Antoine Le Roux (France)


When he was 7, Antoine began studying the chromatic harmonica. His mentors, Michel Perraud and Pierre Couteau, taught him to rigorously practice the instrument. Already gifted with a natural musical sensibility and an exceptional ear, he quickly improved. To such a point that he became a 5-time laureate of the National Harmonica Contest. In 2003, he participated in the International Festival “Rosa Vetrov” in Moscow, where he won the First Prize. Constantly personalizing his expertise and the exceptional quality of his sonorities, in 2005 he took part in the International Harmonica Festival of Trossingen (Germany), where he was awarded the Title of World Vice Champion. Since then, Antoine has performed at international festivals in Germany, Belgium, Russia, Spain, Estonia and Slovenia with many talented musicians such as pianist William Lecomte , guitarist Aymeric Simon , the Franco-Japanese pianist and harmonica player Nami Miyata , and the quartet Affinité for a tribute to Bill Evans and Toots Thielemans. In 2022 he founded the Daydream Project with the aim of bringing the chromatic harmonica into Jazz/Funk/Fusion music. Antoine has been teaching chromatic harmonica in Paris since 2012. His harmonica lessons are open to beginners as well as more experienced harmonica players. At the festival, he will be accompanied by guitarist and pianist Aymeric Simon.


Christelle Berthon (France)

Christelle Berthon_2024

“The Harp Queen”

Christelle Berthon began playing music at age 4 in her hometown of Chateauroux in the centre of France. Playing her recorder along with everything on the radio, including pop songs, set the stage for her eclectic repertoire, which now includes everything from Bach concertos to down-home blues. After playing her first gig with renowned French folk band Malicorne, at age 14 Christelle began six years of classical oboe studies, passing the exams for the national schools of Paris and Lyon. At the age of 24, completely by chance, she bought her first harmonica and found that it provided a welcome diversion from four hard years of oboe studies. Almost straight away she fell in love with this instrument.

However, life obliged Christelle to give up playing music for twelve years, until one decisive day in Ireland, in November 2006, knowing that Christelle had once been a musician, a lady offered her a diatonic harmonica. Returning to France, Christelle committed to being the musician that she was meant to be, practicing up to eight hours a day. To share her work with people, she opened her now-renowned YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/christellester) and has gathered more than 99 000 subscribers and 40 million views so far. She has been featured at the SPAH Convention and she has won second place at the World Harmonica Championship 2009.

From the start, she was successful in covering a broad range of genres, Blues, Celtic and Jazz.  She has worked a lot at the new technique called overbending which allows one to play the full chromatic scale on a diatonic harmonica. Her album “Breathe to Me” was released in June 2017. Christelle Berthon is an official endorser of the Dabell Harmonicas, ZT Amplifiers and Swedish company Ehrlund Microphones.

Jerry Portnoy: «Christelle Berthon’s playing is superb in every aspect: wonderful musicianship, technical mastery, but most importantly, a beautiful sound that conveys feeling and emotion.”


Trio Gentlemen’s Harmonica (Poland)

Trio Gentlemen's Harmonica1

Three men united by a passion for playing the harmonica. “There are many like us, but we know that our music is unique. We create it for ourselves and our listeners to entertain and move, bring back memories and create dreams to be with us in special moments. Both in life and on stage, each of us is different. We play different harmonicas, drawing different sounds from them, but luckily, they all come together in a harmonious whole that makes life more pleasant for our listeners. Music is nothing but feelings that can be heard,” they say about themselves.

Grzegorz Matuszek is the leader of the ensemble and a man of great passion and dedication. He realizes his dreams by playing harmonica trio. He is constantly improving his skills in playing this wonderful instrument. Its sounds add energy, improve your mood and help you relax. He is a master of sound quality – you feel infinity while listening. Matuszek is also a laureate of many harmonica competitions, including the Pärnu Harmonica Festival Grand Prix winner on the chromatic harmonica.

Piotr Nowatkowski is a multi-instrumentalist. In the band, he is responsible for harmony. He plays, among other things, the organ (he is the organist in many churches), the saxophone and the piano. He is also a choir director.

Włodzimierz Hajduga is also a multi-instrumentalist, he plays violin, bass guitar, saxophone, among other things. He practices a lot and quickly learned the bass harmonica.

Trio Gentlemen’s Harmonica won the Pärnu Harmonica Festival Grand Prix in 2023