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Howard Levy is a musician without limits. His musical adventures include journeys into jazz, pop, rock, world music, Latin, classical, folk, blues, country, theater, and film. Growing up , he remembers his parents always being musical, which he attributes to his appreciation for music today. Interestingly enough, early on Howard almost called it quits on the harmonica, until one fateful day at a Vietnam War rally he says he could “sing through the instrument.” After being discovered in Chicago and building a reputation for himself, he has appeared on hundred of cd’s, won a Grammy (1997), won a Joseph Jefferson Award (1986) for Best Original Music for a Play, and has performed many times on American and European television and radio.
Universally acknowledged as the world’s most advanced diatonic harmonica player, Howard developed a fully chromatic style on the standard 10 - hole diatonic harmonica, revolutionizing harmonica playing and taking the instrument into totally new territory. His harmonica skills have taught him much, and have influenced his life as an accomplished pianist and composer. Howard also plays many other instruments as well, including flute, ocarina, mandolin, saxophone, and percussion.
Howard was a founding member of the Bela Fleck and the
Flecktones. He played for audiences and recorded two albums with Kenny Loggins, and formed Trio Globo with Eugene Friesen and Glen Velez . Howard has also performed and/or recorded with Dolly Parton, Styx, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon, John Prine, Paquito D’Rivera, Ken Nordine, and many others, and has toured and recorded extensively in Europe with artists such as Rabih Abou Khalil and Michael Riessler.
As a music educator , Howard has taught hundreds of students privately, and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Berklee, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Francis Parker School, given jazz clinics at high schools, and has given hundreds perfomances of "Music from around the World," a program of international music for children and adults.
Howard’s amazing solo on the Acoustic Chicago collection shows his proficient compositional sense, blended with a touch of his improvisational skill. Exhibiting the harmonica as a featured instrument on the Acoustic Chicago collection has added even more diversity to the album’s ever-growing array of talent.