David Naiditch

Chromatic Harmonica


I’ve been part of the Los Angeles music scene for many years.  I started with the blues and eventually delved into other genres: bluegrass, country swing, and Django Reinhardt-inspired Gypsy jazz.

My musical journey began in the early ‘60s, when I was tutored on the diatonic harmonica by the legendary blues icon Sonny Terry. In the mid-1960s, I taught harmonica at the Ash Grove, a club that was the focal point of the Los Angeles folk music revival. Years later, I taught and performed at other venues in the Los Angeles area, such as McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Boulevard Music, the Coffee Gallery Backstage, and Viva Cantina.

In the mid-’90s, I started focusing on the chromatic harmonica.  I honed my skills by attending numerous music jams and gigs, armed only with a chromatic in the key of C.  When played well, the chromatic can produce a sweet, fiddle-like sound and handle fast, intricate melodies.  Since I use a C chromatic to play in all keys, I can deal with tricky chord changes and key transitions without having to quickly switch harmonicas. Because the chromatic provides all the notes without having to bend or over-blow, the timbre of each note isn’t dictated by the instrument, but is controlled by the player.  I believe that keeping the same tone and timbre throughout a tune is often desirable.

I have released 7 albums, mostly bluegrass, swing, and Gypsy jazz instrumentals.  Featured virtuosos have included Joscho Stephane, Jake Workman, David Grier, Stuart Duncan, Richard Smith, Jason Anick, Sierra Hull, Rob Ickes, Ron Block, Dennis Caplinger, Gonzalo Bergara, and Pat Cloud.


Welcome to my site

I love jamming at music festivals, especially those featuring bluegrass, country swing, or Gypsy jazz.