Thursday, July 12, 2012
Sunday, October 25, 2009
George Miklas, chord harmonica player of The HarpBeats, was born and raised near Youngstown, OH and now lives in Mercer, PA. George began playing harmonicas at the age of 4, but at 10 he asked his dad to teach him to “play for real.” His dad, Stephen Miklas, played for Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and Gen. George Patton. At 11, his family joined the Steel Valley Harmonica Club and at 12, he attended his first S.P.A.H convention where he met Jerry Murad, Al Fiore, Dick Gardner, Dom & Tony Sgro, Danny Wilson, Charlie Hutler, and many others for the very 1st time. George received his 1st bass harmonica at 13 for Christmas, and his 1st chord harmonica for his 14th birthday. Immediately, he was playing on stage with Pittsburghers Jack Allison and Herb Eck, and a new trio named “Keep On Harpin’.” At 19, Jerry Murad called George to join the famous JERRY MURAD’S HARMONICATS for 1 year playing the chord harmonica as Al Fiore retired. At age 28, Jerry called George again to join Murad, but this time for 4 years on the bass harmonica as Dick Gardner retired. George continued playing bass for the HARMONICATS until Jerry’s death at age 76. George plays all harmonicas, tuba, bass guitar, bass violin, and has sung bass in an opera—you might say that he is the total bassman. Currently in addition to The HARPbeats, he also appears with the Sgro Brothers, Heritage Harmonica Boys, and The Miklas Family. George’s formal credentials include the Master of Education and Bachelor of Music Education degrees, and teaching certificates for OH and PA. His wife, Jodi, plays the chord harmonica, and children, Janalyn and Caleb, each play their own set of diatonics. The whole family shares his passion for music and promoting the harmonica everywhere they go. George has been a long-time member and friend of the Steel Valley H.C., Rubber Capital H.C., Buckeye State H.C., Garden State H.C. and S.P.A.H.