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

Patrice Rayon stpat95@xxxxx
Thu Feb 8 15:02:02 EST 2018

Salut Sébastien,

To answer to you from France...

I understand that if you speak about European harmonica convention, this is because you are aware of SPAH convention taking place every year for 5 days in August in a town of USA.

In Europe I believe that convention is something we know about... we have festivals, workshops, etc... but no conventions.

Of course if you have enough money to be able to go to SPAH convention in Saint Louis (beautifull town, and the big arch to see really great) it may cost around 2000€ to 2500€ from France or Belgium...

It is very interresting to build a network on both side of the ocean, also that make you realize that most of harmonicas players are able to give the name of artists from their own country, but far less from other ones :)

Last August people in SPAH could give me 2 or 3 names of french harp players at most...when there far more... same in France, lots of people are not able to give a lot of name of harp players from USA .... but when you move to the events of the other countries there are lots of great things to see, people to meet, get new friends with common interrests, make them discover thing s from your place and the reverse ...

With my website, this is also what I am trying to encourage for already more than 15 years ( harmonicacontact.com ). I can tell Roger Trobridge proposed me to give my point of view here today and he is from UK, I am from Paris area (France). I have good contact with Mickael D'eath from SPAH, and other people from lots of countries... All that because moving to see the other, and not mainly waiting for them to come :) ...

In Belgium up to 2016 there was the big harmonica festival in Liège... But Gregoire Family cancelled it... The very last one was 2016. The sad thing was that there was more french people than people from Belgium there... I the festival was GREAT!!! Instead there will be now a music festival, but with few harmonica I believe and much more singers and guitar players... I know someone in Belgium who would like to create a new harmonica festival in Liège, but he may need lot of support from harp players from local area, from the country...

To get harmonica players to know each other I built this calendar where the artists enter their own date fro french speaking area:


I did the same but based on Bandsintown dates for world: http://harmonicacontact.com/Agendas/World.html <http://harmonicacontact.com/Agendas/World.html>

I did it because the one managed in USA was dead... Lots of people like, but when I ask for new harmonica artists adding their dates on Bandsintown nobody  answers (but lots of people take a look every day) ... I believe that that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE... the only impossible things are the ones you don't try to do because you don't believe in... To believe is poductive, to be septical creates nothing...

In UK, Neil Waren believed in it like NHL association!!! So they manadge that : http://www.harmonica.co.uk/GigList.htm  (not only the http://harmonica.co.uk/diary.htm )

If you come to Harmonicas sur Cher French harp festival (Next in the Ascention 2019 so in may) you meet many harmonica players, but also Brodur, I thing Dom'seal, (one guy from Los Angeles last time in 2017) etc...

Sébastien Keep in touch (I am also a friend of Charlier, Peyrelvade, Olivier Ker Ourio who was himself very good friend of Toots ;) who was himslef a friend of harmoliège where he came  and lots of people who organise thins here around and I know a lot of things in advance).

The more you meet harmonica world people, the more again you know harmonica world people (ths is exponential!!!)... And really I would be so happy that Belgium artists (Geneviève, Thierry, Olivier, Steven etc...) to speak together, and find benevols (why not the ones of harmoliège) to continue the story of the belgium festival who was I believe the very one in Europe being independant of harmonical sailors ;) ....

And please contact Paul Lassey to be on this map: http://www.harmonicacontact.com/Articles_francophone/article_170127_Carte_harmonicistes.html

Also on this one: http://www.harmonicacontact.com/Articles_francophone/article_161207_Carte_Francophone_profs.html   !!!! (If you teach the harmonica only)

Also if you want to make your own harmonicas events to the french speaking areas calendar, please contact me in private

I also warmly recommand you to go to NHL Britsol harmonica festival the very last weekend of October next year (2018)...

Patrice RAYON

 PS: Thank you Roger ...I was about to miss the post of Sébastien... So you see Sébastien, Roger Trobridge from wanted as well to help you...


-----Original Message-----
From: Sébastien Frémal <sebastien.fremal at xxxxx>
To: Harp-l <harp-l at xxxxx>
Sent: Thu, Feb 8, 2018 7:04 am
Subject: [Harp-L] [Harp-l] Harmonica conventions in Europe - Some reflexion

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 :

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

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

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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