical range. Instead of having reeds tuned to the same note, however, each double hole has one reed tuned an octave apart from the other. The resulting sound is stronger and full bodied, but without the tremolo effect. 

 
4+:For players that do not play chromatic harmonica, but may have the need for additional notes and scales in their playing, they can pick up a special tuned (actually re-tuned from the standard major scale tuning) diatonic. Tunings include: natural minor scale, harmonic minor scale, major scale 2nd position tuned (Lee Oskar calls them "Melody Makers" and Hohner calls them "Country tuned"), and "high octave" (key of "G") and "low octave" (low D, Eb, E, F, and F#) tuned. 

5:Bass harmonicas, The Bass is actually two separate bodies, with one placed above the other, with the two held together by hinges on both sides, allowing you to angle the two mouthpieces in towards each other, or out away from each other.

The bottom row has all the natural notes - it's just a C major scale, running from E to E.

The top row is not in C# as you might expect. It's in Gb. Why?

Well, the primary activity in most simple bass lines is to play the root and the fifth of the chord. it's easier to move between these notes if they're on the same row. Most chords have perfect fifths. The C scale does not give you a perfect 5th above B (F is a diminished 5th). B doesn't even occur in the C# major scale, so this would be a poor choice. The B major scale would not give you a perfect 5th on (or Bb), so that's out, too.

It just happens that the C scale and the Gb scale in combination give you all the perfect 5ths on one row or the other.

here is the layout for the regular bass:

F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb

E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E

Note how the hole placements are staggered, to put the flat/sharp notes in between the natural notes.

 
6:Chord harmonicas, Chord is actually two harmonicas hinged together. The player has access to 48 chords. The top section plays major chords on blow and 7th chords on draw, while the lower unit plays minor chords on blow and alternate draw chords between augmented and diminished. This model also uses windsaving valves to maximize airflow to its 384 reeds! 

 
 7:Polyphonias have a blow and draw reed, which are tuned to identical tones. They contain all 12 chromatic notes in a single line, allowing users to play notes in rapid succession without redirecting airflow. They are also capable of playing glissandos, a technique where successive notes are played seamlessly to create a sliding sound.
 
and miniture 4-hole many listed and played here by Ken.
 

 
 

SPAH Diversity At it's Best  

How many types of Harmonicas are there? I say as many as needed for the many types of music it is used for. Harmonicas come in all shapes and sizes, it is mind boggling.  At SPAH each year all types are showcased.
A Diverse group of players from around the world come to perform, share, learn, teach and just hang out with other players - like a pilgrimage of epic harmonica proportions!

1:Diatonic:The standard 10-hole major diatonic harmonicas come in all 12 keys of music and allow you to play a complete 7-note major scale of the key of the harmonica.

2:Chromatic: The chromatic harmonica has a button on the side, which when NOT used, allows you to play a normal major scale in the key of the chromatic. With the button depressed, you have all the missing half-step notes in-between the major scale notes. This allows you to play in any key and any type of
scale. 

3:Tremolo harmonicas are Diatonic models constructed with double holes (sometimes 8, 10, 12, or more sets of double holes), each containing two reeds tuned to the same note, one tuned slightly higher than the other. Since both reeds are either blow or draw, when played, both will sound together and the slight difference in tuning creates a vibrating or tremolo effect. "Octave harmonicas are similar to Tremolo models in reed layout and musical range. Instead of having reeds tuned to the same note, however, each double hole has one reed tuned an octave apart from the other. The resulting sound is stronger and full bodied, but without the tremolo effect. 

 
4+:For players that do not play chromatic harmonica, but may have the need for additional notes and scales in their playing, they can pick up a special tuned (actually re-tuned from the standard major scale tuning) diatonic. Tunings include: natural minor scale, harmonic minor scale, major scale 2nd position tuned (Lee Oskar calls them "Melody Makers" and Hohner calls them "Country tuned"), and "high octave" (key of "G") and "low octave" (low D, Eb, E, F, and F#) tuned. 

5:Bass harmonicas, The Bass is actually two separate bodies, with one placed above the other, with the two held together by hinges on both sides, allowing you to angle the two mouthpieces in towards each other, or out away from each other.

The bottom row has all the natural notes - it's just a C major scale, running from E to E.

The top row is not in C# as you might expect. It's in Gb. Why?

Well, the primary activity in most simple bass lines is to play the root and the fifth of the chord. it's easier to move between these notes if they're on the same row. Most chords have perfect fifths. The C scale does not give you a perfect 5th above B (F is a diminished 5th). B doesn't even occur in the C# major scale, so this would be a poor choice. The B major scale would not give you a perfect 5th on (or Bb), so that's out, too.

It just happens that the C scale and the Gb scale in combination give you all the perfect 5ths on one row or the other.

here is the layout for the regular bass:

F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb

E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E

Note how the hole placements are staggered, to put the flat/sharp notes in between the natural notes.

