Jazz Festival to Feature Two-Time Grammy Award Winner Howard Levy
The 2023 Winona Lake Jazz Festival will feature Howard Levy — a two-time Grammy award-winning musician and harmonica extraordinaire. The concert will take place on Saturday, July 22 from 12 – 7 p.m. at the Miller Sunset Pavilion, 705 Park Ave, Winona Lake. Part of the Grace College and Village at Winona Festival of Music, the free concert is sponsored by Sweetwater Sound.
“This will be an afternoon of amazing jazz music,” said Dr. Wally Brath, coordinator of the festival. “We are thrilled to welcome Howard Levy — an acknowledged master of the diatonic harmonica and a superb pianist, composer, recording artist, bandleader, teacher and producer — to Winona Lake for the first time.”
In 1970, at the age of 19, Levy discovered how to play the diatonic harmonica as a fully chromatic instrument by developing techniques that had never existed before. This enabled Levy to take the harmonica out of its usual role as a folk and blues instrument and into the worlds of jazz, classical, Middle Eastern music and more.
At home in many musical styles — from pop music performance to instrumental composition with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones — Levy is a favorite with audiences worldwide. He is a recording artist sought after by Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Paquito D’Rivera, Styx, Donald Fagen and Paul Simon, and he has appeared on hundreds of CDs and several movie soundtracks, most prominently on “A Family Thing” with Robert Duval and James Earl Jones.
His solo CD “Alone and Together” and his trio CD “Tonight and Tomorrow” both received four-star reviews in DownBeat magazine. Levy also put out a classical CD featuring his Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra — the first true concerto composed for diatonic harmonica.
The concert is also welcoming two other groups. Truth in Jazz Big Band will return to Grace as it celebrates its 23rd anniversary. The band brings together local professional musicians who share a deep love for jazz and wish to share the style of big-band jazz throughout Michiana. The popular 19-piece group was founded in 1998 by The Elkhart Truth.
Following Truth in Jazz Big Band is the Margaret Murphy-Webb Quintet. Murphy-Webb is a Chicago-based jazz musician, educator and producer. A graduate of Chicago State University with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, Murphy-Webb is an award-winning international performer who has been showcasing her talent in the Chicago area for over thirty years.
The complete concert schedule is as follows: 12 p.m. Truth in Jazz Big Band; 2 p.m. Margaret Murphy-Webb Quintet; 3:30 The Howard Levy 4.
For more information on upcoming concerts, visit www.grace.edu/musicfestival/.