Jerry Portnoy


Born in 1943 Jerry Portnoy grew up in the blues rich atmosphere of Chicago during the golden age of Chicago Blues. In the late 60's he began his professional career and since that time has performed, live and on television, to more people in more places than any other blues harmonica player.

Being a member of the fabled Muddy Waters Blues Band for six years, another six as leader of the Legendary Blues Band, four years at the head of his own band The Streamliners, and another four as a featured member of the Eric Clapton Band followed and characterize his career.

He has toured in every state in the union and in twenty-five foreign countries on five continents, with performances at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Smithsonian, London's Royal Albert Hall, and at major jazz festivals worldwide, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Warsaw International Jazz Jamboree, the Hawaii Pacific Jazz and Music Fair, and the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, France.

Jerry has played on several Grammy Award winning albums while recording with a wide variety of artists, and was a Grammy Award nominee in 1997 for his work with the Muddy Waters Tribute Band.

He has appeared on television in shows like Saturday Night Live, Soundstage, MTV, VH1, and the Disney Channel, as well as writing and performing original music for Sesame Street.

In addition, he has lectured at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and his definitive 3/CD instructional package, Jerry Portnoy's Blues Harmonica Masterclass, is widely regarded as the premier teaching tool for those wishing to learn the instrument.

He now makes his home outside Boston, Massachusetts.


The new Marine Band Crossover is a terrific harp in every aspect: beautiful sealed bamboo comb, strong attractive cover plates and, most importantly - well tuned, with good volume and projection, and smooth responsive playability bottom to top. It also comes in a handy and unique zippered case. Another winner from Hohner!

Jerry Portnoy PLAYS