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10th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival

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After Kuala Lumpur, Malaisia 2012, the 10th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival (AHF) will take place from 2nd to 5th of August, at the Zhejiang International Hotel at Hangzhou near Shanghai. It will be the most important harmonica event this year. This biennal festival is as usual the appointment of the Pacific countries : China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Philippines, India, Polynesia, Thailand, Hawaï, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, USA, and other participants from around the World. The organizing committee proposes a lot of activities to be held in the 5 stars hotel located in the center of this touristic and cultural city. Among others activities, a world harmonica competition, including several caregories open to all ages (children, juniors, adult) is proposed. Note that the previous competition in at Kuala Lumpur (2012) gathered more than 2000 participants, ensembles included. Other activities at the program this year : an international concert, open stages, worshops, seminars... and I would add, a unique opportunity to visit the beautiful harmonica museum located in the center of the city.
You will be warmly welcome to this 10th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival 2014.

Information :
http://www.aphf2014.com
Photo poster : c/o aphf 2014 committee
Published July 18th 2014

Beijing Festival

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China is on the move. I'm back from the Beijing Harmonica Festival which took place from May 22nd to 27th, by the invitation of my friends, Jiayi-He, virtuoso chromatic, and Bai Yansheng « Beijing Hayan Harmonica Orchestra » conductor. Festival dedicated to the 10th anniversary of this orchestra which warmly welcomed me. Among other musical and touristic activities, I took part in a concert organized by my hosts. Concert broadcasted on a national TV channel.
On a screen of 8 over 16 meters on stage, were projected slide shows during each artist performance. At the request of my friends I had come with a slide show of romantic views of Paris projected behind me during my performance.

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In addition to Jiayi-He, the Beijing Hayan Orchestra and myself, took part in this concert : Chong Ah Kow (Malaysia), Giovanni Volini (Italia), Lee Hea Bong (South Korea), etc. Be noted that Jiayi-He also represented the USA.
It was a friendship rendez-vous, prelude to the APHF (Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival), biennial to be held next August near ShanghaÏ, at Hangzhou.

Jean Labre
Photos : Bai Yansheng & Paris show case Digitalimage
copyright©2014 Jean Labre
Published June 22nd 2014

AJHF Convention 2014

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The AJHF Convention will take place at the hotel "Lungwood", Niporri, Tokyo, Japan.
Program : this event starts, on Saturday 19th, with the traditionnal opening concert (poster attached) at the "Yaruto Hall Theater" at Higashi Shimbashi, featuring : Mitsue Kusonoki, Yasuo Yamafuku, Nami Miyata and her trio "Comment allez-vous", etc.
Sunday 20th: General Convention meeting during which Jean Labre will make a presentation of harmonica in France and Europe, followed by a seminar on international meetings, a master class, stalls selling different trademarks instruments and CDs. To finish with the Convention traditional dinner concert.
For more information contact:


Photo poster: AJHF
Published March 4th 2014

FRANCFORT " MUSIKMESSE" 2014

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« MusikMesse » in Frankfurt am Main is the leading international trade fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and marketing. Most harmonica brands are ready to welcome you in their booths, among them : Hohner, Seydel, Lee Oskar/Tombo, Suzuki, Hering, etc.
For over 30 years, thousands of enthusiastic visitors from Germany and around the world have been coming to the largest and most important international meeting place for the musical instrument industry. Here is where the music industry sector does business, here is where artists are celebrated and here is where the younger generation is inspired to make music.
Experience this unique spirit from March 12 to 15th 2014, where everything is about music and musical instruments. From pure craftsmanship to digital music production. From business contacts at the trade fair stand to product performance in front of visitors on the numerous stages.
Spirit of music! Vibrate to the rhythm of the world!

Information: www.musikmesse.com &

Photo : poster, Frankfurt Messe committee
Published February 7th 2014

Convention-Festival Harmonicas de France 2014

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As indicated in our « Calendar », the yearly Festival « Harmonicas de France » will take place in the city of Montlhéry, 91310 France, not very far from Paris (34kms), at the Cultural Center Michel Spiral, 5-7 rue des Archers.
The Festival includes :
- Friday : 7.30pm Welcome concert dinner at the Comfort hotel
- Saturday : Harmonica Championship and workshops, openstage, shops
Saturday night concert (8.15 pm). Featuring : Jean-Jacques Milteau, Alexandre Thollon, Les Lutéciens.
- Sunday morning (10am), yearly general meeting.

Information, reservations : http://.www.harmonicasdefrance.free.fr

contact@jeanlabre.com Phone : (33)1-42031006
Published February 6th 2014

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year, Bonne Année, Feliz ano nuevo, Glückliches Neues Jahr, Aengboghan Schae, Felic Any You, Xin nian kuai le, Sae Heh Bok Manh-i Bat-Uh-seyo, Buon Anno, Tahun Baru Gembira, Gelukkig Neowjaar, Akemashite Omedeto, An Nou Fericit, Onnellista Uutta Vuotta, Bhliain Nua Sàsta, Novus Annus , Mutlu Yeni Yil, Happy Year Omusha, Furaha Ya Mwaka Mpya, Bonan Novjaron...

