Jon Batiste. as new Late Show bandleader

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    AvatarJerry Ballard

    Melodica’s about to get some love. Get ready.

    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë

    That’s great news Jerry. I think you’re right 🙂

    AvatarAlan Brinton

    Fantastic! Incredible development.

    Hey, what’s that melodica Jon Batiste has in hand there?

    AvatarAlan Brinton

    M-32C I’m thinking, customized of course. But that makes sense, his having finally come to the realization that it’s superior to the Pro-37v2.


    I would like to bring this up again, now that Jon Batiste has been on the show for a while.

    I think the popularity is not always that great. As someone who plays jazz melodica, with a band and busking to a backing track, the instrument isn’t as cool now that it is more mainstream.

    On the other hand, the popularity is great for the industry and it’s really cool to have our instrument recognized as more of a “real” instrument.

    AvatarAlan Brinton

    I have been disappointed at the extent to which the melodica comes across (in the episodes I’ve watched to far) too much as a prop or novelty item — as was the case with Nat King Cole. Jon Batiste is Jazz pianist and a great showman, and we can’t expect him to come out waving a piano around. He plays some terrific melodica solos, but I was hoping for more of that than I’ve been seeing.


    Although Jon Batiste has a great venue to showcase the Melodica, you have to remember that the Melodica has been performed on some of the most popular songs since the 60’s. It’s the misconception of many musicians that consider the Melodica a toy and do not realize or are knowledgable of the contributions the Melodica has done in music since its creation. Jon Batiste has brought the Melodica to another level and hopefully with time another step will be reached by other performers. The Melodica is a very popular instrument with Indie and Reggae groups who do consider it a valued part of their sound. A long time ago the harmonica was not considered a professional instrument but it is now. It does not help when someone posts a popular song thrashed by a badly played Melodica to get a laugh on You tube. We need to post videos of well recorded and played Melodica so people will want to go out and buy one and join this great forum.
    Monsters of Melodica

    AvatarAlan Brinton

    Yes, I agree completely and am doing my part by not posting any bad You Tube performances. What interests me most is the melodica’s place in Jazz. Performances of Monsters of Melodica have demonstrated that the melodica can be a serious Jazz instrument, and others such as Jon Batiste have done the same. Monte Alexander was in Boise recently and did something in an informal session with his melodica.


    I’m still waiting for that performer who strides on stage with his melodica and never gets behind a piano or keyboard stand.
    At best so far melodica has still been a multi-keyboardists novelty.
    I suppose Augustus Pablo was the closest performer to that ideal?


    You are looking him Kevin!

    I am playing keyboard harmonica exclusively in a group even though I own several other keyboards. I have been gigging with the keyboard harmonica for nearly a year now, and I can tell you people love it and are facinated by it.

    I just bowed out of an acoustic trio to join an acoustic octet or nonet playing soulful music. The new group is all acoustic having double bass, acoustic guitars, percussionist, banjo, and more, and lots of singers. The melodica is great in this setting. In the trio, the keyboard harmonica is a bit too much by itself for an entire evening. In a larger group, the keyboard harmonica can play lots of deep background, which is fun, and then rise to the occassion and play solos too. I think I am going to like this setting. We have some great players and a great feel to the music.

    Oh, did you mean a star melodica player? Maybe I will make local TV one of these days! 🙂




    Oversight on my part Lowboy.
    I figured your level of fame and notoriety went without saying!

    Seriously you touch on something in your post that I think is worthy of it’s own thread.
    When you wrote that the melodica is too much in a trio setting.
    I’m going to start a thread on the melodica’s role in a group.

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