Musician; UA&M Teaching Artist
Brad Wheeler is a self-taught Blues musician who has been performing and in- structing others on how to play the harmonica for over the past 30 years. He has received numerous awards for both his talents and community service in such time, and has shared the big stage with many notable musicians including Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Norton Buffalo, and Mrs Etta James just to name a few. Brad is also known as the Drive Time DJ at 90.9fm KRCL, a Community Radio for the Wasatch front and beyond, where he spends his afternoons exploring the connections between Blues Music and Contemporary Rock and Roll. In 1999 with assistance from Kathryn Maguet and Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden along with help from with the late Willie Dixons “Blues Heaven Foundation” in Chicago, Brad developed his own Blues in Schools Program; teaching students the who, what, when, where, why and the how to … as it pertains to the Blues. Since 1999, Brad has taught and instructed over 27,000 students, in 4 different states on how to play the Harmonica and it relationship to the Blues.
Blues music is more than just an art form, if used properly it can become a tool in your life, by which to help you overcome and deal with the pressures, issue’s and emotions inherent in life that take a toll on all of us every day. By teaching the fun- damentals of Improvisation, students learn how to both express themselves musi- cally as solve their own problems. Simply put, this program teaches folks how to turn Lemons into Lemonade, or if you prefer … the Blues into Music.
Depending upon the length of Residency, Students are taught Harmonica funda- mentals, including basic tablature and improvisational techniques. In extended res- idencies students learn basic songwriting and live performance skills (vocal and harmonica) and can even include instruction in the construction of “Diddley Bo’s” also known as Cigar Box guitars. Depending in his schedule Brad is available for residencies, teacher training, short-term activities, extended projects, and work- shops.
NOTE: The “Blues in Schools Program” requires an accompanist. If a sponsor chooses Brad for a residency or project, the Utah Arts Council will pay for his sala- ry. The sponsor is responsible for the other artist’s salary. Harmonicas, instru- ments, and construction materials provided through Brad. (For further information on harmonicas and materials, please contact Brad.)