Dave Brubeck

Courtesy of the Artist

Harmonicist Peter "Madcat" Ruth has spent five decades blowing all the right notes. His career has  taken him around the world and into blues, rock, jazz - and even classical music. 

The Ann Arbor-based musician is performing at Mangia Mangia in Kalamazoo on Saturday, and talked with us about his work with legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, his surprise Grammy win, and how the harmonica has continued to remain distinct from its electronic counterparts in the 21st century:

"The harmonica has just a sound that's unlike any other instrument. When they came out with synthesizers they could never get a synthesizer to sound like a harmonica cause so much of the sound of the harmonica is the harmonica player's lungs and throat and hands. In some ways I don't think it's as popular as it was a few decades ago, but still people like to hear it."