It has become Shared Harvest Farm's Premier Event. The Harmonica Workshop and Retreat Week-end. We have Phil Wiggins, Ronnie Shellist and Carlos Del Junco hosting the workshops. The retreat consists of 25 workshops to choose from. 4 per day and 3 running simultaneously in one hour and ten minute classes. There will be lots of jamming and a Saturday night concert with instructors along with blues guitarist Rick Fines. The farm will be harvesting fresh certified organic food out of the fields and feeding our hungry harmonica minds throughout the week-end. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and again on Sunday minus dinner. Camp, bunk or we have have a limited number of billets in town to house participants. First come first serve. There will always be a beginners class happening and participants can walk freely from class to class. Meals and snacks in between. Bring your own toothbrush so you don't blow snacks into the works!
LATEST WORKSHOP UPDATE:
Our 3 Instructors for 2019 are Phil Wiggins, Ronnie Shellist and Carlos Del Junco. Andrew Zajac will be there for quick customizing tips for the reluctant customizer.
Rick Fines has been added to the week-end and will be playing for and with us at the Saturday night concert.
$225 non-refundable deposit required, through paypal, e-transfers (preferred) and cheques
Note: 4% service charge will be applied to Paypal totaling $234
A $225 non-refundable deposit required, through paypal, e-transfers (preferred) and cheques will secure your spot. The remainder to be paid on the 28th of June upon arrival. Note: A 4% service charge that totals $234 has been applied to Paypal payments only.
Washington, D.C. native Phil Wiggins, a Takoma Park, Maryland, resident, blues musician, teacher and artistic director, a two time winner of the prestigious WC Handy Blues Foundation awards, is only the third harmonica player to receive the lifetime honor of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship. Today he is the only living player of the instrument to hold the prestigious honor of being a “Master of Traditional Arts.” Often referred to by its unofficial designation as “Living Cultural Treasure” award, the fellowship honors and preserves the diverse cultural heritage in the United States. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) annually awards one-time-only NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists, to recognize lifetime achievement, artistic excellence, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage. harmonica for beginners
The NEA National Heritage Fellowship has been bestowed on some of the greatest luminaries in traditional and folk music. In the traditional blues genre, past winners include some of the most important figures in blues history: B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, Sunnyland Slim, Elizabeth Cotton, Clifton Chenier, Robert Lockwood Jr., Honeyboy Edwards, Brownie McGhee, Jack Owens, Mavis Staples and her father Pops Staples, and many more. Harmonica players Sonny Terry and Elder Roma Wilson are the only other harmonica instrumentalists to receive the honor. harmonica workshop
Phil Wiggins now joins the ranks of his eminent elders, friends and compatriots in the Washington, D.C area traditional Piedmont blues scene to win this distinguished award. His former duo partner, the Piedmont blues singer and guitarist John Cephas, received the National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1989. Phil’s friend and early career catalyst , the great blues singer/guitarist and songster John Jackson received the honor in 1986. The blues singer/guitarist and songster Warner Williams, who took the award in 2011, is now the only other living practitioner of the regional traditional blues besides Phil Wiggins with this recognition. blues harmonica
Phil Wiggins is a versatile traditional harmonica player, continuing the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. He plays the diatonic ten-hole harmonica in the country blues style, cupping both hands around the instrument and playing acoustically. His sound is not shaped by the gear, the microphone or amplifier when performing on stage, instead by his complex syncopated patterns, breath-control and rhythm, stylistic virtuosity and fiery solo runs.
As a teenager living in Washington D.C. in the 1970s, he played at the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival with street singer Flora Molton, sitting in with blues greats Johnny Shines, Sunnyland Slim, Sam Chatmon, Robert Belfour and Howard Armstrong. By the time he graduated from high school in 1973, D.C. blues elders John Jackson, John Cephas and Archie Edwards had embraced him. He joined the Barrelhouse Rockers, a band fronted by pianist and singer Wilbert “Big Chief” Ellis, where John Cephas played guitar. They toured regionally until Ellis retired in 1977, when John Cephas invited him to join in the duo ‘Cephas & Wiggins’.
