NEWS (scroll to bottom to listen to music)

 



 KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE AWARD RECIPIENT

GARY ALLEGRETTO IS AN AWARD WINNING AND INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED
PERFORMING AND RECORDING ARTIST, EDUCATOR, AND HUMANITARIAN


"Gary Allegretto is one of the finest harp players you'll hear" and "one of the classiest acts in the music business today"
~Blues Revue magazine


(Please scroll to bottom of this page to hear Gary's music)

 



"I cannot express enough gratitude for what you have done for the harmonica and for Hohner. 
Without you, we would be less of a brand."

~ Clay Edwards, CEO, Hohner Harmonicas Inc.
 





Gary Reminisces About
Playing with Prince

Shine on Prince. I had the rare opportunity to both meet and play the Blues with him about 20 years ago when he showed up with his entourage at my gig in the VIP room of "Sanctuary" - an exclusive night club in Beverly Hills. His body guard approached me asking "Can my boss, the 'Artist Formerly Known as Prince' sit in with your band?" Of course I said yes. Up he stepped in in a white glitter jump suit and platform shoes. I asked what I should call him (he was using the "symbol" at the time) and he replied "Just call me your buddy" smiling broadly. Grinning back, I replied "Okay buddy… which of your songs do you want to play?" He quickly responded "I want to play the Blues with you guys". I called out one of my songs which he supported with very tasty but fairly reserved guitar rhythm work… at first. After I sang verses and played a harp solo I nodded to him to take a guitar solo. He jumped from the stage, and then laid spread eagle on his back in the crowd and fully WAILED on the guitar! I mean he completely cut loose Jimi Hendrix style. It was masterful. The audience stood around him in a circle in utter astonishment. When he returned to stage we had a blast trading solo licks back and forth in a high-speed harmonica-guitar faux duel. The crowd went crazy. When it ended he left the stage and departed with his crew. This was back before everyone had cell phone cameras so sadly there was no photo or video documentation. But everyone who saw it still raves about it 20 years later - and I know it will be etched in our memories forever. Thank you for sharing some Blues with me "buddy".

~ Gary Allegretto


 








On Memorial Day weekend Gary will be performing with his band at the
BEAVER CREEK BLUES, BREWS AND BBQ FESTIVAL
along with Blues Hall of Fame Inductee JOHN MAYALL!
Also performing Tommy Castro and the Painkillers

Gary will also be providing his popular "Learn to Play Blues Harmonica Instantly Clinic" 


For more info:
 
http://www.beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/blues-brews-bbq.aspx?page=viewall​
 
 




GARY RETURNS AS HARMONICA DIRECTOR
AT THE PINETOP PERKINS FOUNDATION'S MASTERCLASS WORKSHOP 
FOR HIS 5TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR


Gary is very honored and pleased to be part of the Pinetop Perkins Foundation's Workshop Experience and Blues Showcase in his fifth consecutive year. His esteemed fellow instructors are Bob Margolin (musical director), John Del Toro Richardson (guitar), and Victor Wainwright (piano). It culminates with a showcase performance at Morgan Freeman's famed Ground Zero Blues Club. For aspiring Blues players of all ages and levels.
For more info:
 http://www.pinetopperkinsfoundation.org/2016-workshop-experience.







 



GARY IS PROMINENTLY FEATURED
IN THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED DOCUMENTARY FILM  

"SIDEMEN"


ALONGSIDE FAMOUS ARTISTS SUCH AS GREGG ALLMAN, ELVIN BISHOP, BONNIE RAITT & MORE
REVOLVING AROUND THE LEGENDARY BLUESMEN
PINETOP PERKINS, HUBERT SUMLIN AND WILLIE SMITH

The film will premiere at this year's 2016 SXSW Festival 


 



Gary is very honored to have been asked to provide the harmonica soundtrack
 for Golden Globe/Oscar/Emmy award-winning film composer Mychael Danna
 for a celebrated scene in the blockbuster Disney Pixar animated movie
 
"THE GOOD DINOSAUR"

Here's the VIDEO of the scene:

 



 




VIDEO
Gary plays his original train song "Untrainable"
on stage in his performance at the Augusta Heritage Center.







 







GARY RETURNS WITH HIS BAND AT THIS MALIBU HOTSPOT ON 5/14/16

 



Gary is honored to be chosen as a finalist
for the Telluride Blues Challenge
at the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival
on Saturday September 19th 

(http://www.tellurideblues.com/telluride-blues-challenge)
 





Thursday July 9th Gary performs with his all-star band
Champions of the Blues in Southern California for over two decades...


 



 
GARY HEADLINES AT ANNUAL HARMONICA SUMMIT IN TULSA







 


Gary returns for his 4th year as the harmonica instructor
for the Pinetop Perkins Foundation 

With fellow instructors: Bob Margolin, John Del Toro Richardson, Victor Wainwright

For more information visit:
http://www.pinetopfoundation.org./masterclass15.html




 






 




 






 



 


Gary has been invited to teach and perform at the prestigious
2014 Augusta Blues and Swing Week in Elkins, WV.




