Having a life-long experience playing the harmonica, Art’s latest album, The Recognition, released on Heart Dance Records, comprises his search for deeper, more meaningful melodies and emotional tones. With a focus on creating music that people from all walks of life might enjoy, the album is an expression of his desire to up-lift the listener while inspiring a sense of contemplation and relaxation.
Born in 1961, Art grew-up having frequently attended opera house concerts and listening to his mother sing magnificently with the Seattle Symphony Choral. By the age of 16 he had attended over 40 concerts, although he had already been inspired to learn to play the harmonica by the age of 11. Starting with “Oh, Susanna”, Art learned every campfire folk song he could, and by the time he was 20 he was studying harmonica greats like Lee Oskar, Sonny Terry, and Little Walter.
In 1981 Art majored in music at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA studying Blues history, composition, theory, harmonica, recording arts, and live performance by forming his first nightclub 5 piece R & B band. “The Midnight Rhythm Band” played 3 years at venues throughout western Washington, recording for college compilations, and playing live on KAOS radio. During this time Art recorded his first harmonica instrumental – a high-energy Rock-a-Billy tune called “Black Dog Stomp”, which enjoyed local airplay.
After more than a decade of playing in Northwest R & B bands, life drew Art to Arizona in the early nineties where he lent his harmonica talents to the high-powered Blues band “Blue Z”. There, in the venues of Northern Arizona, Patience pushed his limits to become the raw - yet soulful – harmonica player he is today. The band performed fulltime at venues, including Chars Has The Blues and The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, as well as recorded a soundtrack for a PBS travel documentary called Planet Of Dreams, with Kris Kristopherson as musical co-writer.
Returning to the Northwest in the mid-nineties, Art began performing regularly with world-renown pianist Scott Cossu. Challenged by Scott’s innovative song writing, Art expanded his techniques and repertoire by milestones. Boasting nearly 200 shows with Scott in 20 years, Art has learned the “ins and outs” of touring and performing live in well-known venues such as Jazz Alley in Seattle, The Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, Swallow Hill in Denver, and The Steamplant Performing Arts Center in Salida, Colorado. In addition, Art is featured on Scott’s Jazz, Boogie, And Deja’ Blues recording on Summit Records.
Throughout Art’s musical career he has continued to write instrumentals and in 1999, having been inspired by the ambient tones of the harmonica and the sounds within nature, he recorded his first solo album, Spirit Of The Woods, on the Howlin’ Dog record label which gained local attention in Colorado. After listening to the album, Lee Oskar invited Art to join his harmonica sponsorship program while quoting, “Art’s harmonica sings straight from the heart”.
In 2015, award-winning flute player and CEO of Heart Dance Records, Sherry Finzer, invited Art to write and record a holiday song for a compilation album titled Christmas From The Heart CD. His song, “The Gift”, was recorded at Clamsville Studios in Chandler by music producer and engineer, John Herrera. Art recorded his harmonica tracks while John lent new age and ambient musical tones and rhythms to make the song a peaceful contribution to the project. This experience opened the doors for Art to record a full length album of original harmonica instrumentals at Clamsville, with John Herrera contributing all the ambient music, turning each song into a unique soundscape that takes the listener on a musical journey.