Updated May 2014

North American
Jew's Harp Festival


NAJHF 2014 Information

Account of the 21st North American Jew's Harp Festival 2012 - Harm Linsen
2004 NAJHF Report - Dear Diary - Mark Poss
2003 NAJHF - A Short Report
1997 NAJHF ON-LINE REPORT - Fred Crane

Zip File Photo Archive of the North American Jew's Harp Festival



Hello Everyone,

This has been a challenging time for the Guild; as it has been for the entire country. It has been hard for the same small group of individuals to sustain a high-quality festival consistently over the last few years.

I would like to invite all of you to look around you and see if you can take advantage of your location and circumstances to create a festival near you.

I would eventually like to see the location of the North American Jew's Harp Festival move to various regions so that more of us can participate in this event. Sharing the art, learning new and old techniques and enjoying some fantastic company.

It is unlikely that we can get a large event together this coming Summer (2014). What we can do is get together where we can and have smaller events closer to where we are, and make an effort to connect with existing festivals. You might be surprised how many events are looking to add content, especially if you are good at what you do.

Please keep us updated about any opportunities you see in your area to host or create a festival so that we can help publicize them on our website and Facebook page. You can do so by using the Feedback form at www.jewsharpguild.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JewsHarpGuild.

Thank you all so much.


For more information please contact us
using the JHG Feedback form

Jaw Harpist's Festival - August 8 & 9, 2014

 at Turner Park in Loa Utah USA

Due to so many folks being out of country for the IJHF

8th Congress-Festival of the International Jew's Harp Society

  the World's largest gathering of
  international Jew's harp players.

See: http://ancient-trance.de/en/international-jews-harp-congress-and-festival-2014.html   for details.

For three days Ancient Trance Festival will host jews-harp players from around the world, performing some of the most spectacular music likely to be seen in one place. Virtuoso will dazzle with their extraordinary ability to produce so many ways the instrument can be played ancient to contemporary, spiritual to experimental. The styles are so different you may wonder that it is the same instrument.
In addition, experts on music-therapy and shamanism, workshops for beginners and professionals, makers and sellers, exhibitions and talks, sessions and improvisations, all will be there to entertain and participate. There is nothing like this happening anywhere in the world...


North American Jew's Harp Festival




IJHC 2014


8th Congress-Festival of the International Jew's Harp Society


History of the Festival - The Beginning

We have come a long way since 1991 when the festival was "born"
and each year the festival continues to grow and attract more
musicians and spectators.

     It all began with a meeting which took place in the fall of 1991. 
Gordon Frazier (of Seattle) who had recently returned from
attending the Second International Trump (Jew's Harp) Congress
that July in Yakutsk, Siberia, traveled down to Bill and Janet
Gohring's place in eastern Oregon.  Gordon's dad, Marvin (who
plays bones), and Bart Wood (a friend of the Gohring's) were also

     It was the first time the Gohring's had met Gordon, but they
were long time friends with his Dad, Marvin.  Gordon had an
impressive Jew's Harp collection and he brought it along with
him.  Well, the music started shortly after Gordon arrived and
didn't stop until the next day.

     Early in that first evening, the idea came up about having a
Jew's Harp festival here in the northwest.  After all, Russia,
Japan, Scotland, Philippines, etc., all have one.  So, we
discussed the type of festival we wanted it to be (Free and Fun)
... with the Jew's Harp as the main theme.

     Well, it is much more than we ever anticipated it would be. 

     The atmosphere brings family unity closer together; it's the 
perfect chance to meet many new interesting people (Jew's Harpers 
are a bit "twangy"); the opportunity to listen and play a wide 
variety of music from around the world; become introduced to a 
variety of musical instruments (some one cannot even imagine!); 
and often people from foreign countries will attend and play their
own music.

     The festival was part of the inspiration behind Wayland
Harman's creation of the Clackamore .  It also inspired Bill
Gohring to create his own Jew's Harp design and start hand-making
them.  So, the festival is effecting many of us in a wonderful,
creative way.

     The atmosphere during the festival is open, friendly, a
willingness to share and learn, and great people who love to hear
those Jew's Harpers play.

     All in all, it's the place to be if you want to have a great
time, enjoy good music and learn to play the Jew's Harp (most
people learn in no time at all).

     Many of us enjoy the wide variety of Workshops held during
the festival.  You can learn everything about the ancient,
mystical little music instrument from present day back to
Neanderthal times.

     But beware!  Jew's Harps are addictive!  Once you start
playing, you won't be able to stop.

We have since moved to the Bay City Arts Center in Bay City Oregon
where the festival continued until August 2011  in the same spirit with 
which it began.