[Harp-L] Charlie Leighton 1922- 2009

Dear Friends,

Our dear friend and teacher, and perhaps the greatest harmonica player ever, Charles Leighton, has died at age 88. Charlie was an eminently elegant, generous, gracious and talented man. ?He taught us that as an instrument of tonal beauty and range of expression,?the harmonica could stand proudly alongside any other melodic instrument.

Moreover, Charlie was a musician of stunning virtuosity and sensitivity. He would have been a celebrated master instrumentalist on any instrument, and we can only be grateful that he chose the humble harmonica to express his exquisite musicianship.

Charles was a great friend and mentor to me and the others who descended on his apartment every Tuesday for nearly thirty years, Those "Tuesdays" sessions witnessed astonishing performances by Charlie as well as countless laughs, deep discussions and simple affection among Charlie and his friends.?


Charlie was the "gold standard" of harmonica players, whose music will continue to inspire and instruct as long as people continue to play the harmonica, in terms of tone, technique and sheer musicality.

This posting is not an obituary, just a brief announcement. A few of Charlie's friends are working on an obituary for the New York Times to be published soon, We will post it here as well.?

At Charlie's request, there will be no formal funeral. We are arranging a website to honor Charlie, and a celebration of his life and music, to be held in the coming weeks, to which all will be invited. The location and date will be announced on Harp L.

In our shared loving memory of Charlie,


Please pass this to other friends and fans of Charlie.

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