Harmonically yours
Jean Labre
Photos : Micheline Vicent Roubert/Jean labre
Montage : Digitalimage

Published January 1st 2014

Hohner Harmonica Practical Guide

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Once again Hohner s/a editions are coming to our rescue revealing, tracking, the history of our instrument manufacturing, best sold on our planet.
Let's pay tribute to Laurent Parisot who is the author.
The purpose of this work is to provide a lot of information to the harmonica professional players or simply lovers of our "music mouth", revealing the secrets of an instrument that has conquered the world since the 19th century, richly illustrated with many manufacturing drawings, photographies of instruments and posters of vintage items. This compilation also gathers interviews with contemporary musicians sharing generously with the reader their playing technique secrets, often acrobatic, of our instument.
The whole book written with a note of nostalgia bringing more to the the author project.

Many thanks to you Laurent.
Published October 25th 2013

Franco de Gemini Death
Franco de Gemini has passed away on July 20th at the age of 84, in Roma, Italy. The Harmonica world is in mourning.

The mouth organ has often been taken by movies directors as an essentiel ingredient closely involved with the movies pictures. It sometimes happens that the music has more intensity than the picture and, being a musician, I'll surely never complain about it.
In 2007, the movie soundtrack was celebrated in January, in the honor of Franco De Gemini during the "Midem" Festival (International music publishers and records business Convention) in Cannes, France.

Franco de Gemini was the example of an artist who may be have not a wellknown name, even though millions of people around the world have come accross his work, many films-goers would be unable to recognize De Gemini name. And yet, they have heard De Gemini's haunting harmonica-playing in the most dramatic moments of Sergio Leone's "spaghetti western" " Once Upon a Time In The West ". They were scored by an other italian, Ennio Morricone, who was set to receive a "Career Oscar" during the Academy Awards Ceremony in February, that same year.
De Gemini has played on over 800 soundtracks, more than 8600 hours of recording sessions, which means he surely is worth a place in the " Guiness Book of Records ".
Composers, producers, movies stars... Franco have been closely frequenting the upper crust of the movie system for more than a half century : Joe d'Amato, Visconti, Vittorio de Sica, Sergio Leone, Ennio Morricone, Henri Mancini, Italo Zingarelli, Leonard Bernstein... Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Charles Bronson, and his double, the french actor Lino Ventura, etc... as many celebrities as many movies successes : "Once Upon a Time in the West", "A Fistful of Dollars", "The Good the Bad and the Ugly", "My Name is Trinity", "Death in Venice", "Manhattan", "Bread, Love and Fantasy", "Mission Cobra", "The Battle of England", "Holocaust", "The Ruffian", "West Side Story" 1985 recording in Roma directed by Leonard Bernstein, etc. He has recorded his first soundtrack movie "Bread Love and Fantasy" in 1950.

Franco de Gemini has always been attentive to the harmonica life. He was still faithful to the "Club Harmonicisti Torinesi" spirit he founded during the fifties. I met him in several circumstances, as many opportunities to share a passion with a great musician and a so kind man... praised in these terms by Ennio Morricone : "Caro Franco, la tua ezecuzione con l'harmonica é, ancora una volta, degna del film e dell'idea musicale che l'accompagna. Grazie encore." Ennio Morricone
"Dear Franco, your execution with the harmonica is, once more, worthy of the film and of the musical idea that accompanies it. Thank you again".

I and my harmonica friends, we are offering our very sincere condolences to his wife and children.
Jean Labre


Photo: Beat records, from a painting by Sandra Symeoni
Published July 26th 2013

Festival 50th Anniversary SPAH association

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1963-2013. The SPAH (Society for Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica), USA, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its creation during its annual convention to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, August 13 to 17.
This event will take place in the "Renaissance Saint Louis Airport" hotel, 9801 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, MO 63134 USA.
Every year, people coming from everywhere are meeting there at this Uncle Sam "Rendez-vous". As usual, concerts, seminars, workshops, open stages, tourism, will be proposed to you.
The poster of the convention is announcing a plethora of great players. Featuring: Charlie Mc Coy, Robert Bonfiglio, Peter Madcat Ruth, Jens Bunge, Filip Jers, etc. As well as seminars and workshops with: James Conway, Stan Harper, Brenda Power, Buddy Greene, Sandy Wetman, Jon Gindick and the dynamic duo Judy Simpson-Al Smith.
Not to forget the delicate attention reserved to the "weaker sex": "The Ladies' Breakfast", so dear to the regretted Pete Pedersen, its creator.
A visitor package for all these convention events, banquet dinner included, will cost 175$ for SPAH members, and 225$ for others. For information and reservation please contact : http://www.spah.org
before July 30th.
Courtesy accommodation at the Renaissance St. Louis hotel are available at 95$ per night.
Contact Elizabeth Atkinson :

ALL FRENCH HARMONICA PLAYERS ARE WHISHING A GREAT SUCCESS TO THE 2013 SPAH CONVENTION

Jean Labre
Published July 5th 2013

"Harmonicalement" meetings

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It is in Alsace, in the heart of its vineyard situated in the east of France, close to Basel (Switzerland), that the harmonica player Zazapat invites us to share with him and his friends, moments of tasting harmonica on the 8th and 9th of this June... folk music, pop, blues and jazz at the key.
Featuring : Zazapat, Brigitte (harmonica/vocal), Jacky Harmony, Diachro, Danharmo, and many other harmonica players from everywhere in France.
Guest: Jean Labre.

This event will take place at : "Le Centre", 16 rue du Bouxhof, 68630 Mittelwir France.
Access, entrance free.
Information:
Published May 21st 2013

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