SEE DETAILS HERE 

 


GARY WILL BE PERFORMING WITH HIS BAND
AND TEACHING HARMONICA AT THE 25TH ANNUAL SIMI VALLEY CAJUN AND BLUES FESTIVAL
SEE: 
http://www.simicajun.org/2014/artists/garyallegretto/index.html


 






GROUND ZERO BLUES CLUB PERFORMANCE, CLARKSDALE MISSISSIPPI  


"Gary Allegretto is top-notch. He has the talent to play that harp like few in the music business.
He mezmerized the big crowd with his performance at Ground Zero Blues Club on June 14th, 2013."

~ Bill Luckett, Mayor of Clarksdale Mississippi and co-owner of Ground Zero Blues Club (with Actor Morgan Freeman)

 

 

GARY'S RETURNS TO PERFORM WITH HIS BAND AND TEACH HARMONICA WORKSHOPS
AT THE 2014 SIMI VALLEY BLUES AND CAJUN FESTIVAL
 
 
 

"Gary Allegretto knocked it out of the park with his Harmonica Workshop at the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.  A week after the festival we are still getting positive comments from our attendees and media loved it and are including the workshop in their reviews.  Thank you Gary."  

~Jeff Newby, Director of the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival*

SEE FULL ARTICLE HERE 


 




 



GARY HONORED WITH PROMINENT SEGMENT
IN THE KBA AWARD-WINNING FULL LENGTH HARMONICA DOCUMENTARY

"POCKET FULL OF SOUL"



DETAILS HERE


 



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 Allegretto


 






Gary performing with Muddy Water's Band veteran Bob Margolin
on Stage at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, MS 

 
 




 


GARY'S HARMONICA FEATURED IN JOHNNY DEPP'S "THE RUM DIARY" MOVIE AND SOUNDTRACK

Gary's harmonica tracks can be heard prominently in Johnny Depp's movie "The Rum Diary". You can also hear Gary on the film's soundtrack CD. The film is based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel. Gary worked with award-winning film composer Christopher Young in Eastwest Studio - in the same room that Elvis, Sinatra, and the Stones recorded. Further sessions were recorded in Christopher Young's studio. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0376136/ for more about the film and http://totallygonzo.org/2011/10/10/the-rum-diary-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/ for more about the soundtrack.

 


 


Etown Non-profit Logo 2009.jpg


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:

 

 
 



ARTISTS PAYING IT FORWARD: GARY ALLEGRETTO AND HARMONIKIDS

 
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, Inc.
 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:

 http://www.lenetblues.com/Tremblant-2011.html

 




~ 2011 KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE AWARD ~



"Gary recieved this year's KBA award for education and was as deserving as any recipient in history.
His efforts in music education are second to none..."  
~American Blues News


(See link for article): 30th Annual Keeping the Blues Alive Awards. Feb 5th, 2011 Memphis, Tennessee — American Blues News
 
 

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 Eagle's guitarist 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:

http://www.billboard.com/news/pinetop-perkins-legendary-bluesman-dies-1005084102.story#/news/pinetop-perkins-legendary-bluesman-dies-1005084102.story

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 

 


 
 


GARY FEATURED AND INTERVIEWED BY AMERICAN BLUES NEWS:

Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient Gary Allegretto on giving and giving thanks:
 
 


 

 
 

GARY HONORED WITH 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.”

Other accolades:

"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"). 

 

 

Highlighted Testimonials

 
"Gary Allegretto is one of the finest harp players you'll hear" and "one of the classiest acts in the music business today, working only with the best backup musicians and taking the time to craft music noted not only for its quality but for its authenticity… real Blues.”

~Robert Fontenot, Blues Revue Magazine


"This is honest music crafted from inspiration, talent, and skills, delivered at a high level of accomplishment.”

~Bob Margolin, Renowned Bluesman from Muddy Waters Band


“... Allegretto sings with a natural storytelling appeal that’s easy to understand.
His harmonica gives the program a zest that ensures magnetic forces. One listen and you’re under his spell.
One listen and his audience is sold on pure blues with a message that comes from the heart."


~Jim Santella, Southland Blues Magazine


"That boy can really blow that harp!"

~The Legendary Pinetop Perkins



(CLICK ON  REVIEWS TO SEE MORE COMMENTARY ON GARY'S MUSIC AND ON  TESTIMONIALS TO SEE COMMENTARY ON GARY'S WORKSHOPS)

Now Playing

Many Shades of Blue

Recently under Grammy consideration! As the title suggests, it's all here: rockin', swampy, greasy, Piedmont ~ with inspired musicianship & engaging songs that tell stories ~ featuring prominent artists including Ivan Neville, Janiva Magness, John Cephas. © Copyright-Gary Allegretto Record Label: Big Fiore Records