New Video: Tollak Ollestad - HOHNER Masters of the Harmonica
Tollak was born in Seward, Alaska and grew up in Seattle WA.
After getting his start in the club scene in Seattle he moved on to Los angeles where he developed the signature sound that he has become known for. Stevie Wonder was his early harmonica hero, but Toots Thielemans was an inspiration too, and Toots himself has said of Tollak that in spite of his big influence from Stevie that he really has “his own thing”.
It wasn’t long before many artists and producers took notice of this, and Tollak’s list of credits bears witness to that. What many who know of his chromatic harmonica success aren’t aware of though is what an awesome blues harp player he is as well, not to mention his remarkable gifts as a singer, keyboardist and songwriter.
Here are some highlights from his credits- Theme from Northern exposure, Earth, wind and fire, Don Henley, Al Jarreau, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Natalie Cole, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight, Chet Atkins, Dave and Don Grusin, Gino Vanelli, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross and Billy Idol.
One of the most unique artists to ever play the instrument, whose original voice, depth of artistry and feeling, is what has made him so highly sought after by so many recording artists and producers.
A list that includes, Earth, wind and fire, Don Henley, Al Jarreau, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Natalie Cole, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight, Chet Atkins, Dave Grusin and many others.
A chromatic harmonica player whose signature sound people mention in the same breath as Stevie Wonder and Toots Thielemens and a blues harmonica player whose command of the instrument is nothing less than breathtaking. A truly one of a kind artist on the harmonica.
Learn more about Tollak Ollestad in the video portrait!