7pm — $10 — 21+
Since 2012, the Harmonica Hoedown has celebrating the rich history of and diverse approaches to the world’s most popular, most portable instrument. The Harmonica Hoedown 2018 again brings together some of the finest players of today. Peter Madcat Ruth is a Grammy Award-winning virtuoso harmonica player based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. But Madcat doesn't just play blues harp: he also sings and plays ukulele, guitar, high-hat, jaw-harp, penny-whistle, kalimba, banjo and other folk instruments from around the world. Madcat's repertoire of styles includes Blues, American Roots Music, Folk Music, Jazz, and World Music. Madcat tours with The Madcat Midnight Blues Journey, Chris Brubeck's Triple Play, and The Big Joe Manfra Blues Band, and is bringing his one-of-a-kind approach to solo performance to this year’s Harmonica Hoedown. Revered as a master player, teacher, custom harmonica pioneer, researcher and historian, Joe Filisko is arguably the world’s foremost authority on many aspects of the diatonic harmonica and a key figure in today’s harmonica scene. He has for many years shared his knowledge with students on five continents and so contributed enormously to the widespread understanding of traditional harmonica styles among a new generation of players.In recent years, Joe’s reputation as a performer and recording artist has been catching up with his legendary status as a customizer and teacher. Since he first hooked up with guitarist/vocalist Eric Noden in 2003, the duo has released three highly regarded CDs and has performed at concerts and festivals around the globe. This year’s Harmonica Hoedown is curated and hosted by Graham Nelson and Bob Kessler. Graham’s use of advanced techniques taught to him by harmonica master Howard Levy gives him great musical versatility and expression in numerous styles, in addition to his incredible singing. Bob Kessler has performed with Grammy winners Ramsey Lewis, Dave Alvin, country legend Bill Anderson at the Grand Ole Opry, as part of the orchestra for Ricky Ian Gordon’s contemporary opera version of “The Grapes of Wrath” and with the Chicago bands including the BlackWilloughbys and Bakelite 78. He also hosts Harmonicast, a podcast featuring conversations with great mouth organists from around the world conversing about music and creativity.