Jazz Harmonica Summit @ The Egg This Weekend

OK, let’s face it, when you think about the harmonica, jazz isn’t the first style of music that probably pops into your ears. But the harmonica is hardly a novelty instrument, even in the heady jazz world.

And while there may only be a handful of bona fide jazz harmonica masters in the world, Nippertown music fans will be able to catch two of them in action this weekend at The Egg in Albany.

On Saturday night, Gregoire Maret leads an ace quartet into The Egg, where he’s splitting a nifty double-bill of up-and-coming jazzers with vocalist Gretchen Parlato and her band. The Swiss-born Maret has recorded with a who’s-who of jazz greats from Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson to Pat Metheny and Jimmy Scott. And anyone who witnessed his previous Nippertown performance as a member of John Ellis & Double-Wide has likely already snapped up tix to Saturday night’s show, where Maret’s band will feature drummer Jamire Williams, pianist Federico Pena and superb bass master Ben Williams. Showtime is 7:30pm on Saturday, and tix are $24.

On Sunday night at The Egg, Howard Levy blows his harp in concert with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. Longtime Flecktones fans will remember Levy from howlin’ early performances with Fleck and the band at the Albany Tulip Festival and SPAC. Levy left the Flecktones fold in 1993, but now he’s returned to the band, and Sunday’s show marks his first Nippertown appearance since re-joining the band. Showtime is 7:30pm on Sunday, and tix are $39.50 and $49.50.

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