Toots Thielemans on his harmonica

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Killer Joe," CD: Verve Jazz Masters 59: Toots Thielemans, Verve 314535271-2 (cut 13)

One of the biggest hassles for a touring jazz musician is schlepping your instrument around wherever you perform -- unless you're NEA Jazz Master Toots Thielemans. He can just slip his into a shirt pocket.

Toots Thielemans: I sleep with it! No, well, next to me, you know.

Thielemans is the world's greatest jazz harmonica player.

Toots Thielemans: For instance, even at home when my wife gets up early and I can still lay in bed or I'm sick in bed, I can still play. Or if you're in Kansas City in the Holiday Inn and you can't sleep at four in the morning, I can put the blanket over my head and play. (laughs) You know? It's fantastic!

MUSIC: up and fades

This Jazz Moment with harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Toots Thielemans on his harmonica