 
6:Chord harmonicas, Chord is actually two harmonicas hinged together. The player has access to 48 chords. The top section plays major chords on blow and 7th chords on draw, while the lower unit plays minor chords on blow and alternate draw chords between augmented and diminished. This model also uses windsaving valves to maximize airflow to its 384 reeds! 

 
 7:Polyphonias have a blow and draw reed, which are tuned to identical tones. They contain all 12 chromatic notes in a single line, allowing users to play notes in rapid succession without redirecting airflow. They are also capable of playing glissandos, a technique where successive notes are played seamlessly to create a sliding sound.
 
and miniture 4-hole many listed and played here by Ken.
 

 
 

Big Walter Horton  

 Walter Horton was born in Horn Lake, MS (April 6, 1917), but his mother soon moved to Memphis where Walter taught himself how to play the harmonica at five years of age. He later learned more about his instrument by working with harp players Will Shade and Hammie Nixon.Walter was the master of the single note and his characteristic walking bass line (usually with a deep tone and selection of notes that is unsurpassed) is instantly recognizable. As an accompanist, he had few equals. His backup harp was always unobtrusive yet bright and fresh -- enhancing whatever else is going on. Give Big Walter a chance to solo and you were in for some of the most tasteful lines Chicago-style harp has ever produced. He made a specialty of playing entire tunes (often in blues style) on the harmonica ("La Cucaracha," "Careless Love," "I Almost Lost My Mind," etc). This might sound trite, but give them a listen. You'll see. In the late '20s, he performed and recorded with the Memphis Jug Band (1927) and generally worked the Southern dance and juke-joint circuit as well as Memphis street corners. Horton moved to Chicago in the late '40s, but was often to be found back in Memphis for recording dates with Sun and Modern/RPM labels. He claimed to be blowing amplified harp as early as 1940, which would make him the first. Johnny Shines recalls that Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) used to come to Walter for lessons. He also says that he used the name "Little Walter" before the Little Walter Jacobs did, but gave it up to JacobsJacobs acknowledges that he "ran" with Big Walter in Memphis during the 1940s. Horton later called himself "Big Walter" to distinguish himself. The term "Shakey" came from the way he moved his head while playing.

As for harmonicas, he used Hohner's Marine Band. He was just as comfortable playing first position (A harp in the key of A) as with the more standard cross harp (D harp in the key of A). He did not do much with chromatic harmonicas. Although Big Walter could play in the style of other harp players (and was often asked to do so), he has no credible imitators. He is one of a kind.

He recorded four sides in 1951 for the Modern/RPM label under the name "Mumbles," but was not fond of that moniker. It was not until 1953 that he really left Memphis and relocated to Chicago to work as a sideman with his friend Eddie Taylor. He soon joined the Muddy Waters band (replacing Junior Wells, who had been drafted into the military) and played withMuddy for about a year.

Over the next few years, Horton worked with Chicago blues artists such as Johnny ShinesJimmy Rogers, and Otis Rush -- both in the Chicago blues clubs and at record studios. He recorded with Chess, Cobra, and States throughout the 1950s. During the 1960s, Horton continued to work with Jimmy RogersShinesTampa RedBig Mama ThorntonRobert NighthawkJohnny Young, and Howlin' Wolf. In the 1970s, Walter was active in the blues clubs, in recording studios, and also began to appear at blues and folk festivals -- primarily with Willie Dixon's Blues All-Stars. He died in Chicago on Dec. 8, 1981, and was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1982.

Also known as "Boss of the Blues Harmonica," Big Walter could make his harmonica purr, roar and cry. And he never strayed from exploring the gut-level feelings the blues are famous for.
 

I created this digital art  @2012
 

 

Big Walter Horton  

 Walter Horton was born in Horn Lake, MS (April 6, 1917), but his mother soon moved to Memphis where Walter taught himself how to play the harmonica at five years of age. He later learned more about his instrument by working with harp players Will Shade and Hammie Nixon.Walter was the master of the single note and his characteristic walking bass line (usually with a deep tone and selection of notes that is unsurpassed) is instantly recognizable. As an accompanist, he had few equals. His backup harp was always unobtrusive yet bright and fresh -- enhancing whatever else is going on. Give Big Walter a chance to solo and you were in for some of the most tasteful lines Chicago-style harp has ever produced. He made a specialty of playing entire tunes (often in blues style) on the harmonica ("La Cucaracha," "Careless Love," "I Almost Lost My Mind," etc). This might sound trite, but give them a listen. You'll see. In the late '20s, he performed and recorded with the Memphis Jug Band (1927) and generally worked the Southern dance and juke-joint circuit as well as Memphis street corners. Horton moved to Chicago in the late '40s, but was often to be found back in Memphis for recording dates with Sun and Modern/RPM labels. He claimed to be blowing amplified harp as early as 1940, which would make him the first. Johnny Shines recalls that Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) used to come to Walter for lessons. He also says that he used the name "Little Walter" before the Little Walter Jacobs did, but gave it up to JacobsJacobs acknowledges that he "ran" with Big Walter in Memphis during the 1940s. Horton later called himself "Big Walter" to distinguish himself. The term "Shakey" came from the way he moved his head while playing.

