GARY HONORED WITH PROMINENT SEGMENT
IN THE KBA AWARD-WINNING FULL LENGTH HARMONICA DOCUMENTARY
"POCKET FULL OF SOUL"
GARY'S INFAMOUS HARVELLE'S SHOW
For two decades Gary & his band have delivered LA's best Blues dance party to LA's best Blues venue.
At Gary's infamous Los Angeles shows his surprise musical and celebrity guests on stage have included Prince, Queen Latifah, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), David Lee Roth, Rick James, Warren Haynes, Bruce Willis, Dennis Quaid, and more... you never know who will show up - unless you show up!
"This one is highly recommended! Gary's harp playing is as mind bending as it is note bending.
He is one of a kind and one of the best!"
Nick Faigin, Harvelles.com
More info - click here.
HOHNER LAUNCHES GARY ALLEGRETTO'S HARMONIKIDS MODEL HARMONICA!
"When I was a kid, my grandfather gifted me his own harmonica in a magical moment that changed my life. I still have and cherish it. It was a Hohner.
Many years later I am so very proud and honored to be announcing my own signature Hohner Harmonikids model harmonica. It will be sold in stores around the country this fall and a portion of the proceeds will support my Harmonikids work with challenged children worldwide. My deep heartfelt thanks to Hohner for their fine products, generosity, and humanitarian spirit."
Gary performing with Muddy Water's Band veteran Bob Margolin
on Stage at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, MS
GARY WINS ETOWN'S E-CHIEVEMENT AWARD!
On Sunday March 25th, Gary will be featured and interviewed on "eTown", the internationally-syndicated radio show heard by more than a million listeners each week on 300 commercial and NPR stations worldwide. They will be presenting Gary their prestigious "E-chievement Award". During this popular listener-nominated segment, the E-Chievement Award highlights stories of "hometown heroes" from around the country working to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.
Also featured will be the North Mississippi Allstars. Listen to the show by clicking here: eTown
GARY ALLEGRETTO'S BLUES EDUCATION PROGRAM ON ABC NEWS
KEYT ABC News in Santa barbara covered Gary's Blues education program for the Santa Barbara Blues Society on Friday, January 27th. Read the full story and watch the video clip by clicking the image below:
GARY ALLEGRETTO and HARMONIKIDS By Therese A. Barron Gary Allegretto was five-years old when his grandfather handed him his harmonica. A stroke had left him unable to play it himself and he knew it was time to pass it down to someone who could truly enjoy it. As a young boy Gary was still sorting out how he would address the world. He was quiet and reserved and his grandfather's harmonica gave him a much needed voice. He privately practiced until he felt his music was...
HOHNER PROUDLY ANNOUNCES IT'S ALLIANCE WITH GARY'S HARMONIKIDS PROGRAMS
AND GARY"S "BLUES IN THE SCHOOLS" SESSIONS
Hohner is the world's top harmonica manufacturer. As a performing and recording artist Gary has been an official Hohner endorsee for decades. This year Hohner announced its alliance with Gary's nonprofit organization Harmonikids as well, providing a generous sponsorship program to assist Gary in performing humanitarian work worldwide. Subsequently, they have also provided Gary an exclusive and unique grant to sponsor Gary's "Blues In the Schools" programs. Hohner's official press release states:
Hohner, Inc. is proud to announce the company’s alliance with Harmonikids, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing harmonicas & the joy of music into the lives of special needs children. Hohner, Inc. has partnered with Harmonikids founder, artist, educator and 2011 Keeping Blues Alive Award recipient Gary Allegretto, to provide harmonicas and musical instruction to children beset with a wide range of physical, emotional, and/or economic challenges. Harmonikids’ seminars and events have introduced children throughout the world to the healing and restorative powers of music since 1985, utilizing the harmonica to create unique avenues for music therapy and education in environments ranging from children’s hospitals to tsunami-ravaged North Sumatra. Each child participating in a Harmonikids event is gifted with his or her own Hohner harmonica and afforded the rare opportunity to receive musical instruction and inspiration from a professional musician and educator in a supportive and nurturing environment. Clay Edwards, President of Hohner, Inc. recently commented, “Hohner endeavors to be a part of everyone’s musical life. If music provides an outlet for these children to express themselves and their condition, then by all means we have an obligation to support and foster it. Harmonikids is a first class organization with its heart in the right place and Gary Allegretto couldn’t be better in relating to the children”.
For a link to Hohner's web press release, please click HERE.
TREMBLANT INTERNATIONAL BLUES FESTIVAL PERFORMANCES AND WORKSHOPS
Gary was a featured performer and workshop leader at the Tremblant Interntional Blues Festival (http://www.tremblantblues.com/artists/#all). Hohner and Irene Ippersiel, president of the Montreal Blues Society, helped sponor Gary's Harmonikids session with local kids. For the full story read the Montreal Blues Society article: CLICK HERE . And also see American Blues News article coverage: CLICK HERE
Though the festival featured over 70 acts in it's 10 day schedule on 6 stages, Le Net Blues (an internet Blues Magazine) singled out Gary Allegretto's duo performances (accompanied by Ian Espinoza on guitar/vocals) as one of the highlights of the Festival. The review states that they "performed with remarkable intensity" and "it's with a standing ovation that Mr. Allegretto left Tremblant with a smile on his lips." For the story see:
~ 2011 KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE AWARD ~
GARY ALLEGRETTO IS HONORED WITH THE BLUES FOUNDATION'S PRESTIGIOUS 2011 KBA AWARD
The Blues Foundation has announced that Gary Allegretto is among the honoree's that will be receiving a 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch on Saturday, February 5, 2011, in Memphis, Tennessee. Each year, The Blues Foundation presents the KBA Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the blues music world. The KBAs are awarded strictly on the basis of merit by a select panel of blues professionals to those working to actively promote and document the music. Nominations are accepted from affiliated blues societies, past KBA recipients and current members of The Blues Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The recipients of this year’s awards – as with every year – are people and organizations who are an integral part of not only promoting blues music, but of preserving it as well. Their work applies to the business of recorded music, but also to live events, print media, radio and visual broadcasts, and increasingly, the internet,” notes Art Tipaldi, KBA chairman. Of special note, Allegretto was unanimously chosen by the KBA board.
