Chromatic harmonica player for 50 years. Classical notation reading, and improvisation skills Specialties in Latin genres like tango, samba; also jazz, pop, rock. Facilities to record and mix in pro level. Extra skills in Spanish guitar, drums, clarinet, and MIDI programming.
I've played chromatic harmonica for 50 years. I read classical notation as well as improvise over chords and/or hearing, many styles (jazz, folk, pop, rock); preferences on Latin genres like tango and samba.
I run "El Caldero" (www.estudioelcaldero.com.ar), a Project Studio with all facilities to record and mix electric and acoustic instruments (including myself).
So, besides my main service as a sessionist musician, I can offer mixing and/or mastering your musical project.
Some extra skills on orchestral harmonicas (bass and chord), Spanish guitar, drums, clarinet, and MIDI programming.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
9 ReviewsEndorse Leo Bercoff
Leo's great to work with. His stuff sounds great and his playing is excellent. Would definitely use him again.
Leo did a fantastic job soloing on my track. He is an exceptional harmonica player and musician. Leo made sure to get it exactly as I heard it. Highly recommended!
Leo is a top level pro- and he gets a nice recording to fully enhance his considerable playing ability. He was super responsive- and did things that vastly improved the music he was working on. His suggestions were all spot on. Looking for another project to work with him on.
Very easy to work with, very professional, I needed Leo to record a harmonica line for a project and he delivered a great take within a few hours!
Great musician, impeccable timing
Fast and delivered on time. Highly recommended if anyone's looking for a harmonica player!
Great work and very quick. No hassles.
He is professional and delivers high quality tracks !!!
Leo was a great help achieving a sound I had in my head but could not reproduce myself. He knows what he´s doing and I highly recommend him. Thanks, Leo!
Interview with Leo Bercoff
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Andrés Mayo (https://soundbetter.com/profiles/20352-andres-mayo). He's an excellent Mastering Engineer and a great and generous educator, always looking ahead in the audio and music field.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll always try to satisfy them the most honest I can, following the project quite close until finished.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've played for almost 50 years. I entered a Recording Studio at the age of 9 and went fascinated. Almost 30 years later I could construct my own Studio. Since 2017, after my retirement from Oil Industry and Teaching activities, I'm fully dedicated to be a sessionist for the entire world. Of course, all my life was full of music, playing arround with many musicians/friends.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Name? I think it's not my goal. Just somebody who loves good music and is somewhat clear about the desired production goal.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I feel really comfortable playing Argentinian folk (tango and others), Brasilian samba-like music, as well as internationally well-known jazz, blues, pop, and rock. I can also play soft ballads or fast melodies.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recorded, co-produced and mixed "Caminos Cruzados", by Prana Música de Brasil. Also played in a couple of songs. https://open.spotify.com/album/2ZWELmLXp2vqVFZeQL1sgu?si=3OHf4hdVRTS3dj3f4J0pFQ Additional data at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCbzqLQzh-V_KYo8A9F2MJNpuQVqCme86 Same in "Los dos soles" by Marcelo Falcón. Find some videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99hY1qaPNKw&list=PLDSix1rLh0fP2rPTEx3Tnmizm4r_0EHJ1
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I keep on recording, mixing and mastering local bands. Sometimes, I add my harmonica as a bonus if musicians are willing to and the song deserves it.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Sometimes people expect my harmonica sound like diatonic bluessy. That's not my main instrument. Chromatic harmonica can play as a flute, oboe, clarinet, cello. Some diads (two simultaneous notes, especially in octaves, but also 3rds and 6ths) may be played. Just a few full chords may also give some "dirty" effect.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Interact as much as possible to communicate your production wish. The more information provided, the best I can play. Let's say, written staff, chords, recordings, words.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I always try to be respectfull to sung voice and lyrics, avoiding superimpose counter voice as much as possible.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to connect with people to understand the best I can the goal of the project. Afterwards, approach depends on project itself: I can hear pre-recorded tracks, read music sheet (notes and/or chords), then improvise, and/or write some script. I record one or more harmonica tracks in 64-bpm-MP3 format to send the client review.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the opportunity to participate in other people's songs with my beloved instrument, highly popular (despite a few musicians in the world play it with ease).
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you play in "this" or "that" key? They usually ask if their original composition is tuned in a different key than the most traditional ones (C, G, D, E, or A). Chromatic harmonica has all 12 notes available. Of course, as in any other wind instrument (or melodic instrument in general), there are some keys easier than others, but depending on the speed and difficulty of the song, any key is possible to play with the 4-octave chromatic harmonica.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I use digital equipment, of course to digitize, record, and mix. Microphones and speakers are always analog, as well as our own ears! :) So, both worlds live together.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: 50-square meters Project Studio, very well isolated and acoustically prepared to record, mix and master electrical, virtual, and acoustic instruments (voice included). State-of-the-art digital equipment (consoles, digitizers); several dynamic and condenser microphones.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Toots Thielemans, Larry Adler, Mauricio Einhorn, Jaco Zeller, Hugo Díaz, Dave Grusin, John Williams, Lito Vitale, Javier Chalup.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I love to play tracks with my chromatic harmonica. I usually play a 4-octaves instrument tunned in C. Many styles ranging from jazz, tango, Argentinian folk, international pop, rock, blues, and also classical. I read music and improvise as well. I have all facilities to record and mix audio and MIDI.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Do you use musical notation? MIDI? Chords progression? Well and clearly defined sections?
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Just one 4-octaves chromatic harmonica. Nothing more to play is required. No wires, no amplifier :)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I usually play clean lines, probably largely influenced by tango and jazz.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I play the chromatic harmonica as my main instrument since I was 8 years old, so its a sort of "soul" extension to me. Facilities and knowledge in technical recording field, matches the sessionist service perfectly.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Fresh, sensual, vibe playing an unusual instrument. Few people in the world (compared to the huge quantity of guitar players) masters the chromatic harmonica and can read, write, improvise, play and record to deliver session work in short time.