Mark Hummel, founder of the Mark Hummel Blues Harmonica Blowout. Photo by R. Hakins.

A Fun Night With The Blues

The annual Mark Hummel Blues Harmonica Blowout is Feb. 6

It started innocently enough in 1991 at the Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center in Berkeley, California.

Now, the Mark Hummel Blues Harmonica Blowout, an all-star collection of blues talent, is a multi-city event that travels up and down the West Coast for 12 concerts, and it makes a stop here in Eugene at The Shedd Institute Feb. 6.

It should be a fun night.

Headlining this year’s blowout is Lee Oskar, who was the harmonica player and a founding member of the funk-jazz group WAR. The group’s 1973 album — The World is a Ghetto — was the top selling album that year, and Oskar’s harmonica play was the trademark of the band’s sound.

Other musicians taking part in the blowout include guitarist and harmonica player Kenny Neal as well as harmonica player Jason Ricci and Chris Cain, a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, keyboards and saxophone as well as doing vocals.

Also on the tour is harpist Andrew Alli, who opens the show, and a band that features keyboard-guitarist Robert Welsh of Fabulous Thunderbirds fame with bass player Randy Bermudes and drummer June Core.   

The Mark Hummel Blues Harmonica Blowout is 7:30 pm Tuesday, Feb. 6, at The Shedd Institute, 868 High St. Tickets are $35 to $39 at

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