Impressed with the warmth of Summerside, pianist Michael Kaeshammer starts his East Coast tour Sunday at Harbourfront Theatre
© SUBMITTED PHOTO
Michael Kaeshammer is performing at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The concert, in support of his new CD, is the first stop of on his East Coast tour.
Music lovers basking in the afterglow of last month’s TD P.E.I. Jazz & Blues Festival are in for a musical treat this weekend.
Juno-nominated jazz pianist Michael Kaeshammer is coming to Summerside to perform at the Harbourfront Theatre on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
And he can’t wait to get here.
“The band and I remember our last visit in 2005. It was such a beautiful little theatre, and the people were so nice. That’s why we’re starting our East Coast tour there,” says Kaeshammer, during a telephone interview.
That night, in keeping with his usual practice, he won’t be using a set list. Instead, he’ll rely on intuition.
“We’ll start out with a specific number. But after that, it depends (on the reaction) of the audience. The audience is part of the band, really. The mood and reaction is just as important as anyone else who’s on stage. And I won’t know that until I get there,” says Kaeshammer.
The concert is in support of his new CD, With You In Mind.
It’s a tribute to the funk-filled songwriting of veteran New Orleans pianist Allen Troussaint, someone he admires.
Therefore, the Summerside concert will feature several of Troussaint’s songs which Kaeshammer covered for this new album.
The eight-track CD, launched at prestigious Massey Hall in Toronto in May, has received positive reviews. Here’s what Toronto Star entertainment writer Peter Goddard has to say:
“With You In Mind showcases the full range of Kaeshammer’s talents. His feathery voice breaks expressively in What Do You Want the Girl to Do. And he shows he can drive a single home with Ruler of My Heart. Kaeshammer’s version of Certain Girl rolls and rocks with his love for the New Orleans’ musical party down spirit.”
Kerry Doyle of New Canadian Music is also impressed. In his review he states: “The music of the Big Easy was a crucial early inspiration to Kaeshammer. And here he does it real justice, thanks to melodic vocals, ever-fluid piano work, and the accompaniment of A-list players.”
The release of Kaeshammer’s eighth studio album is the latest chapter in a fascinating story. Born in Offenburg, Germany, and classically trained, by the time he was 13 his musical interests were leaning toward boogie-woogie, the piano-playing style that has become his trademark.
“Equally adept at playing both jazz and blues, Kaeshammer was already a veteran on the German club, concert and festival circuits by the time he was 17, when his family emigrated to British Columbia and he began pursuit of the career that would see him known today as one of the most spell-binding young jazz pianists in this country,” states his biography in the Canadian Jazz Archive.
Kaeshammer, who divides his time between Toronto and Vancouver, is excited about getting opportunities to perform his new material.
“Whether I’m playing for my mother or for an audience, I look forward to sharing my music with people. It’s what I do,” he says.
Sally Cole is a features writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.