Howard Levy

2-time Grammy award-winning pianist, diatonic harmonica player, composer

Howard Levy is an acknowledged master of the diatonic harmonica, a superb pianist, innovative composer, recording artist, bandleader, teacher, and producer. In 1970 at the age of 19, he discovered how to play the diatonic harmonica as a fully chromatic instrument by developing techniques on it that had never existed before. This enabled Howard to take the harmonica out of its usual role as a Folk and Blues instrument, and into the worlds of Jazz, Classical, Middle Eastern music, and more. 

At home in many musical styles, the two- time Grammy Award Winner (Pop Music Performance and Instrumental Composition with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones) is a favorite with audiences worldwide and a recording artist sought after by Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Paquito D’Rivera, Styx, Donald Fagen, Paul Simon, and many others. Howard has appeared on hundreds of CD’s and several movie soundtracks, most prominently on A Family Thing with Robert Duval and James Earl Jones. 

His solo CD Alone and Together (Balkan Samba Records) and his trio CD Tonight and Tomorrow (Chicago Sessions) both received 4-star reviews in DownBeat. Howard also put out a classical CD featuring his Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra- the first true concerto composed for diatonic harmonica. 

Howard tours as a solo artist, with Chris Siebold, Trio Globo, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and with his new band, The Howard Levy 4.

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What People Say...

… single-handedly developed the full jazz potential of the diatonic harmonica… Although he cites McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock as influences, Levy the pianist has a sunnier, more ebullient style than either, enlivened by an unfailing upward momentum...”

— Jazz Times Magazine

Levy has single-handedly revolutionized the harmonica...”


As Art Tatum was to the piano, so is Levy to the harmonica: a hyper-virtuoso whose feats can be admired and studied but never really replicated.”

— Chicago Tribune

Howard's full bio

Early Years

Career in Chicago

The Flecktones, Touring, Recordings, etc.

Appearances with Symphony Orchestras, Radio, and TV