Rediscovering the Harmonica

When he was a teenager, Howard Levy took a regular dime-store harmonica and figured out how to play a full chromatic scale. Since then his talent landed him gigs with Many artists like Tito Puente, Garrison Keillor and Bela Fleck and is a founding member of the Flecktones.

Levy has made a career from the harmonica, and has even earned a Grammy, and has eben revolutionizing harmonica playing by inventing a breathing method known as” over-bending”, which allows a wider range of notes. Because the harmonica can be played with one hand, Levy often rehearses while driving, often making the highway is rehearsal space.

Levy composes music on the piano, but to plays them on the  harmonica. “the piano is a machine” he says, “playing a wind instrument is just so personal. You’re breathing the notes directly from your body, and the instrument comes alive, and it sings.”

Levy says “music as a universal language, but that it’s a language with a lot of dialects. I can be a political statement or it can be a mating call or it can be a mathematical equation.’

 “They’re notes, but you can imbue those things with any shade of meaning or emotion that you’re capable of.” he says. “It can be everything,”