Howard Levy (born July 31, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York City) is a Jewish American harmonica player and pianist.

He is probably best known as a founding member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, with whom he won a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for their live recording of their 1991 song "The Sinister Minister".

One of rather few jazz harmonica players, Levy has also worked extensively as a session musician in a variety of musical styles and contexts(notably with Fleck, Ben Sidran and Rabih Abou-Khalil).


He was the first to use the overblow and overdraw techniques for chromatic playing on the diatonic harmonica in the 1970s. These allow a harmonica player to obtain all the missing chromatic notes in the Richter-tuned diatonic harmonica.

In 1988, Levy co-founded the Flecktones, leaving the group in 1993. He has appeared on over 150 albums [[1]] and has played on several movie soundtracks. In 2001, he composed the first concerto written for the diatonic harmonica. He has performed it many times with orchestras in the United States and Europe. As of 2009 Levy has rejoined the Flecktones as a touring member of the band. [2]

He is music director of the Latin/jazz group Chévere de Chicago whose first album was Secret Dream. Currently he also leads the band Acoustic Express, plays duo concerts with pianist Anthony Molinaro, and tours Europe with Michael Riessler and Jean-Louis Matinier. Levy has recorded or toured with Kenny Loggins, Donald Fagen, Bobby McFerrin, Sandip Burman, Dolly Parton, Dennis DeYoung, and Paquito D'Rivera.

He is the founder of Balkan Samba Records, which features the music of Howard Levy and Friends, including Fox Fehling, Chévere de Chicago, and Norman Savitt.

He continues to make frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor's acclaimed radio program Prairie Home Companion.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Howard Levy. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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