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Winter Park / Live Music: Italian take on American blues

The Grand County Blues Society is excited to present Marco Pandolfi, Italian blues harmonica master, in concert next Wednesday. The event marks his debut performance in Colorado and is a fundraiser for the Blues in the Schools programs.

The GCBS found out he had Wednesday night free while in the area playing some large venues around Colorado and invited him to play his old-school blues with Dan Treanor and Richard Ray Farrell.

“This three-piece ensemble is going to be a night to remember,” said John Catt, founding board member of the GCBS.



Pandolfi grew up in a family that loved music; his father played the harmonica and his sister played piano. With a good musical environment and regular encouragement he learned to play both instruments at a very young age, always dreaming of being a musician. He also learned, and still plays, guitar.

“I was and am influenced by a lot of musicians,” he said. Men like Muddy Waters or Little Walter Jacobs and especially good harmonica players (and he points out there are a lot) like Kim Wilson, and Paul Oscher and Steve Guyger (whom he’s had the opportunity to play with).



Pandolfi said, these days he prefers musicians who play in a traditional way. His no-frills, straight-ahead approach to the blues is said to “really swing.”

“I’m honored to be there and meet the Grand County Blues Society,” he said. “I can’t wait to be there.”

He played in the United States with his band The Jacknives in 2006 “when we were the first Italians in the story of the International Blues Challenge” in Memphis, Tenn. and his last CD with the band was given The Blues Foundation’s nomination for Best Self Produced album 2006.

He has had the chance to play with several legendary names, including Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore, David Lee Durham, and Willie King. He has also played quite a bit with Farrell and the two recorded an acoustic CD together called “Stuck on the Blues” in 2007.

Pandolfi would like to extend his appreciation to everyone in the states “who believed in me and encouraged and supported me,” including Treanor, Farrell, Oscher, Bob Corritore, Randy Chortkoff and Delta Groove, Tony “Gypsy” Negri, Michael Peloquin, Brandi Squire, The Blues Foundation, Bill Wax, Dave Wright, and Mississippi friends Carol Marble and Peggy Brown.

“Playing the blues in your country is always a great experience for me,” he said. “I know that nowadays the blues is an international music but playing the blues in the country where it was born is a great challenge.”

Less than 100 tickets are available for Pandolfi’s Colorado debut show and are predicted to go fast, so member discounts do not apply (may be reserved at Radio Shack or by calling one of the numbers above).


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