Visalia Harp Festival

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Visalia Harp Festival

Postby MrAck » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:28 pm

Visalia Harp Festival (formerly Harmonica’s and Hot Dogs) will take place for its second year this coming Saturday, October 2nd from Noon to 4 PM at the Visalia Brewing Company on Main Street in Visalia, CA where many local players will gather for a fun and casual showcase of harmonica playing in a family friendly setting. The purpose of this event is to simply have a good time and play, to meet other southern San Joaquin Valley players, and to promote the little tin sandwich we all love to those who may have no idea of the diversity of music that it can deliver. The event is put together by a few local volunteers, no big money here (but who knows what this could grow into), with a few sponsors helping out: Visalia Brewing Company and Steve's place are providing the venue and offering a full line of brews, spirits, and good grub; KFSC-LP 94.1 FM, and Designs by Arenas are providing some promotional help.

Anything goes at this little event that will have amateur through professional players showing off any and all genres and playing styles. Bring your favorite harps and microphone. You may even talk a fellow player into trying his equipment if you're lucky. There will be a band (I believe a guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard) of very helpful and professional players to back you up. If you just bring is your harps, Visalia Harp Festival will provide vocal mic's for acoustic playing, a stock Shure 520DX for amplified harp, and mic's available for running your amplifier through the PA system. Several small-medium tube amps will be provided as well as a new Sonny Jr. Cruncher amp for you to try out. They plan to have two songs or 10 minutes for each player slot, more if time allows, so it's a fast paced set up and play situation.

Afraid you're not ready go get up in front of a crowd? Show up and watch, but bring a few harps, you never know how inspired you may be. If you have never gotten up in front of a crowd to show your chops, here's your chance. If you have already committed to this event, I look forward to seeing you there; especially the local pro's who can really show us how it's done. I was a closet harmonica player until one of my kids pulled me into a coffee shop to jam with his band when last years organizers hooked me into playing at this event. At that time I had played out in public only a few times during the prior year. I almost backed out of playing since I thought all the local pro's or very advanced players would be playing, leaving little time for us hobbyist's, but I found a great mix of talent all having fun. I had no repertoire, but a love for jamming with rock/blues/country, so I simply asked the band to play some 12 bar blues, we picked a key, and off we went!

I wish this and similar little gatherings success as great local community events to inspire new players and showcase local pro's without having major travel expenses.
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