Cecilia LoForti, known as Ms Harmonica, was born in Central California, where she was educated and immersed in Music and Art. She completed an AA and BA in Fine Art and began informally studying music within her musical family. At the age of 6, Cecilia developed an ear for music. At that time she began exploring dance and musical instruments like piano and violin, which over the years lead to guitar, saxophone, Indian flute, jew’s harp, percussion, a variety of hardware instruments like the saw (having had a father who was a carpenter), and ultimately, she chose The Harmonica which became her master instrument…her life long traveling companion.
Cecilia’s first influence was her mother, an Italian immigrant who played piano and harmonica and introduced her to these instruments. At age 12, while traveling in the Old Country, her mother bought Cecilia, her first harmonica and taught her a few notes. She excelled from there and was basically self-taught! She was most inspired by her mother’s “Boogie Woogie” piano playing and they were often found playing duets in a variety of styles over the years.
Cecilia has lived in six countries and five U.S. states, and has now traveled to over 44 countries, cultivating music styles and exploring artisan communities. Her performance, style, and concepts have been greatly influenced by her travels and the various cultures she had listened to and played in. Her style is a sharp rhythmic and crisp phrasing that rolls with every changing beat.
Her beatbox funky chords combined with with an aggressive speed in double time will stop you in your tracks and point you to the stage! She has a diversified range of expression that shows when she sings in her sultry funk ‘n’ blues voice and plays her heart into her instrument. She describes the word “SOUL” as an inner place and that “MUSIC” is where she goes to find that place.
In the mid 90’s Cecilia went from being a ‘closet’ musician to playing in open mics around San Diego, California. She began to make a circle of talented musician friends and followers thus starting her career in Music. Everyone always referred to her as that talented ‘harmonica girl’ which then eventually morphed into her present stage name MS HARMONICA.
After years of playing venues in a variety of places, she found herself immersed in the Portland Oregon Jam Scene which planted the seed for her current endeavor THE TRAVELING HARMONICA. Cecilia combined all her skills of harmonica, art, graphics and traveling, mixed with culture and the language of music and developed a unique website blog which unites Music, Travel and Cultures together with a word she coined “JamTrotting”! There you will find a list of jams around the world, interviews with renowned musicians, travel tips with equipment, obscure stories of the road, info on Residential Traveling and posts which contributing writers keep updating. Photos and videos of Jams in which Ms Harmonica plays in, are all available to view including her personal travels. She began traveling in May 2014 documenting her JamTrotting experience around the world, along with every musician or band, busker or fan for the blog! In Sept 2015 she traveled by motorcycle all the way from Amsterdam to Turkey covering 15 countries in 60 days…next she is heading to South East Asia… into Indonesia and Singapore to continue her JAMTROTTING Journey! One never knows where you will run into Ms Harmonica!
2015 ~ Lee Oskar FEATURED ARTIST Documentary film of Ms Harmonica and THE TRAVELING HARMONICA. www.thetravelingharmonica.com
2015 ~ Ruf Records First All Female Harmonica 2 set CD, ‘BLUES HARP WOMEN’ featuring artists from around the world. Ms Harmonica’s song, DOCTOR ‘C’. Released Nov. 2015.
2012 ~ Was asked to join www.Hermonicas.com website of all female Harmonica Players
2000 ~ San Luis Obispo Blues Society voted in as a CENTRAL COAST BLUES DIVA and opened and closed ROUNDUP outdoor concert with 4 other chosen Divas.
Ms Harmonica has played a variety of venues including, but not limited to: Universities, Theater Productions, Saloon/Bar/Club, Brewing Facilities, Festivals, Private Parties, Correctional Facility (Prisons), Blues Societies, TV shows, Radio, Craft Markets, Farmers Markets, Holiday Events, Shopping Centers, Cafe/Restaurant/Pubs throughout the world….and more!