Jazz at the Bechtler: New Sound Series: The Harmonica in Jazz featuring Frédéric Yonnet

Jazz at the Bechtler: New Sound Series: The Harmonica in Jazz featuring Frédéric Yonnet



When you think of traditional jazz instruments, the harmonica rarely comes to mind. That's why if you're producing a jazz concert featuring the harmonica, you absolutely need the right performer, and the November edition of Jazz at the Bechtler has just the right guy. Get your tickets now to Jazz at the Bechtler: The Harmonica in Jazz featuring Frédéric Yonnet.

Born in France, a young Frédérick Yonnet got his start on the drum kit at the age of 14, but quickly went back to the harmonica, an instrument he received as a child. "I got kicked out of bands because I kept trying to play the melody on the drums," says Yonnet. "On the harmonica, I can play both the melody and the rhythm. Plus it's lighter to carry." In 2001 he moved from France to Washington, DC to perform in festivals and clubs where he developed the reputation of being a "genre-bending" harmonica player.

Yonnet gained national recognition in 2006 when comedian Dave Chappelle invited him as a guest star during Chappelle's 10-city Block Party concert tour. During that year's Grammys, Chappelle introduced Yonnet to another harmonica luminary: Stevie Wonder. Yonnet and Wonder have since performed together on numerous occasions, always teasing the crowd with a competitive rendition of Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman". Yonnet admits that working with Wonder has been his biggest musical inspiration. It was during a concert with Wonder at New York's Madison Square Garden when Prince first saw Yonnet perform, and several months later, Yonnet was invited to record and ultimately tour with Prince. 

Ever since then, Yonnet has been a prolific and popular performer. He has recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as well as having played at the opening ceremony of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Yonnet plays a specially-designed diatonic harmonica which allows him to play twice as many notes as the instrument was designed for. 


Concerts are performed at 6 and 8:15 p.m. with no intermissions. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. concert and 7:45 p.m. for the 8:15 p.m. concert. General seating is first come, first served. Enjoy light bites and a cash-only bar. Standing room only is available after all seats are claimed.


Tickets are $14 for the public and $8 for museum members. online online, by phone at 704.353.9200 or at the admission desk. View the full 2016-'17 Jazz at the Bechtler lineup here.

Click the video below to see Yonnet perform Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman":

return to events


  • Monday10am - 5pm
  • TuesdayClosed
  • Wednesday10am - 5pm
  • Thursday10am - 5pm
  • Friday10am - 5pm
  • Saturday10am - 5pm
  • Sunday12pm - 5pm


Book a space at the Bechtler to host your next event.

find out more


  • Audio tours
  • Docent-led tours
  • Group tours

find out more


Follow the Bechtler.

ex © 2018 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
© 2018 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art | 420 South Tryon Street | Charlotte, North Carolina 28202 | 704.353.9200