Thursday, March 30, 2006

California Man Vows To Keep Harmonica Bands Alive

LA JOLLA, Calif. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – A harmonica player in La Jolla, California, is “reeding” the writing on the wall: Harmonica bands are dying out and he wants to preserve them.

John Whiteman is a harmonica player with more than 1700 harps in his collection, including one shaped like one of Babe Ruth’s baseball bats and one that fits on a ring.

But while his collection keeps growing, Whiteman says the number of harmonica players is down and that’s sad to him because he considers it a very versatile instrument.

As he puts it, “It’s an instrument of the people. Some people consider it a starter instrument but I say you ‘graduate’ to it.”

Whiteman doesn’t want to sound like a harpy but he worries that harmonica music groups, like his own band the KiwaniKats, could die out unless younger musicians stand up and take note.

The death of harmonica bands could be a sad song for Whiteman but he’s doing his best to keep them alive. In fact, he’ll be looking for “harmoni-converts” this Saturday (Mar. 30) when he holds a lecture at a library in Oceanside, California.

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