With John Cephas as guitarist and primary singer, the duo performed together for 32 years as internationally renowned stars of the country blues, and a staple on blues radio, ever present on the concert and festival circuit – all with the help of National Council for Traditional Arts director Joe Wilson. Cephas & Wiggins played Carnegie Hall, Royal Prince Albert Hall in London and the Sydney Opera House, as well as small venues worldwide, touring every continent except Antarctica. They recorded more than a dozen critically acclaimed albums, including on Flying Fish and Alligator Records, winning the prestigious W.C. Handy Blues Award in 1984 for Best Traditional Album of the Year and in 1987 as Entertainers of the Year. They even performed at the White House with B.B. King. Phil Wiggins as well as Cephas & Wiggins have been featured in major music magazines, including on the cover of Living Blues, and the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and many more. University of Maryland professor, author, blues historian and producer Dr. Barry Lee Pearson has released numerous Cephas & Wiggins tracks on his Smithsonian Folkways album collections, in addition to his frequent writings over more than 30 years, which also featured the duo and John Cephas’ autobiography.
Since the 2009 death of John Cephas, Phil has performed with numerous musicians including Nat Reese, Corey Harris, Australian guitarist Dom Turner, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, Sherman Holmes, the Rev. John Wilkins, Jerron Paxton, and longtime friends Eleanor Ellis and Rick Franklin. He fronts the acoustic swing/roots/blues ensemble, the Chesapeake Sheiks, and is actively engaged in reuniting the Piedmont blues with its origins of African American buck and tap dancing.
Phil Wiggins has taught thousands of burgeoning harmonica players and actively continues to teach and lead as artistic director in workshops, such as at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia and the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop in Washington State. Plus, he continues to play an active role on the board of the National Council for Traditional Arts.
To find out more about Phil Wiggins and see where he's playing tonight click below
Ronnie Shellist has been honing his harmonica skills for the past 20 years. His musical career began in 1997 working with singer/songwriter Hugh Fadal from Austin,TX. Blues great Gary Primich was a huge influence on his music as well as Guy Forsyth and Walter T. Higgs who lived and played in Austin in the mid 90's. "If it weren't for those guys, I never would have pushed as hard as I did to learn how to get that sound out of my harp" Thanks to a great blues scene in Austin at the time, Ronnie had an up close and personal experiences in the scene that heavily influenced his ultimate musical direction. His style is a combination of mostly Chicago and West Coast blues influenced by funk and jazz greats such as Grant Green and Maceo Parker.
In 1998, Ronnie moved to Colorado where he teamed up with the band Available Jones, a high energy funk/rock band, and toured the US in 2000. He has worked with many greats in Colorado throughout the past 15 years including such locals as John Alex Mason, Lionel Young, Rich Reno, Bob Pellegrino, Rex Peoples and many others.
By 2006, Ronnie began posting performances on YouTube which currently have over 10 million views. Ronnie's live performances include opening for such greats as BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Robert Cray and the Neville Brothers. His first official CD was recorded in 2007, titled Chicago Sessions: Blues Revue said: "the show belongs to Shellist's toneful harp.." Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine. His newest CD "Till Then" was released in March 2012, and features both original songs, and a few classics. It has rave reviews from harmonica greats Kim Wilson and Charlie Musselwhite.
Currently Ronnie performs in/around Denver, CO where he resides, but also travels extensively around the U.S. with his music and harmonica workshops. He works with Kilborn Alley, Corey Dennison, Gerry Hundt, Matt Hendricks, Eric Noden, and Ken Kinsey around the Chicago,IL area. Ronnie is a Hohner Music artist, endorser, and clinician. He has traveled the U.S. from coast to coast with the Hohner Roadshow. These shows are a mix of performance, teaching, and product demonstration.
