Category Archives: Harmonica

Tollak Ollestad

Artist Profile:

Tollak Ollestad

tollak_ollestadAs Shapes' secret weapon, he shows remarkable command of both chromatic and blues harmonicas while also contributing vocals and compositions to the group. He has performed and or toured with Michael McDonald, Don Henley, Kenny Loggins, Jewel, Seal, Desiree, Ambrosia, Sheena Easton, Chet Atkins and Tanya Tucker.

He has also recorded solos on albums for artists such as Brian McKnight, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Bebe Winans, Dave Grusin, Earth, Wind & Fire, Christopher Cross, Billy Idol, Gino Vanelli, Melissa Manchester, Will Downing, Brenda Russell, John Tesh and the all girl rock group, Antigone Rising. He has appeared on a few episodes of The Drew Carey Show as well as having played theme music for ABC's Good Morning America.

He also played the harmonica on the soundtrack for the popular 90's show Northern Exposure. Tollak released his first solo cd, Walk The Earth, just before moving to Holland in May of 2004. Burn says of Ollestad, "He and I met on a silly little wedding gig, back in the days when I still did drum gigs. But, it wasn't until about five years later that we really started to get to know each other. I marvel at Tollak's talent and what's really scary is, in addition to being one of the main composers for Shapes, that he's also a hell of a good piano player as well as a great singer, too. He's the perfect guy for this band and I love working with him!".

Teddy Andreadis

Artist Profile:

Teddy Andreadis

teddy_andreadis_1Teddy Andreadis is a highly esteemed and accredited multi-instrumentalist and singer.  His talent and versatility have earned him recognition, not only in the United States, but around the world as well.

Having shared the stage with a potpourri of diversified and celebrated names like Carole King, Guns n Roses, Alice Cooper, Billy Bob Thornton, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley,  B.B. King and the Bruce Willis & The Accelerators, Teddy Andreadis has - and continues to - successfully garner the backing and enthusiasm of his peers and audiences alike.

Through the years, Teddy has gained a reputation as a rock-solid keyboardist, a wailing harmonica player, a soulful singer, B3 player and an insightful musical arranger.  In addition to his own album, INNOCENT LOSER, Teddy has contributed his talents to the albums of Thornton, Lee Oskar, Nikki Sixx, Duff McKagan and Slash's Snakepit.teddy_andreadis_2

His video work includes:  Michael Jackson's GIVE IN TO ME, Guns 'n' Roses NOVEMBER RAIN, YESTERDAYS, GARDEN OF EDEN  and ESTRANGED,  and Carole King's IN CONCERT.  He also appears on the Guns 'n' Roses USE YOUR ILLUSION Live 2-DVD set.

Teddy has appeared in TV shows including FULL HOUSE, THREE SISTERS and TRADING SPACES.

Teddy's work can also be heard on many movie soundtracks, as well.  Be sure to catch him in Tabitha Stevens' new film, THE SHAMAN.

Rick Estrin

Artist Profile:

Rick Estrin

rick_estrin_1Sacramento-based blues stalwarts It's been 30 years since world-class guitarist Little Charlie Baty and harmonicist/vocalist/songwriter Rick Estrin first teamed up to form Little Charlie & the Nightcats. Jump and swing jazz mix with hard Chicago blues, rockabilly, bebop and Estrin's sharply original songs. One critic said their sound is like "Charlie Christian playing in Little Walter's band." Estrin's horn-like harmonica solos and wise-guy vocals blend perfectly with Baty's explosive guitar style, earning the group critical, worldwide recognition.

rick_estrin_2Going on 25 years together, the band will keep pushing the blues envelope forward. "As long as I keep buying the wrong lottery tickets," jokes Estrin, "this is what I'll be doing." With continued non-stop touring, what Little Charlie and the Nightcats will do is take their superb musicianship and sharp wit to cheering fans around the world for a long time to come.

Little Charlie and the Nightcats constantly criss-cross the country to play hundreds of live performances every year, including major blues festivals in Chicago, San Francisco, Cincinnati, New York and Portland. They've played the Montreal Jazz Festival, San Diego Street Scene and Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival. Were good at putting on a show, boasts Estrin. People don't go out to see people who look like them. They want to see something special.

I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that's what you get when you come to see us. The Chicago Reader described their live show as party exuberance in the context of superb musicianship. These are serious musicians out to have a hotter than hot good time, said The Chicago Sun-Times. rick_estrin_3

.

Jimmy Z

Artist Profile:

Jimmy Z

jimmy_z_3There’s a reason legendary blues Diva Etta James called Jimmy Z her “Hootchie Cootchie Man” and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics calls him “the best harmonica player in the world.” Jimmy attracts attention. He caught the attention of Rod Stewart, Tom Petty and the Eurythmics – all of whom he recorded and toured with. He also caught the attention of Dr. Dre, Barry White, Ziggy Marley, Yes, Bon Jovi, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Macy Gray, Jaguares, and countless others who sought out Jimmy Z’s blazing harmonica and soulful saxophone to spice up their recordings.

