Harmonica player Will Scarlett has been described as outstanding, original, cosmic, visionary, unconventional and pioneering.

Over the years, he has shared the stage with musical legends, added his soulful, improvisational sound to the recordings of an unclassifiable list of artists and gone on to inspire and teach a new generation of harmonica players.

Still in his teens, Will discovered and popularized the difficult technique of overblowing (playing a harmonica’s “missing” notes). Throughout his career, his innovative and handcrafted instruments have influenced contemporary harmonica design.

A Berkeley original with a world-wise streak, Scarlett always manages to return to the Bay Area. Sitting in or playing solo, he can be found frequently at local venues bending notes and blowing minds with his distinctive harmonica playing.

Will Scarlett and Brownie McGhee (Photographed by Heather Hafleigh)

“A cosmic harmonica pioneer…Will Scarlett is a highly original mind, a great player, and a survivor of the 1960s San Francisco music scene who remembers it well even though he was there.”

— Winslow Yerxa, harmonica player