Hank Shreve began playing harmonica at the age of 8 and has established himself as a major harmonica talent on the blues scene in the Pacific Northwest. Between the age of 8 - 18, he became proficient on other instruments such as Drums, Keyboards, Guitar, Dobro , Lap-Steel and Vocals,
Hank won the Northwest Harmonica Championship in 2008 and CBA’s Muddy Award for Best Harmonica in 2009 and 2013. Hank has performed at the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Cognac Blues Passions in France with Karen Lovely, and Seattle’s Bumper Shoot with Magic Dick and Lee Oskar. In November 2018, Hank participated in the Jason Ricci/Winslow Yerxa Harmonica Collective, in New Orleans, with John Nemeth and Rick Estrin.
Hank has shared the stage with delta-blues legend Honeyboy Edwards, Smash Mouth, Merle Haggard, Norton Buffalo, Gregg Rolie, Marcia Ball, Sista Monica Parker, Amy Clawson & Pam Tillis, Terry Robb, Magic Dick, Lee Oskar, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Karen Lovely, Deanna Bogart, Roger Fisher (from Heart), Curtis Salgado, DK Stewart, Lloyd Jones, Paul deLay and many other well-known national and international acts.
Hank and his band, (The Hank Shreve Band) have performed at numerous notable venues/events such as The Waterfront Blues Festival, Big Sky Blues Festival, Fourth At The Fort Festival, Willamette Blues/Brews Festival, Eugene Celebration, Oregon State Fair, Highway 99 Blues Club (Seattle), Jazzbones (Tacoma), Sasquatch Brewfest (Eugene)....The Hank Shreve Band has won the CBA's Muddy Award for Best New Act 2012, and Best Regional Act 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Apart from being one of Eugene, Oregon's respected and well-known musicians, Hank is an official Artist-In-Residency at Music Masters in South Eugene where he teaches music with a curriculum that includes Harmonica, Drums, Guitar, Lap-Steel and Piano.
Watch "Hank Shreve" Videos here:
Growing up in New Hampshire, Gary Green took up the harmonica in high school and was soon playing 20 nights a month around New England. “You learn your instrument quickly when you have to be so focused,” he says. He moved to Virginia in the early 1980s, and has since made it home.
Gary Green was a winner at the 1987 Hohner National Harmonica Championships and The 1987 World Harmonica Championships Isle of Jersey (GB).
Gary continues to perform and/or record with songwriters Peyton Tochterman, Terri Allard, Scott Kirby, and country soul artist Cleve Francis.
He has performed on major stages around the country including Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry, Washington DC’s Birchmere, Passims in Boston, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, NY’s Falcon Ridge Festival, Folks Fest in Lyons Co., Norfolk Scope, Paramount theater, Charlottesville, VA as well as venues from NYC to Austin to Key West Florida.
Whle currently dedicating most of his time to his other passion, live event audio , Gary just finished adding harmonica tracks to the upcoming release by Peyton Tochterman. It has been over 10 years since Gary released his own CD project , Surrounded. Keep a look out for the next one due out at the end of this year.
Below, Gary provides the narration to a collection of photographs ranging from his humble harmonica beginnings in New Hampshire over 30 years ago, up to his current career of touring and recording from his home base of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Watch "Gary Green" Videos here:
Todd has been playing harmonica for 28 years, and has been blessed to perform and record with several artists. Growing up on the church pew in NC, he was exposed to lively music at a young age, and it wasn't long until he picked up his first instrument... the harmonica. Todd recalls, "I remember as a kid when a traveling evangelist visited our church. The pastor had been announcing that he played a French Horn, but I think he meant French "Harp" instead (which is a common name for harmonica). So, I was expecting this guy to come to the pulpit playing some type of brass horn. When he walked to the pulpit, whipped out a harmonica and started to play, I was amazed! I was determined that night to learn to play the harmonica, so on the last night of the series of services, I bought a harmonica from him (against my mother's wishes I might add). The other kids laughed and teased me a little bit, but the harmonica kinda "stuck" with me. After several years, I'm still playing harmonica, but have come to realize that this was just the start of something greater. Music has opened so many positive doors in my life. I'm not sure where I'd be today or what I'd be doing had I not picked up that first harmonica. God has blessed me with a gift, and sharing my music with others is my way of partly giving back."
Today, Todd's soulful, gospel harmonica can be heard in churches and other events across the nation, as well as on many studio recordings. He's a regular teacher and performer at the annual Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH) convention, and at many other harmonica workshops in the USA.
"Todd Parrott is one of the freshest, most innovative and proficient harp players I know. He's got it all: great chops, killer tone, speed, finesse, and impeccable taste. Todd plays with a sensibility and maturity that lets me know he is first and foremost a great musician who never sacrifices musicality for mere technique. And he genuinely loves sharing whatever knowledge he has with the rest of the harmonica community out there. I'm excited to see his star rising."
Buddy Greene - harmonica player and co-writer of "Mary, Did You Know?"