From a smoky 20-seat bar in Sacramento to the 300,000 person sold out Rock in Rio concert with Rod Stewart in Brazil, Jimmy has toured the world blowing crowds away with his electrifying stage presence. Performing in 1988 with the Eurythmics for the Nelson Mandela Concert at Wembley Stadium and televised to 1 billion people worldwide, Jimmy’s harmonica solo on Must Have Been an Angel brought the world to its knees.

In 1988, Jimmy’s first solo instrumental album was for Miles Copeland, then owner of IRS Records, called Anytime…Anyplace!”  In 1991, legendary rapper Dr. Dre produced Jimmy Z’s next album Muzical Madness,” featuring Jimmy on lead vocals. In addition, Jimmy Z and Dr. Dre co-wrote all the songs.jimmy_z_2

In the 1990’s & 2000’s, he toured extensively with the late, great Etta James, as well as the Mexican rock band Jaguares, while also fronting his own blues-rock band, ZTribe. The ZTribe CD, “Caught Inside” is a true indication of Jimmy’s amazing abilities with the harmonica, saxophone and vocals.

Jimmy then produced and played on The Heart and Soul of a Jaguar – Corazon Y Alma de un Jaguar.” This CD is a true blending of the Mexican side of Rock en Espanol, provided by Jimmy’s hermanos  – some of the great musicians of Jaguares, along with their ZTribe counterparts from the world of blues and R&B. It is a combination of musical influences, creating a unique sound from both sides of the border that the whole world will enjoy.

In 2006, Jimmy joined blues and jazz luminaries Zac Harmon, Munyungo Jackson, Gregg Wright and Rich DelGrosso in NeoBlues, a fresh look and listen at African-American music in the 21st Century.

Every year since 2010, Jimmy toured Scandinavia and the Baltics as a duo with Swedish blues star Slidin’ Slim.

In 2011, Jimmy became bandleader for the “Sons of Etta”, a group he formed with Etta James’ sons Donto and Sameto and legendary soul singer Thelma Jones.

In 2013, Jimmy released “That’s The Way I Roll.”

In 2012 and 2013, Jimmy Z and the ZTribe  toured throughout Europe, including the Klaipeda Castle Jazz Festival (Lithuania), the Sigulda Blues Festival (Latvia), and the Augustibluus Blues Festival (Estonia).

Jimmy writes an occasional blog called Confessions of a Glorified Sideman, chronicling his adventures (and misadventures) in the music business. It includes many anecdotes and adventures from being on the road with some of the most famous (and infamous) musical celebrities. In addition, he has recently been recording music for stock libraries and soundtracks for documentaries and radio & TV commercials as well as producing new music in his home studio.

Jimmy Z has appeared and acted in the movies “Georgia,” “The Doors,” “Wild at Heart,” and “The Shrink Is In”, as well as concert films with Rod Stewart, Tom Petty, the Eurythmics, Jaguares, and Etta James.

He has scored numerous videos, films, and documentaries as well.

Jimmy Z and the ZTribe’s music is available from the ZTribe website, CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.

ZTribe is a registered trademark of Zavala Music, Inc.

Billy Watson

Artist Profile:

Billy Watson

billy_watson_1Take a blues harp, a sense of humor and a wacky delivery that really sucks the audience in, and you have the talent of Billy Watson.

This show features Billy Watson jamming at the Copely Auditorium in Balboa Park in San Diego with Rob Whitlock on Hammond B3, on guitar, James East on bass.

Billy Watson exudes the feel of his enigmatic, irreverent, and -- above all -- energetic livebilly_watson_2 shows, for which he has built some notoriety. Billy chronicles the spirit of the blues, maintaining its fun-loving traditions while attracting the interest of modern audiences. Watson's International Silver String Submarine Band consists of an ever-rotating cast of standout musicians. The musicians' playful demeanor and lively antics give a fresh take on the classic blues format, Watson's lyrics ranging from serious and heartbroken ("Your Funeral, My Trial") to trivial and diabolic ("You Ain't Getting Any Younger"). The bandleader's rolling harmonica gives billy_watson_3 "Disinterested Wedding Song" a sound full enough for a band twice this size; and on the cover of Cream's Sunshine of Your Love Watson improvises the lyrics and cackles menacingly, making up for Eric Clapton's absence by playing the entire guitar solo on his harp. Watson's spastic harmonica is truly a joy to behold.

Aristotle Giorgio

Artist Profile:

Aristotle Giorgio

aristotle_giorgio_1Aristotle Giorgio is quite the harmonica down in San Diego.

Aristotle has played with many of the great local San Diego bands including Robin Henkel and Comanche Moon.aristotle_giorgio_2

 

 

aristotle_giorgio_3