jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

November 23, 2007

Blues Harmonica Legends in Vancouver

Written by
cindy mcleod

blues music concerts, Canada


Mark Hummel’s
Blues Harmonica Blowout
Yale Hotel
Sunday, November 25

All-Star Cast of Blues Music Giants Featured in Harmonica Series

Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout comes to the Yale Hotel in Vancouver for an afternoon performance on Sunday, November 25th. Produced annually by Hummel, the 2007 event features harmonica legends James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Lee Oskar, and James Harman.

The Blues Harmonica Blowoutâ„¢ series continues to draw sellout crowds at major festivals and venues across North America and Europe. Over years the event has featured a long list of the top harmonica players in world, such as Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Delay, Carey Bell, Norton Buffalo, and many more.

Mark Hummel is recognized as a major force in the blues, the harmonica player/vocalist having produced the annual Blues Harmonica Blowout series since 1991. As leader of the Blues Survivors since 1980, the band backs up all performers in the series, and has toured non-stop throughout the United States, Canada and Europe playing alongside blues greats such as Charlie Musselwhite, Brownie McGhee, Lowell Fulson, and Eddie Taylor.

James “Superharp” Cotton has remained at the top of the blues scene for over six decads. Born in Mississippi in 1935, as a youth he was inspired by listening to Sonny Boy Williamson, embarking on a lifetime career in blues music. The legend has captivated audiences across North America and has performed with giants such as Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Steve Miller, Freddie King, and B.B. King. One of the last remaining Chicago blues harmonica greats, Cotton is recipient of multiple awards including the Honorary and Lifetime Member Award from the Sonny Boy Blues Society (1993), Grammy Award for ‘Best Traditional Blues Album’ (1996 ), Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pocono Blues Festival (2000) and the Blues Legend Award from New England Blues Society (2002).

Kim Wilson is the founder and bandleader of The Fabulous Thunderbirds whose 1980’s hits such as Tuff Enough, Wrap It Up and Powerful Stuff ruled the radio airwaves and MTV for many years. The band performed regularly at Antone’s in Austin, Texas during the mid 1970’s, becoming a favorite of legends such as Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Rogers, and Eddie Taylor. Wilson’s musical journey started at the age of 17 in Goleta, California, where he was inspired by the sounds of Little Walter, George ‘Harmonic’ Smith, Lazy Lester, and James Cotton. Noted for his “Little Walter” styled harp blowing, Wilson continues to perform throughout North America and Europe.

Lee Oskar was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and relocated to the United States in the late sixties where he joined Eric Burdon to become a founding member of the soul-funk sensation War. Hits like Lowrider, World Is a Ghetto, Spill The Wine, Me And Baby Brother, and Slippin Into Darkness garnered national airplay and ranked high in the music charts for months. Oskar’s unique approach to the harmonica earned him the distinction of being voted the Instrumentalist of the Year (1976) in Billboard, Cashbox and Record World publications. In 1983, he founded Lee Oskar Harmonicas, a successful company that is second to Hohner Harmonicas in popularity and sales.

James Harman was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama, where he quickly picked up on the black blues and soul music played throughout the Deep South. During his teens, Harman began performing in Southern juke joints and dance clubs and by the early 1960’s, had recorded numerous 45s for obscure labels. In 1968, Harman relocated to Southern California, where he developed relationships with Canned Heat, The Blasters, Hollywood Fats, and many other well know musicians. Harman is a one of a kind vocalist and harp player, who can be heard on labels such as Enigma, Rhino, Black Top, and Cannonball.

for more information visit www.theyale.ca

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