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John Kerkhoven

Photo: Peter Graham


I sing and I play the harmonica. I am led by my ear, by the possibilities of the harmonica, and by the influence of the wonderful musicians I have the pleasure to play with.

My main projects are BluesReel, a blues-Celtic duo with Patrick Hutchinson; and the Mojo Vipers a blues and jazz ensemble with Paul Serralheiro, Stephen Barry and Eloi Bertholet. I perform country and Chicago blues in a duo with Deacon George. I also perform solo and am a member of the Roots of Rhythm Collective.

I have performed with many other artists on the folk, roots and blues scene in Montreal including Clarksdale Moan, Pat Loiselle and Jitterbug Swing. I participate regularly at the Harmonica A Cappella events. And I teach the harmonica.


Photo: PlanèteCastor

BluesReel: Blues and Celtic Grooves

A contemporary harmonica-guitar duo in the folk tradition, BluesReel performs songs and tunes, old and new, from both sides of the Atlantic. A bunch we wrote ourselves.

John Kerkhoven, harmonica
Patrick Hutchinson, guitar

In 2016, we released our CD, Riverfield.

BluesReel FB Page

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Mojo Vipers: Blues and Jazz

Mojo Vipers

Photo: PlanèteCastor

The Mojo Vipers is a blues band and a jazz ensemble rolled into one.

We perform blues and jazz classics by Louis Jordan, Nina Simone, Charles Mingus, Mose Alison, Howlin’ Wolf, Sun Ra, T-Bone Walker and more, as well as original compositions.

John Kerkhoven (harmonica) / Paul Serralheiro (guitar)
Stephen Barry (bass) / Eloi Bertholet (drums)

Mojo Vipers FB Page

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John Kerkhoven

Photo: Martin Simon Greizis

John Kerkhoven Solo

I cut my teeth playing solo in the metro, belting out blues songs a cappella and playing harp through a small practice amp with reverb.

These days, my solo performances consist of my own arrangements of blues and folk tunes, as well as original compositions.

My influences include early blues and jazz, rural blues, Delta blues, gospel blues, Chicago blues, as well as fiddle tunes from the Celtic and North American folk tradtions.

John Kerkhoven and Deacon George

Photo: Danielle Lemieux

John Kerkhoven and Deacon George: Blues

Deacon George and John Kerkhoven both sing from the same hymnbook: the blues, with its roots in the Black rural experience of the post-Reconstruction Era in America.

Playing blues from Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas, Chicago and more, John and George take no prisoners in their high-energy and wide-ranging performances.

John Kerkhoven, harmonica
George Toufexis, guitar

Roots of Rhythm Collective Roots of Rhythm

Photos: Sandra Lynn Bélanger

Roots of Rhythm Collective

Roots of Rhythm Collective is an eclectic ensemble of musicians and dancers united by their love of rhythm, collaboration and exploration.

The original members of RRC met at a percussive dance workshop led by Heather Cornell and her Making Music Dance musicians.

Inspired by Cornell's cross-disciplinary approach, RRC brings together tap dance, flamenco dance, blues, jazz, roots music and more for a refreshing new take on these musical traditions.

Dennis Antonyswamy, flamenco dance
John Kerkhoven, harmonica
Kara Miranda, flamenco dance
Emily Rose, tap dance

Past Members
James Annett, viola

Henry Garf, guitar
Patrick Hutchinson, guitar