HOW I SPENT MY SUNDAY 1Harmonica Heaven: Hanging with the Brass Reedsters Tribe

Spencer Jarrett and Steve Freund blowing it out
Harp player and singer Robert Paparozzi spent two months pulling together a harmonica house party for serious players that took place in a midtown loft in New York this Sunday afternoon. Over sixty musicians, some from as far away as Columbus, Ohio, all with gear in town, showed up to hang out and play in what Paparozzi billed as a “gathering of the tribe.”
Since my honey is a harp player (the wonderful Spencer Jarrett), I was lucky enough to tag along and listen.
Hot players present
Cham-ber Huang, chromatic master
Howard Levy, contemporary composer for piano and mouth organ
William Galison , café jazz–Playing at Joe’s Pub April,17th
Steve Guyger, Chicago blues style powerhouse
Rob Paparozzi , entertainer par excellence
Bernard “Pretty” Purdy, the world’s most recorded drummer
Jon Paris, guitarist and NY club staple
Louis X. Erlanger, former Mink Deville guitarist and R.L. Burnside record producer
The blues harmonica world has always reminded me of the small press poetry scene–there’s no money in it, and little mainstream glory, so the people who stay involved do it because they love the medium and the closeness of the world.
This gathering was true to form–fifty-something guys with graying ponytails toting cases of harps, younger players wearing significant hats (there is some important, as yet unexplained connection between harp players and their headgear), CDs spilled on the kitchen table, all for sale, people in corners comparing customized mikes, harmonicas, and cases, the few women present accompanying their musician guys.
The music was terrific.