Howard Levy is a musician without limits. His musical adventures include journeys into jazz, pop, rock, world music, Latin, classical, folk, blues, country, theater, and film. He has appeared on hundreds of cd's, won a Grammy (1997), won a Joseph Jefferson Award (1986) for Best Original Music for a Play, and has performed many times on American and European television and radio. He has been the subject of several feature stories on NPR and is a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor's “A Prairie Home Companion”.
Acknowledged as the world's most advanced diatonic harmonica player, Howard developed a fully chromatic style on the standard 10 - hole diatonic harmonica, revolutionizing harmonica playing and taking the instrument into totally new territory. He shared this knowledge in 2 instructional dvd's, “New Directions for Harmonica” and “Out of the Box, Vol.1”, and has an interactive teaching website, www.howardlevyharmonicaschool.com. He is also an accomplished pianist and composer, and plays many other instruments, including flute, ocarina, mandolin, and percussion.
Howard has his own record label, Balkan Samba Records (www.balkansamba.com.) Releases include “Secret Dream” by Latin/Jazz group Chévere de Chicago, “Time Capsules” by Howard Levy's Acoustic Express, “Cappuccino” with violinist Fox Fehling, Howard's solo cd “Alone and Together”, and “Norman Savitt and Friends”. In 2011 he will release a classical harmonica cd on Balkan Samba that includes a recording of his “Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra” with the Czech National Symphony.
In 2010, he released a cd with Trio Globo, “Steering by the Stars” on Stonecutter Records, and recorded a new cd with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones coming out in Spring of 2011. His cd's “Alone and Together” (Balkan Samba) and “Tonight and Tomorrow” (Chicago Sessions) both received 4-star reviews in Downbeat Magazine in 2010. And he was a co-winner of the Miscellaneous Instrument category in the Jazz Times 2010 Readers Poll.
Howard was a founding member of the Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (1988-92). Between 1993-95 he toured and recorded two albums with Kenny Loggins. He formed Trio Globo with Eugene Friesen and Glen Velez in 1993. Howard has appeared on hundreds of cd's, and has performed and/or recorded with Dolly Parton, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen, John Prine, Styx, Paquito D'Rivera, and many others. He has toured extensively in Europe with Rabih Abou Khalil and Riessler/Levy/Matinier, recording cd's with them on the Enja label. And his harmonica has been prominently featured on the soundtracks of several Hollywood films, including “A Family Thing” and Striptease”.
Howard Levy is a Hohner endorsee, plays Hohner Marine Band harmonicas customized by Joe Filisko (and Steinway pianos whenever possible). He lives in the Chicago area.