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Blues: Jazzy Blues Jazz: Big Band Moods: Mood: Upbeat Moods: Mood: Christmas Blues: Harmonica Blues

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Big Harp George

Big Harp George is a San Francisco Bay Area blues singer and harmonica player who features the chromatic harmonica. The “big harp” chromatic (compared to the ten-hole diatonic more common to blues) has a distinct voice, and, when played in different key relationships to songs, has untapped potential. George counts George “Harmonica Smith,” William Clarke, and Paul deLay as major influences on his chromatic playing. Big Harp George’s style is jazzy, urban, contemporary, and sophisticated - but gives up nothing in feeling and soul.

George has played both chromatic and diatonic harmonicas for decades, even while his music took a back seat to his legal career. He has performed around the world, and recorded as a session player on a variety of projects, including several outings with renowned U.K. bluesman Otis Grand. Big Harp George’s first full recording as a feature artist is “Chromaticism” (2014), in which he is accompanied by such Northern California blues standouts as Little Charlie Baty, Kid Andersen, Chris Burns, and others.

Describing his recent recording, George says:

“My approach is to do whatever it takes to make the best music possible. That starts, of course, with recruiting top musicians. It can also mean laying down the harp for a song or two and letting the genius of other players show through. I want to play music that is immediately recognizable as blues - but is also fresh, different, and upbeat. Blues was born out of suffering but ultimately expresses the triumph of the human spirit over hardship. That’s what I want audiences to hear in Chromaticism.”

Big Harp George was selected as one of fifteen “rising stars” by Living Blues magazine in its August 2014 harmonica issue.

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