Idaho Harmonica Workshop

Beginning/Intermediate Workshop

Brent Palmatier and Melissa Gerrard lead this Beginner/Early intermediate Harmonica workshop, on Friday morning of the festival.  Register online early or at the door.  Enrollment is limited.  The workshop includes all tablature needed. Class will include instruction on some blues-based riffs and one classic song will also be taught as well. Students will get a chance to interact and play what they have learned during class time. No previous harmonica experience required but definitely helpful. Students under 18 require parental supervision.  Students are encouraged to participate in the Walking Mustache Music Parade on Saturday morning and the jam session on stage after the parade.*NOTE: proceeds from this workshop and jam will be donated to the Yellow Pine Festival.  What will be covered: C Major Scale, Blues Scale and Major Pentatonic Scales. (don’t let those terms frighten you) Harmonica riff Tab will be provided, and students will learn to play grooves using notes from all three of the scales. *Note, we will walk through these scales and the riffs that are learned from them, step by step during the course. Students will get a chance to play them as a class and also individually. • During the second half of the course, students will get an opportunity to shine by playing with Melissa in front of the rest of the class. *This is NOT a course requirement, so if students prefer to learn by observing, they are welcome to do that instead. Students are encouraged to participate in the stage performance the following day.

Intermediate/Advanced Workshop

The two (2) hour Intermediate/Advanced Harmonica Workshop taught by international harmonica artist, Ewald Grabher, includes Overblow, Blow Simultaneously, Bend on high notes, and Advanced Tongue Blocking.

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Meet the Instructors:


Born and raised in Austria, he has been playing the harmonica since 1993. Now a U.S. citizen,  he lives in the Hailey area and plays with several local bands. Ewald has been providing Advanced Harmonica lessons at the Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival since 2017.  

His playing style on the diatonic harp is very versatile and includes blues, country, bluegrass, folk, latin, and jazz. In the past he has performed on many national and international stages all over the globe. He has performed on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and is still always invited to jam with his musician friends that live there.

Live Sessions with E.B. Davis, Johnny Neel, and other award winning performers are on his list of experience and he keeps surprising his audience with new ways on how this little instrument can be played.


Brent Palmatier, harmonica player and songwriter (formerly of the band “Half Fast Hillbillies”) has been attending, playing and performing at the Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival for the past 13 years. His style is a mixture of : blues, folk, blue grass, Celtic and country. Background and experience: Brent has trained in person with Harmonica players, Jason Ricci and Ronnie Shellist. He has trained on zoom with Will Wilde of the UK and Yvonnick Prene of France. He has taught workshops at Boise State University, City Hall in Boise and Albertson’s Corporate Headquarters. He has successfully taught complete beginners to play and helped early intermediate players to “level up” the harp game. Brent is very excited to teach and share his passion at the beginner/early intermediate harmonica class at the 2024 Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival. 


Melissa Gerard is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. She is from Bellevue Idaho just 15 minutes away
from a tiny desert music mecca where traveling artists call home on road breaks.  Melissa is well accustomed to sharing the stage with Harmonica players and is very much looking forward to providing guitar back up for the Yellow Pine Harmonica workshop
attendees so they can practice the skills they learn during the class.
Melissa’s collaborations and achievements: Paddywagon hit the recording studio and produced a
record. Melissa has attended and performed at the Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival for the past several years and will be joining friends at
the festival once again in 2024.

Beginning/Early Intermediate: Friday, August 2, 2024, 9:00 a.m. at the Yellow Pine Community Hall

Cost of the workshop is $50. Seating is limited so register early. Please bring a "C" harmonica with you to the workshop. Harmonicas can be purchased at the Yellow Pine Tavern.

Intermediate/Advanced: Friday, August 2, 2024, 1:00 p.m. at the Yellow Pine Community Hall

Cost of the workshop is $25. Seating is limited so register early. You may wish to bring several harps to the workshop.