HarmonicaUK Virtual October Festival Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th October

This star-studded festival will be free to attend and registration is required to access the Zoom sign-in details (email David Hambley - memsec@harmonica.co.uk). We are asking for donations that will go directly to the artists.


Artists in order of appearance:

Thursday: Christelle Berthon, Giles Robson

Friday: Annie Raines, Adam Glasser

Saturday: Donald Black, Giovani Volini, Sorarmonica Duo, Beata Kossowska, Charlie McCoy

Sunday: Tony Eyers, Mathias Heise, Rachelle Plas, Robert Bonfiglio


Competition - we will be running a competition similar to the 'Live' annual festival. Please express your interest with David Hambley (memsec@harmonica.co.uk)



Please note that details may be subject to change 


Thursday, October 8, 2020


6:00pm – 6:15pm HUK video/Festival opens


6:30pm – 7:45pm CHRISTELLE BERTHON - How to breathe correctly with your harmonica [all harmonica types]


8:15pm – 9:30pm GILES ROBSON - Stealing licks, riffs and runs from other instruments (expand your imagination and creative approach by exploring and utilising some great riffs from other instruments including piano, guitar and horns). [diatonic]

Friday, October 9, 2020


6:00pm – 7:15pm ANNIE RAINES - Subject to be confirmed [diatonic]


8:15pm – 9:30pm ADAM GLASSER - Adam will play some his favourite video and audio excerpts of great players including Tommy Reilly, Stevie Wonder, Grégoire Maret, Antonio Serrano, Toots Thielemans including some tabbed and notated video excerpts [chromatic]

Saturday, October 10, 2020


9:00am – 10:45am, Competition - check back for details


11:00am – 12:15pm DONALD BLACK - Donald will play 3 tunes to illustrate tempos and textures of West Coast of Scotland music [tremolo]


1:15pm – 2:30pm GIOVANNI VOLINI - Subject to be confirmed [chromatic]


2:45pm – 3:30pm SORARMONICA DUO (Simona Perme & Vladimir Hrovat) - A performance of the “Slovene” (Slovenian in English) school of playing harmonica, linking demonstrations of periods of classical (with a touch of other genre) music from Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Schubert, Paganini, Rimsky-Korsakov and Gershwin also [chromatic]


4:15pm – 5:30pm BEATA KOSSOWSKA - Beata will be doing a live performance with her guitarist, and a short workshop titled "Train Workshop with blues licks” [diatonic]


6:30pm – 7:45pm CHARLIE McCOY - Meet the artist... Charlie shares anecdotes and plays along [diatonic and general interest]

 Sunday, October 11, 2020


11am – 12:15pm TONY EYERS -  Tony Eyers introduces the tremolo harmonica to diatonic players, and shows how diatonic techniques can be readily adapted to the tremolo [tremolo & diatonic]


1:15 – 2:30pm MATHIAS HEISE - Technique and fluency on the chromatic harmonica and about jazz improvisation and exercises on playing changes [chromatic]


3:30 – 4:45pm RACHELLE PLAS - Improvisation and music creation with the harmonica & the different artistic directions and uses of the harmonica in contemporary music (participants will have the opportunity for players to describe their progress, and Rachelle will provide some coaching and help them reach their music objectives) [diatonic]


5:45 – 7:00pm ROBERT BONFIGLIO - Advanced chromatic technique and introduction of the chromatic to diatonic players [chromatic and diatonic]

Meet the artists

ROBERT BONFIGLIO studied Composition with Aaron Copland and Harmonica with Chamber Huang at the the Manhattan School of Music. He has Performed Harmonica Concerti with over 200 Orchestras in every major hall in the World. He signed to RCA Victor in 1988, and recorded Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concerto with over 440 performances of that work alone since that time. Robert was the Founding Director of the Grand Canyon Music Festival which just completed its 37th Season.

CHARLIE McCOY is Grammy-winning American session musician noted mainly for harmonica. In 2009, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Based in Nashville, his playing is heard on recordings by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings and Loretta Lynn. He has recorded thirty-seven studio albums and was member of Area Code 615 playing on one of the most iconic blues harmonica tracks 'Stone Fox Chase'.

ADAM GLASSER was originally from South Africa and is now London based. He has an international reputation on the chromatic harmonica specialising in jazz, session work and teaching. He has played on numerous film, tv and album sound tracks - worked with artists as diverse as jazz legend Abdullah Ibrahim and Sting, played piano for Hugh Masekela, Martha Reeves & Jimmy Witherspoon. His album “Free at First” won Best Jazz Album at the South African Music Awards 2010.

BEATA KOSSOWSKA is one of the most advanced blues virtuosos, with a repertoire of styles including traditional Blues, Blues-Rock and Funk. She has collaborated with various Blues bands and performed around the world. Beata has recorded music for several movies, and has been involved in several Guinness-World-Records connected with harmonicas! She has her own school of Harmonica and encourages people to perform on stage: 'something they would never think possible'! 


CHRISTELLE BERTHON... 34 million views Youtuber playing harmonica, and free thinker 

TONY EYERS first encountered harmonica as an undergraduate at Yale. He played blues for many years before specialising in American bluegrass and old time music. He is the creator of the Harmonica Academy teaching site, with counterparts in Chinese and Spanish. He has been a judge at the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival on multiple occasions, and writes for the Harmonica World and Harmonica Happenings magazines. In 2017 Seydel released a harmonica model based on his Major Cross tuning. He performs regularly with the Tony Eyers Trio.


DONALD BLACK has roots firmly steeped in the West of Scotland Highland Bagpipe and Gaelic tradition but his repertoire extends well beyond to embrace the idioms of Ireland, Shetland Isles, Nova Scotia and mainstream Scotland. His performances of jigs, marches, hornpipes, strathspeys, reels, slow airs and laments have delighted audiences not only in the highlands and islands of Scotland, but also world-wide including Europe, USA and Russia.


MATHIAS HEISE was born in 1993 in Rødovre, just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. He started playing harmonica at the age of 7. At the age of 20, he won the 2013 Chromatic Harmonica World Championship and has won various prestigious awards since then. His recent highly acclaimed album 'The Beast' was written and arranged for a Big Band, on which he performed as the outstanding soloist. And all this achieved by the time he was 25!

RACHELLE PLAS is a modern dance/soul/rock/blues/pop singer - songwriter from France. She complements her smooth, provocative voice with her virtuoso, refined harmonica playing, using the golden melody harmonica. Besides her career as a musician, she is a very successful judo sportswoman and was vice world champion in 2010. She says "If I had to choose between judo and music, I´d choose music - you can build your whole life around music."

GILES ROBSON became the first UK or European resident to appear on Chicago’s legendary Alligator Records with the record Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues. He became only the third ever British blues artist after Peter Green and Eric Clapton to win a coveted Blues Music Award (the Grammys Of The Blues) in Memphis in 2019. He regularly tours 15 countries a year and has shared the stage with legends such as Billy Branch, Magic Dick, James Harman, Sugar Blue and Charlie Musselwhite.

ANNIE RAINES... more to follow

GIOVANNI VOLINI... more to follow

SORARMONICA DUO... more to follow