Victoria's German Wonder 

Victoria’s German wonder

Boogie woogie piano player does Showcase 2000

WHO: The Michael Kaeshammer Trio

WHERE: Catholic Community Centre

WHEN: Dec. 8, 8 p.m.

Perhaps there isn’t any so called "major Canadian talent" booked for the Telus Mobility Whistler WinterStart Festival this year, but there are a few gigs falling into place which should be sold-out shows, and one of them will take place at the Catholic community centre on Lorimer Road, below Tapley’s Farm.

The notion, or more specifically the image, conjured up by the term boogie woogie brings to mind a lively room which has the piano player pounding away relentlessly on an upright jammed into a corner of a small stage, with accompanying musicians sweating it out trying to keep up with the crowd of beer swigging music lovers dancing up a storm.

These romantic ideas of music the old fashioned way are how Victoria’s Michael Kaeshammer broke into the business. Kaeshammer left his name at the door of a little pub in Germany after he and his father, a rag time piano player with a classical background, left the establishment disgusted at the state of one such piano player. And at 16 years old, (the legal age for drinking in Germany), Kaeshammer’s professional career began.

Now 23 years old, he is considered a virtuoso. Speaking to Pique from his apartment in Kitsilano, Kaeshammer said the entertainment profile pieces and music reviews/previews on his 1998 CD, called Tell You How I Feel , don’t affect his psyche hours before a gig. He takes all the attention the way a veteran performer might, and after seven years as a pro, he is a veteran.

But being called a "rising star in the jazz universe" by seasoned jazz critics who have been won over by his boogie woogie piano playing has to have an effect on you.

"It doesn’t really bother me about previews," Kaeshammer said. "If somebody wants to write about me, then you have to show them. You have to win the audience over. I don’t think about praise. It’s nice but I don’t feel on top of the world. It just makes me happy."

Although Cincinnati’s Big Joe Duskin, the first Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame inductee, was showcased on two Kaeshammer tours, the notes I scribbled from the first listen of Kaeshammer’s latest release, No Strings Attached , go something like: Intro to track 2 sounds like Dr. John from The Band… Track 3 has what sounds like a trumpet-piano harmony intro, played over a shuffling drum beat…. Prominent stand-up bass on track 6. Could be rim shots or drum stick clicks…. Keyboard/organ solo below the piano on track 7, way different from standard boogie woogie….

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