Harmonica Zeke ... In the Mix!
Guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, vocals
Born in Europe in 1951 and raised in the United States, Zvonko Valentin (also known as Harmonica Zeke) came to Canada from Buffalo, New York in 1971. Spanning four decades of festival, concert, recording, and club dates, some highlights include: studio harmonicist for the Mercey Bros. (1974-77), RCA Canada (1975-78) ... sideman with such notables as Ronnie Hawkins (1974-76,79), Brownie McGhee (1983-84) and Dutch Mason (1992-95) ... solo performer, songwriter, slide guitar wizard, leader of Captain Harmonica & The Marvels (1977-79) and of NightFlight, Labatt’s Blues tour (1990-94); special guest on Boppin’ Blues’ CDs (1995-2006), Alan Gerber’s Chicken Walk (1995) and John McGale & Toyo’s U.N. Plugged (1996). Recorded Doin’ What I Do Vol.1 (1995), Change My Plan (1997), Doin’ What I Do Vol.2 (2011), and Jewels Full Of Grace (2014).
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Festival performances? The Montreal Jazz Festival (1991, 99, 06), Les Nuits Black (1988-89), Le Festival d’ete de Quebec (1986); Hamilton, Ontario Festival of Friends (1983-84,95,99), 3-month stay in Istanbul, Turkey (1995), Mont Tremblant Blues Festival (1994-97, 03-06,10), and Joliette Blues, Quebec (2010,11,13,18) ... to mention a few!
“Harmonica Zeke”? Do you still go by that name?
Yes, but trying hard to get people to transition to my real name ... In the 70's, I used to appear as a guest harp player with the Canadian band “Prairie Oyster”. They had a fiddler named “Zeke” Mazurek. It would confuse the heck out of us when the leader turned and hollered “Zeke” for one of us to solo! I became Harmonica Zeke and guess who the fiddler became?
After all these years, do you still enjoy touring?
Can’t stop, probably till I drop ... often with my bass player, Odette Mercure.
Apart from my activities in music, I actively promote the use of free software and the Linux operating system, especially for artists involved in multimedia or digital production. I have 15 years of experience in installing and configuring Linux systems for both general and specialized use.
For artists on a budget (Office, Graphics, Sound, Video, Web) free Open Source software is indispensable. Most of them are cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Linux). I use these exclusively and I find them as powerful and stable as their commercial counterparts. Moreover, I have a vast repertoire of user guides (Pdf, videos) to help beginners and professionals to make the transition to Open Source tools. I can also offer training sessions to small groups.