Four of Europe’s leading boogie-woogie and blues pianists will enthrall you with a night of piano pyrotechnics.
Throughout the finest concert halls of Germany, France and Spain the thunderous sounds of barrelhouse piano have become synonymous with a more risqué way of filling predominantly classical music venues.
The renaissance of boogie-woogie is sweeping the continent as classical music scholars come to the realization that it’s not just a basic form of music, but a complex, unique, exciting form of jazz that is equally as challenging as classical music.
Starting around the turn of the 20th-century, boogie-woogie had its first national craze in the USA in the 1930s after Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, and Big Joe Turner played at the ‘Spirituals to Swing’ concert at Carnegie Hall. The next day they sold 1 million records in New York alone!
The story of boogie-woogie is too vast to fill this space, but these four pianists adore the genre from its earliest recordings; music from Clarence ‘Pinetops’ Smith, Herschel Thomas, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis will all get an airing. You’ll also get to see where these pianists have developed their own unique style and become some of the most intricate of players, making sure that boogie-woogie is alive and well and continuing well into the 21st century with a whole new audience.
The craze sweeping Europe often sees these musicians playing to thousands of people every night – it’s a very special event – and they are proud to present the show tonight in the UK.
Axel Zwingenber is renowned as the world’s leading expert on boogie-woogie, not just in his phenomenal playing, but also his superb knowledge and love of the history of boogie-woogie.
Luca Sestak is only 25 and an incredible musician – it’s like the piano is part of him. He is simply one of the best pianists ever to come out of Germany; whether playing the music of Albert Ammons, Chopin or Billy Joel, he is sublime.
Lluís Coloma is the ambassador of blues and boogie-woogie piano playing in Spain and is well-known throughout Europe and Asia as a master of these styles. His music is unique, with a special personal touch that makes him an exceptional pianist and composer, combining traditional blues and jazz music with his special Spanish and Catalan flavour.
Ben Waters is one of the genre’s top session musicians, having worked with The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Sir Ray Davies, Jools Holland, and many more.
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