When it comes to the harmonica, French-born jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet knows how to turn skeptics into believers. Most people perceive the harmonica as a “side” instrument used in country and blues. However, Yonnet is one of a handful of musicians to successfully demonstrate the harmonica’s versatility as a lead instrument in contemporary jazz, as well as other genres of music.
Self-described as an “old spirit”, you know after listening to one set that Yonnet has “been here before”. As one of the youngest professional mouth harp virtuosos, he began his harmonica career at age 19. Since then, he has devoted all of his time to performing in Parisian jazz and blues clubs and touring Spain, Germany, Africa and the U.S. Formerly, a frequent guest musician on the French television network Canal Plus, Yonnet is quickly changing the groove and image typically associated with the harmonica and harmonica players.
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