As for harmonicas, he used Hohner's Marine Band. He was just as comfortable playing first position (A harp in the key of A) as with the more standard cross harp (D harp in the key of A). He did not do much with chromatic harmonicas. Although Big Walter could play in the style of other harp players (and was often asked to do so), he has no credible imitators. He is one of a kind.

He recorded four sides in 1951 for the Modern/RPM label under the name "Mumbles," but was not fond of that moniker. It was not until 1953 that he really left Memphis and relocated to Chicago to work as a sideman with his friend Eddie Taylor. He soon joined the Muddy Waters band (replacing Junior Wells, who had been drafted into the military) and played withMuddy for about a year.

Over the next few years, Horton worked with Chicago blues artists such as Johnny ShinesJimmy Rogers, and Otis Rush -- both in the Chicago blues clubs and at record studios. He recorded with Chess, Cobra, and States throughout the 1950s. During the 1960s, Horton continued to work with Jimmy RogersShinesTampa RedBig Mama ThorntonRobert NighthawkJohnny Young, and Howlin' Wolf. In the 1970s, Walter was active in the blues clubs, in recording studios, and also began to appear at blues and folk festivals -- primarily with Willie Dixon's Blues All-Stars. He died in Chicago on Dec. 8, 1981, and was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1982.

Also known as "Boss of the Blues Harmonica," Big Walter could make his harmonica purr, roar and cry. And he never strayed from exploring the gut-level feelings the blues are famous for.
 

I created this digital art  @2012
 

 

47 down 

 
Kennedy mine head spirits of the miners on there way out from the argonaut "Spirits over Jackson"
 The photos I used to create this work are of the miners and the firefighters that tried to save them.
The Argonaut produced 1.13 million ounces of gold valued at $25.7 million . The Kennedy reaped $34.3 million in gold elevated through three main shafts and lesser ones during its 90 plus years of operation.


Argonaut Gold Mine, On the anniversary of the  Argonaut Gold Mine Disaster, That took place in 1922 I was moved to create this work about it. Here is some history on the event.
On the night of August 27, 1922, 4650 feet below the surface of the earth in one of America’s deepest and richest gold mines, 47 miners were trapped when a fire broke out in the mine’s main shaft. For 22 days, friends, family, and co-workers waited anxiously as rescuers attempted to tunnel across from a neighboring mine. The story soon became spellbinding front page news, as reporters and film crews from across the nation descended on the little California mining town that was home to the Argonaut and Kennedy gold mines. It was the worst gold mine disaster in the history of the United States, yet the story was relatively unheard of before the recent publication of the book 47 Down: The 1922 Argonaut Gold Mine Disaster, by author-historian O. Henry Mace. this book is for sale on amazon.
and from wikipedia 

On August 27, 1922, forty-seven miners, mostly immigrants from ItalySpain, and Serbia, were trapped in a fire 4,650 feet (1,409 m) below ground. Other miners who had been near the surface poured water down the shaft in an attempt to put out the flames. By dawn, townspeople and other miners arrived to help, but it took two-and-a-half days for the fire to be extinguished.

Rescuers began re-opening tunnels from the Kennedy Mine which had been closed since an earlier fire in 1919. It was slow going, but hopes remained high until September 18, when a canary inserted beyond a bulkhead by oxygen-tank-equipped workers died. Still, it took three weeks to reach the level at which the miners were trapped. None survived, and evidence indicated that they had all died within hours of the fire's breaking out. One of the bodies was not recovered until a year later. Most likely, water flushed down the shaft carried his body further into the mine, but in the intervening time, newspapers speculated he had fled the mine to start a new life.

It was determined that the mine had violated safety regulations, but the owners escaped punishment, as the United States Bureau of Mines had little enforcement power. The cause of the fire was never determined and put down to "incendiarism," a broad term meaning either arson or defective wiring.
There are many back sorties and if in the area tours  are held during the season 

link will take you to the site...


I recently sold one of the limited editions of this work to a fellow harmonica player Ken Leiboff when i told him of the story he wrote back say


For many years I lived as if I were down in a mine. sometimes I start t o think that it was my brainpower and talent and hard work that got me out..But....there was also allot of luck and perhaps some divine intervention. Many of my friends never saw the light of day, because they had none of those factors. This piece of art will serve as a reminder of what, easily could have been. 17 years ago I was ready to die, a stinking drunken miserable addict. Glad I made it out of the mine ! (or should I say, Mind)
Love, Ken


I have to believe the miners would be glad to help Ken! Here is a video of Kens Music his gift to the world now days..