PRESS RELEASE: 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Award Recipient, Education – Gary Allegretto, Los Angeles, CA
Gary Allegretto is a world-class harmonica player whose music has merited Grammy considerations, among many other accolades. Further, he shares his passion through his highly acclaimed work as a BITS educator and Blues harmonica workshop teacher at camps, special events, and festivals in which he performs while on tour. But, perhaps most remarkable is the impact of Gary's humanitarian work that quite literally changes lives around the world. Through his nonprofit organization Harmonikids, he provides music therapy and harmonicas to children with a wide range of physical, emotional, and/or economical disadvantages. Since 1985, Gary’s programs have reached over 20,000 children globally. His most challenging work has been with child tsunami victims in Indonesia, Katrina victims in New Orleans, and recent earthquake victims in Haiti. When not abroad, Allegretto is most often found working in schools, hospitals, and with at-risk youth. “I give these kids a shiny new instrument and gentle music lessons, often in the most devastating time of their lives. In spite of their hardships, it provides self-esteem, confidence, and a positive means of self-expression crucial to their recovery.” The joy and hope Gary has brought to children around the world is immeasurable.
“You hear a lot of wonderful stories in the Blues community but
one person who continually delivers is Gary Allegretto.”
~ Blues Foundation, Member Spotlight
GARY RECORDS WITH DON FELDER FOR UPCOMING CD
On May 31 Gary recorded harmonica tracks for Don Felder's upcoming CD. Don is a great musician, singer and songwriter probably best known as member and lead guitarist for the Eagles (see http://www.donfelder.com/). More details to follow.
GARY REMEMBERS THE LEGENDARY PINETOP PERKINS
Pinetop was a true legend.. and a true character. I first saw him play with Muddy Waters band at the Tower Theater when I was 18 ~ still the best Blues show I ever saw. I literally pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming when I had the opportunity to share the stage and studio with him many years down the road.
I'll never forget when I first met Pinetop at the studio during our 2005 recording session for Rich DelGrosso's CD "Get your Nose Outta My Bizness". He had stepped outside for a smoke. After politely letting me gush about his work and flatter him he finally just took a long drag on his cigarette and said "yeah okay. I love you too." At the CD release party Pinetop (who had just received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys) played brilliantly late into the night. As he left the stage he pointed directly to me and said "you keep the business going". My heart stopped and I just said "yes sir", realizing that this was not just another reason to take the work of "Keeping the Blues Alive" seriously ~ but direct orders from the last of the great Mississippi Bluesmen.
In the video of us performing "Got my Mojo Working" when Pine was a young man of 92, I think you can see how much fun we (Rich, David Kida, Ernie Scarbrough, Jeff Turmes, and I) had playing with him and how incredibly ageless he was on stage:
I included a song I played on from Rich's album at the bottom of this page. The song started out with Pine just warming up and fooling around on the piano and wisely, engineer Lenise quickly switched on the controls to capture it. Thus, Rich called it "Smokin' and Jokin' with Pinetop" (see the very last thing at the bottom of this page). Rich's website is at http://www.mandolinblues.com/.
GARY HONORED WITH 2010 AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
On October 10, 2010, Gary Allegretto was honored with an Artists for a Better World Award, "for dedicated service inspiring our youth toward the creation of a better world through aesthetics".
Gary was also chosen as a mentor and Alumni of Distinction by Northern Arizona University among "individuals who serve as guides for a variety of populations, helping others find their calling in the classroom, on the field, and beyond the university. Through their work they are leading and shaping future generations of difference-makers". Please see http://www.harmonikids.org/awards/index.htm for more info and links.
GARY'S SONG "FOUR DAYS LATE" WINS ALTERNATE ROOTS SONGS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE CONTEST AND RECEIVES OTHER ACCOLADES
Gary's "Four Days Late" was chosen out of over 500 submissions and won first place in Alternate Root Magazine's Songs For Social Change Contest by a wide margin of nearly 20% with over 1400 votes. The song features vocals by Ivan Neville and Janiva Magness. In Gary’s words “I wrote the song for the victims of the Hurricane Katrina in the midst of the disaster in New Orleans. I was honored to have been invited to New Orleans by Ivan Neville to record him directly at the Neville Brothers studio. The next day through my nonprofit (www.harmonikids.org) I gave harmonicas and lessons to kids at the Martin Luther King School in the Ninth Ward... the first school to reopen there. Among others, I taught them a celebrated song for social change; Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land". I feel "Four Days Late" addresses a part of American history that should not be forgotten ~ as important now as it was then.”
"Four Days Late" has also recently been honored to be chosen out of more than 400 submissions as a 2011 selection on the Folk Alliance International's first "War & Politics" Compilation CD and Download site. See http://www.folkalliance.org/ for more info.
"Four Days Late" was also chosen by Bob Margolin as one of the songs offered by his organization to raise money for the victims of the Gulf oil spill disaster. Please visit "Blues For The Gulf" at: http://www.bluesforthegulf.org/
GARY RECEIVES MULTIPLE GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATION CONSIDERATION
Gary recently received two Grammy Award Nomination Considerations for both Best Contemporary Blues Album (for his recording "Many Shades of Blue") and Best Traditional Folk Album (for his acoustic recording project "Harmonicowboy").