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a sound evolution with schertler


In the past, we have had the pleasure of collaborating with numerous talented harmonica players, but in recent years, our partnership has evolved to encompass a remarkable festival in the harmonica world. This festival, known as the HARMONICA F E N FESTIVAL, is an event meticulously organized by Marko Jovanovic and Julia Thurau. Notably, the festival recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on October 9, 2023, on to secure funding for the organization costs of the 2024 edition. You can find more information about the campaign below and watch the video in the photo gallery.

During our exclusive interview with the founder of the Harmonica School Berlin and an esteemed harmonica virtuoso, we delved into the intriguing world of music and explored the unique choice of Schertler equipment that contributes to the magic of Jovanovic's performances. The conversation, which took place on September 30, 2023, unveiled the secrets behind his distinctive sound, shedding light on the festival that has become a cornerstone of harmonica excellence.  

Interview with Marko Jovanovic Harmonica School Berlin, September 30, 2023


S: To start, could you explain what Schertler equipment you use in your performances with the harmonica and how this choice has influenced your sound and musical experience?

MJ: The Giulia Y and Roy Wood amplifiers have been with me at concerts, workshops, and even in my teaching for many years. Initially, as a blues musician, I often played in larger ensembles where tube amplifiers, known for their classic blues sound, were commonly used. Over the years, my musical palette has expanded significantly. New styles and smaller ensembles have been added to my blues background. I now improvise, play world music, jazz, and Balkan music. With these new styles, my sound requirements have evolved. I need a clear, warm sound for this music. An amplifier should not add anything unwanted but rather carry my musical message and inspire me to dwell in its tonal beauty. I've experimented with many amplifiers in recent years, and with Giulia and Roy, I've found what I was looking for in my music. I particularly enjoy using Giulia Y on the go. It's a lightweight, portable amplifier, and its simplicity and sound quality are unbeatable. The harmonica sounds sensational with itIn addition, since a few weeks ago, I've also purchased a new Giulia X, and I can't wait to use this great piece of equipment! For trio line-ups, I typically use Roy Wood. This amplifier can replace a PA system and offers enough inputs to fill a room even with a smaller or medium-sized ensemble. Alternatively, I can use Roy as a stage monitor, providing flexibility. Roy is a versatile acoustic amplifier that sounds fantastic.


S: Schertler is well-known in the world of fretted and bowed instruments. What led you to choose Schertler products for such a different instrument?

MJ: The clear answer is the sound and product quality. Even though the amplifier is designed for acoustic string instruments, it is very well-suited for the harmonica and meets my expectations of good and inspiring sound. As a musician, you're always on the hunt for the best tools. Once you find them, a certain peace settles in.  


S: As a musician, which aspects of the HARMONICA F E N FESTIVAL do you consider most important for the development of your art? Are there specific aspects of its atmosphere or program that are noteworthy?

MJ: The harmonica is a relatively young instrument, in the midst of its technical and musical development. In the past two or three decades, there has been significant progress in playing techniques and expression, allowing the harmonica to find its way into a wide range of genres. Many people are amazed at how naturally this small instrument fits into various styles. The diversity of genres is a key feature of our festival. Another important aspect is the sense of community. Our artists are approachable and enjoy interacting with festival attendees, celebrating, and making music together. This makes the HARMONICA F E N FESTIVAL a true musical experience, not only for harmonica players. We explicitly invite people who have little or no previous experience with the harmonica to join us. The harmonica takes center stage at our festival.


S:Festivals that focus on a single instrument sometimes struggle to differentiate themselves from competitions and rivalry. What sets you apart?

MJ: As a harmonica player, I've always wished for a festival free from competition and performance pressure. This is not a given because most harmonica festivals typically focus on a single genre, making comparisons almost unavoidable. At the HARMONICA F E N FESTIVAL, we showcase several different musical styles on the harmonica each evening, emphasizing the music itself. We want to experience music and share our passion for it with others. The harmonica can touch people's hearts, and therein lies our opportunity. With the harmonica, we can surprise people.


S: Schertler is one of the partners of the HARMONICA F E N FESTIVAL. Could you share how this collaboration came about and how the company supports participating artists?

MJ: I have been working as a musician with Schertler products for many years, and as I mentioned earlier, I'm a big fan. The amplifiers are highly reliable and have a wonderful sound. Based on my personal experience as a musician, I understand how important it is for a festival to have organizers who prioritize good and high-quality equipment. I wanted that for our festival as well. Therefore, I am very pleased that Schertler supports our festival and provides us with acoustic amplifiers.


Read more about the GIULIA X acoustic amp here.

Read more about the ROY X acoustic amp here.

Read more about the Harmonica F E N Festival here.

Read more about the crowdfunding campaign here.



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