‘Harmonica America: Classical to Blues with Bonfiglio’

SARANAC – Hill and Hollow Music will present “Harmonica America: Classical to Blues with Bonfiglio” in two performances this weekend: at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Saranac Fire Hall on state Route 3 in Saranac, and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Methodist Church on Route 3 in Saranac.

Heralded by the Boston Globe as the “Master of the Harmonica, whose playing is something you have to hear to believe,” Robert Bonfiglio has taken the harmonica to a new level of performance. His concerts in the U.S., Europe, South America, and the Far East have received the type of critical praise reserved for the very few. Bonfiglio’s pioneering work is reflected in the spirit of “Harmonica America,” where the story of a land and its people is celebrated through its own iconic instrument, the harmonica.

The harmonica symbolizes our great country. It is without question the “American Instrument.” Its lore and legacy are woven throughout the fabric of U.S. history as its plaintive sound evokes images of our heritage. Abraham Lincoln played the harmonica! There are few who haven’t at some time or other sought to make music on it. Having been raised in the heartland of Iowa, educated in a prestigious New York City music conservatory, and performed extensively around the globe, Robert Bonfiglio has put together a program that poignantly expresses the breadth and depth of the American musical experience.

The Bonfiglio Trio consists of Robert Bonfiglio on harmonica and vocals; Joe Deninzon on traditional violin, seven-string electric violin, mandolin, and vocals; and Steve Benson on guitar. Each member is an accomplished, highly respected artist in his own right and has achieved widespread acclaim. Drawing upon idioms of folk, jazz, country, blues, popular, and classical music, The Bonfiglio Trio offers a wide range of music in a distinctly American style.

Saturday’s evening show at the Saranac Fire Hall features jazz and blues in a comfortable club-like setting. Tickets are $25 and include refreshments during the show.

Sunday’s afternoon concert features classical and popular music favorites by composers such as Purcell, Bach, Hovhaness, Foster, Gershwin, and Bonfiglio, as well as “Americana” folk and jazz classics, such as Amazing Grace, Shenandoah, songs made famous by Elvis, a blues Tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson and more. Sunday tickets are $15 and include refreshments following the concert.

Doors open 30 minutes before each show.