"Todd Parrott works the upper octave blues scale in a straight-ahead blues/gospel vein better than anybody out there, IMO. He's very fast, gets all the notes (overblows and overdraws), and, most importantly, makes it all sound very soulful.... Todd's too modest to say this, but I think he's got the best chance of any harmonica player I've seen to cross over and become the public sound and image of what pure-D American blues harmonica is about: unamped, very little tongue-blocking, just straight-up, stand-at-the-mic-and-blow-hell-out-of-it stuff. Sweet, strong, soulful, and clear... He's definitely modern, in technical terms--all those overdraws and overblows, some of them bent and/or held and vibratoed--but his tonality is straight down the middle of the blues/gospel/country road. Most listeners won't hear "modern." They'll just hear "great!" Todd should be center stage at the Grand Ol' Opry, he should be the first-call studio guy in Nashville and L.A., he should be all over movie and TV soundtracks. He's really got it. One reason among many that he's got it is that he makes huge use of the upper octave blues scale..."
Adam Gussow - blues harmonica player, teacher and author
Watch "Todd's" Videos here:
While at home in the jazz realm, Sandy is equally skilled in blues, Celtic, Klezmer, Latin and much more. He learned much of his harmonica styling while under the tutelage of harmonica wizard Howard "Flecktone" Levy. He has since gained international recognition in the World Harmonica Competitions. Sandy has won numerous awards and is equally skilled on the banjo and ukulele. Sandy currently performs his unique style of harmonica jazz in a duo, trio, & quartet setting.
Sandy has performed on dozens of albums nationally and has released four albums of his own: “Banjo Magic” (1987) -currently out of print,
Escape Velocity with his band the SanDROIDS (1996),
“New World Harmonica Jazz” with the Carolbeth Trio (1998),
Sandy has opened for: Norman & Nancy Blake, BeauSoleil, Peter Ostrushko, Cassandra Wilson, Trio Globo, Hot Rize, Leon Redbone, Victor Wooten, and John Hartford. Sandy has performed with: Howard Levy, Brewer & Shipley, Bela Fleck, Bluegrass
Watch a sample of "Sandy Weltman's" music and instruction here:
Suite for Ukulele and Harmonica/Sandy Weltman
Peter "Madcat" Ruth
Peter Madcat Ruth
Peter Madcat Ruth is a Grammy Award-winning virtuoso harmonica player based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. But Madcat doesn't just play blues harp: he also sings and plays ukulele, guitar, high-hat, jaw-harp, penny-whistle, kalimba, banjo and other folk instruments from around the world.
Madcat's repertoire of styles includes Blues, American Roots Music, Folk Music, Jazz, and World Music.
Madcat tours with The Madcat Midnight Blues Journey, Chris Brubeck's Triple Play, and The Big Joe Manfra Blues Band, as well as doing solo performances.
Watch a sample of "Madcat's" music here:
Retreat Director / Organizer
Steve August, Jazz Pianist, composer and arranger and author resides from beautiful Northern Michigan and has performed in the area for over 20 years in clubs, resorts and in concerts. He performs often in a solo as well as a group setting. He has performed with many of his own Jazz trios and Jazz quartets and as a sideman in various settings. He achieved a Master of Music degree in Jazz studies from Western Michigan University on piano. He performs often on Mackinac Island, Michigan in the summer months for Jazz gigs, casuals and performance venues in this highly romantic setting depicted in the movie "Somewhere in Time." Currently Steve is performing in the Las Vegas, Nevada venues and casinos, as well as recording his 5th CD. In Las Vegas Steve has performed on piano at the Wynn, The Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, The Flamingo Resort, and Caesar's Palace, and Lake Las Vegas playing solo piano and in a group context.
Steve staring playing harmonica in his teens listening to the Sonny Boy Williamsons, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Charlie McCoy, John Mayall, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Terry and the J. Giels Band. He has recently taught blues harmonica in Las Vegas, Nevada for several years at the University of Las Vegas and at the College of Southern Nevada. Upon returning a few years ago to Petoskey, Steve has been teaching blues harmonica to Northern Michigan harmonica players and playing both harmonica and piano professionally.
In addition to performing Steve is a very active teacher and educator. His studio schedule is full with many aspiring pianists, musicians and those seeking greater musical understanding of the inner workings of music making. In June of 2002 Steve started the annual SUMMER JAZZ weekly workshop for Jazz Education teaching improvisation styles and techniques open to students of all levels. This workshop is open to all levels and all instruments in during the summer months. Watch for details on this workshop. Steve also currently lectures frequently on the topic of Jazz at various Colleges and institutions offering cultural enrichment activities. Teaching others to love and understand Jazz music has led to the "Jazz History Lecture" where and academic overview of the history of jazz is combined with live entertaining performances .
Steve August originally started his musical career early in his teens playing electric bass in Rock Bands with high school buddies. He played electric bass in power trios influenced by the Cream and Jimi Hendrix and the rock music of that period. This led to performing in Jazz trios after listening to music of Oscar Peterson. Steve started piano studies to enhance his bass playing and knowledge of music and quickly fell in the love with the instrument. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston studying both electric bass and piano early in his career. That led to various working situations on the road with many groups. Soon after that, through an association with the late great Jazz Pianist Eddie Russ, Steve attended Grand Valley State University studying Jazz and Classical Piano. After graduation from GVSC he played in numerous bands both as a soloist and as a sideman either on piano or electric bass. Later he earned a Master of Music degree in Jazz studies at Western Michigan University.
Steve has a very rich eclectic piano style drawing on the deep traditions of Classical music and reaching into the Blues, Ragtime, Boogie - Woogie and many Jazz Piano styles such as bebop to smooth jazz.