- Published: Monday, 20 January 2014 16:00
FastForward interviews jazz harmonica master Frederic Yonnet
A&E FEATURE - January 2014
By Lauren Anderson, Avani Bahl, Sophie Barron, Joe Blair, Lizzie Chadbourne, Erin Fernwood, Alexandra Kitze, Julia Kudler and Maddy O’Hara; from The Bay School, Branson, Marin Academy, Marin School of the Arts and University High Schools
Born in Normandy, France, Yonnet grew up Paris, which he considers to be the crossroad of different cultures. His grandfather, who was a musician, also inspired him. But he didn’t begin his musical career with the instrument that eventually made him famous.
Yonnet started out as a drummer, but the bands he played with told him to stop trying to play the melody. They wanted him to stay in the backbeat where the drums belonged. This didn’t appeal to Yonnet, and he eventually became drawn to the small and portable harmonica. What he said about this encounter was simply, “I got lucky. My life got better when I played the harmonica.”