Check out Ronnie's website for where he's playing and what he's up to. You can also take lessons with Ronnie through skype.
It's probably a good thing Carlos wasn't there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harmonica players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols...
To say that Carlos is just a harmonica player is like saying Jimi Hendrix was just a guitar player. He blows the blues harp through a prism -- suddenly it seems he's holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands.
Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz (hence the name for his band “The Blues Mongrels”). The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock.
Born in Havana, Cuba, del Junco (loosely translated "of the reeds") immigrated with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut with his high school math teacher at a student talent night. In his early 20's del Junco was immersed in a visual arts career; he graduated with honours from a four year programme, majoring in sculpture (click here to see photos) at the Ontario College of Art. Sculpture has definitely had an influence on his outlook on music: "Music is just a different way of creating textures and shapes."
Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed "overblow" technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. Overall, this approach to the diatonic harmonica, although much more difficult to achieve, is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica . Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility to what has still been considered by many in the music industry - a fringe folk instrument. The sophisticated sound produced by del Junco is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music.
Visit Carlos website to find out where he's playing and how to become a student with one of the world's finest harmonica player and teacher.
Andrew Zajac is a Hohner Affiliated Customizer. He loves the diatonic harmonica’s deep connection to the vocal tract. That connection allows a kind of expression no other instrument can achieve.
Andrew’s focus is to provide each player with remarkably responsive harmonicas which are carefully tailored to the player’s needs. He aims for exceptional customer satisfaction.
Andrew continuously refines his customization methods in search of ways to deepen the connection between the player and the instrument.
Andrew lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He has a career background as a registered respiratory therapist and clinical perfusionist (heart-lung machine). Those disciplines have provided Andrew with useful knowledge of the science behind air flow, lung and vocal tract anatomy and physiology, evidence-based practice and continuous quality improvement (CQI) as well as the ability to reliably provide precise results while keeping a cool head and steady hands under pressure.
Andrew has a serious website devoted to customizing harmonicas and all the tools, videos and necessities for making your harmonica sing with greater ease.
Rick Fines' CD "Driving Home" - Number 3 on Stingray Music's Top 100 Blues Albums of 2015!
Steeped in roots music, Rick Fines crafts a unique blend of warm-hearted blues, juke joint folk, and dockside soul that both embraces and defies the genres that influence him. As a veteran of the North American blues and folk circuits, he engages audiences with captivating songs, diverse guitar styling and his signature vocal growl. Rick’s storied career has seen him working in stellar collaboration and as a successful solo act. First gaining attention as part of the legendary Jackson Delta, he’s since released four solo albums, another with his own Rick Fines trio, and a critically acclaimed disc with fellow troubadour, Suzie Vinnick. Along the way he has racked up both awards and accolades. His 15-year stint with Jackson Delta received both Juno and Handy award nominations. His partnership with Suzie garnered a Maple Blues Songwriter of the Year Award. On his own, he’s pulled in two more Maple Blues Awards (for Solo Act of the Year), as well as an astonishing eight other nominations. While his songwriting chops won him a 2003 International Songwriting Competition, he’s equally proficient on guitar – having played for legendary blues piano player Pinetop Perkins, songstress Colleen Peterson, folk icon Penny Lang, and many others.
Equally at home alone at the microphone or leading a stage of fellow players, Rick has performed everywhere from the National Gallery and Governor General’s Garden Party to Montreal Jazz, Ottawa BluesFest, the Edmonton Folk Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. International tour highlights include visits to France, Italy, Scotland, Newfoundland, BC’s Gulf Islands, and the Northern Arctic.
Rick believes in the transformative power of music. When not performing, he can be found teaching and sharing with students across Canada – including work with the Blues In The Schools programs in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto, and Yellowknife. He’s also participated in the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Education program.
His newest album, Driving Home, is his most eclectic and electric to date.
Get the latest info, find his cd's and catch up the Rick at a show.