[Harp-L] [Harp-l] Harmonica conventions in Europe - Some reflexion

James Fitting jayfitting@xxxxx
Thu Feb 8 08:15:47 EST 2018

Hello Sabatien,
I haven't ever attended SPAH, nor any other harmonica based conventions. I
think that is a result of my own idiosyncrasies as much as anything, partly
because operating in that setting does not come naturally to me. That said
I don't feel particularly out of the loop because I have been going to see
live music all my life (and especially bands with harmonica players). I am
lucky to live in a town with a vibrant music scene (Boston), and I am lucky
to be in a band that tours a fair amount. I guess the internet may amplify
the feeling that you are missing something, because you can see so much
music there. And I certainly don't have any answer to your basic conundrum
of finding an affordable opportunity to meet a range of harmonica
players...  But I wanted to reach out because I am coming to Belgium, the
Netherlands and Italy in April with my band Session Americana. (So yes this
a bit self serving, but I am always looking for an opportunity to connect
with harmonica players). Please take the time to look at the band website,
if you like the music check out the tour schedule. We have some unfilled
dates perhaps you have some ideas about filling them, or maybe we could
just hang out a bit. The bottom line is it's all about the music, and the
people who make it. I hope we get the chance to cross paths. And that goes
out to any other Harp-lers out there.
Jim Fitting


On Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 7:04 AM, Sébastien Frémal <sebastien.fremal at xxxxx
> wrote:

> Hi !!
> I was thinking yesterday evening about harmonica conventions in Europe and
> I thought maybe it's worth a message, a conversation. I don't know if it's
> recent, but I see many nice harmonica projects in Europe. Cain's UK
> harps, Brodur's french harps, french dom'y'seal... And behind these
> projects, there are interesting people with who we could
> have interesting chats. There are a lot of known or unknown harmonica
> players it would be great to hear and meet... I checked for harmonica
> conventions to see if it was possible to meet these people, to discover
> these projects, learn some harmonica technics... I'm in Belgium, I'm
> half-time artist (I need a half-time conventional job to pay the roof and
> the food), I don't have a lot of money. I checked the internet for nearby
> and affordable conventions. I found this page :
> http://harmonica.co.uk/diary.htm
> I won't go into details, but most conventions are far and expensive and
> strongly blues-oriented (I'm more interested in the chromatic
> Massolo/Charlier/Peyrelevade style). If I could reach the convention
> location, workshops are pretty all focused around blues and most are really
> really expensive (often half the money I have to hold the month, and
> sometimes they even ask all I have). And I found no conventions about just
> gathering, meeting and sharing innovations or thought on the instrument.
> There are no "harmonica markets" where you could meet people like Cain or
> Messier to discover and try their work. Or just meet people who are not
> necessarily blues players and who could share their knowledge with the new
> generation.
> And I'm from the country which gave birth to one of the most known
> harmonica player. But there is only one convention once every two years.
> And as their budget is pretty limited, they offer interesting but limited
> "content".
> There it is, some thought about the lack of opportunity to meet new people
> and to share about innovations and technics in the harp world. Maybe some
> things could be done, I don't know. I hope so :)
> Sebastien Fremal

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