Harmonica Spain > Harmonica players > In Spain > Manuel Soto "Ito"

Manuel Soto "Ito"


Also called as nickname by "Ito"... born in Huelva in 1963, to the early 13 year-old age was influenced by his siblings and bigger cousins, he began to discover bands like John Mayall & Bluesbreakers, Canned Heat, Allman Brothers, etc..., until arriving to his hands the first vinyls of Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Paul Butterfield Blues Band for who felt special admiration, more than anything to the fascination that they exercised in him the alone of harmonica...  


His first harp, an Ofado Portuguesa-Trémolo, it hadnīt convinced him (being still an adolescent) because it was only able to take out sounds to interpret popular songs. 

It was then when he decided to come closer to a store of instruments to get their first harmonica of Blues, a Special 20 for 500 pts (3 €).   

For lack of anybody that taught him neither he advised absolutely anything about this small-great instrument, he didn't have more remedy than to be formed in a self taught way, dedicating long daily hours in his room, accompanying of good and varied blues albums, that which made possible that little by little outside carrying out their own bendings, trills and other rehearsal techniques. With Quique Bonal's help (ex-Caledonia, ex-Bluetones, ex-Blues Machine and current guitarist of The Blues Blasters) it could put on a day as for tonalities and different positions of the harmonica, perfecting this way their own style and their knowledge.      

Pioneer of the Blues in the county, joins in 1990 with his 'godfather' Antonio Toscano (well known as "Pin") who decide to form the "John Doe Blues Band", first blues band in Huelva, for the one that later on would pass some of the best musicians of onubenses blues (J. M. Morueta, Antonio Table, Fidel Suarez, Fernando Torres or the always remembered and missed Carlos Pandero, died tragically in 1997, among other)... "All Friends Band", South "Avenue Blues Band" and different duet formations and trio with some of the partners and friends mentioned previously, they maintain the spirit of the Blues in this city during practically the whole decade of the ninety, playing in small and medium "holes" of all type.  

 Due to personal circumstances, he was forced to suffer a musical "parenthesis" in their two year-old life, moved completely away from the 'world'... returning in the 2000 much more experienced and with more desires than never. Well-known of Carey Bell, it has shared scenario with some of the best armonicistas and musicians of Blues inside our frontiers, such as Mingo Balaguer, Ņaco Goņi, Manolo de Arcos, Quique Bonal, Juan Arias, Julio Colin, Michael Lindner, Little Boy Quique (Caledonia Blues Band, Tonky Blues Band, Algeciras Blues Express, Blues Boys...) and recently he has played as invited musician in The Big Band of Huelva.

His favorite harmonica players are in Chicago style and West Coast Blues, and enter their most notorious influences inside the classic Blues Little Walter, Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson, George 'Harmonica' Smith, Carey Bell and James Cotton, being their favorite interpreters of modern Blues Charlie Musselwhite, Jerry Portnoy, Kim Willson, William Clarke, Rod Piazza, Sugar Ray Norcia and Gary Primich... lately he listened and it also analyzes people's touch like Mark Ford, Andy Just and the Californian Helge Talqvist. As equipmen he usually uses Lee Oskar, although they continue attracting him more the old and difficult of getting Marine Band... it also uses micro Grand Bullet 520-D and amplifier Fender Pro-Junior 15 W to valves. At the moment he is studying studies of harmony, enlarging knowledge has more than enough Jazz (Antonio Serrano y Toots Thielemans) and perfecting technical with the chromatic harmonica... awaiting a new musical project with people in their same wave!! 

For contacts, recruitings, lessons or questions:       itobluesman@hotmail.com