The organizers of the Spring Harp Fest recently made the following announcement:
In our 14th year, we are committed to bringing some of the best local talent, as well as some internationally known harmonica stars. If you have never been to Spring Harp Fest, held at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa, something you may not realize about this great event is that we use the funds raised to support school music programs.
For example; over the years we have purchased thousands of harmonicas and funded harmonica instructors through the Blues in the Schools (BITS) program. We are happy to be partners with Blues Lovers United of San Diego (BLUSD) and their BITS program as a way to achieve the SHF mission of spreading the joy of the harmonica to the next generation.
Spring Harp Fest (SHF) XIV will kick off with local legend Rafael Harp, followed by “MarkoftheBlues” Abbott and the Soul Penetrators. Check out Mark’s awesome chromatic blues stylings!
See these previous photo galleries: Harmonica Heaven: Fourth-Grader Wows Them All at Harry Griffen Park |
Next, Nick Walsh, will take the stage and throw down some sweet tones. Nick moved here a few years ago from New England and is referred to affectionately as “Chowda”. Playing fourth is Dan “Dirty” Rice from Kansas City, Kansas. Blow like a tornado, Dan!
Filling out the first half of the show will be 145th Street with Steve Bulger. In 2009 BLUSD sent them to Memphis to represent San Diego in the International Blues Competition (IBC). We are proud to bring them back to SHFXIV another time.
One of the unique things we do at Harp Fest is the world famous “Unknown Players Jam”. How many harmonica players does it take to screw in a light bulb? Just one, while the rest watch and say, “I could do that.”
The Unknown Players Jam gives them the opportunity. For a small donation, anyone in the audience with a harmonica has the opportunity to play 12 bars of blues with a pro backing group in front of an appreciative crowd. Our friend, Chet Cannon will be controlling the mayhem. When everyone has played, a winner will be judged by crowd response and receive a trophy and the adulation of thousands.
After the jam, we will have a set by a player who is known sometimes less for the Mississippi saxophone than the regular one- but plays harmonica with skill and feeling. Allen Ortiz is Rod Piazza’s horn man and gets to travel and play with Rod. Being that close to harmonica greatness on a regular basis has to rub off on a guy. We are looking forward to big things from Allen. Coming with him is one of the great West Coast guitarists- also from the Mighty Flyers- Henry Carvajal. Hold onto your hats, people.
This just in: ROD PIAZZA WILL BE ACCOMPANYING ALLEN AND HENRY AND WILL BE PERFORMING WITH THEM AT SHFXIV!!
One of the world’s most entertaining players, and the only harmonica artist to have performed at every Harp Fest so far, making his 14th appearance, the fabulous Billy Watson and his International Silver String Submarine Band. Billy will amaze and captivate you with his humor, hijinks and harmonica hoodoo. Thank you, Billy, for your continued support. BTW, Billy (and others) will have CDs for sale, please buy some!
We are blessed this year to have with us the very talented Ronnie Shellist, from Denver, CO. Ronnie is a world renowned and respected harmonica instructor and performer. Ronnie will also be hosting a harmonica seminar on the afternoon of Friday, March 29th. You can sign up for that on our website for the opportunity to soak up some harmonica knowledge and techniques to raise your game to the next level.
Finishing the day on a high note, the ever so cool and debonair Karl Cabbage and his group, Red Lotus Revue, will leave you humming the blues until your next fix.
Budd and I would like to say special thanks this year to: Bill Howe Plumbing, Tom Safreed, Boss man at Hodad’s Burgers, Hooters Mission Valley, Wicked Harem, Allegra Printing, Dane Terry, John Legge, Alex Gomez, Chet Cannon, Ric and Karen Lee, and Nelly Burns. We also want to express appreciation and thanks to all our wonderful friends that we have made over the last 15 years.
For more info, visit http://www.springharpfest.org
See you Easter weekend!