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Piano man Kaeshammer returning to the Okanagan

The double Juno winner is touring for his latest album
Double Juno Award-winning pianist Michael Kaeshammer is returning to the Okanagan as part of his latest tour. He will be making three stops across the valley later in 2022. (Photo courtesy Tina Acke via Eric Alper)

Piano maestro Michael Kaeshammer is making his way back to the Okanagan in December.

The double Juno Award winner is heading out on tour for his latest album, the Warehouse Sessions, which releases on Oct. 7.

Kaeshammer will be performing at Venables Theatre in Oliver on Dec. 1, bracketed by a performance on Nov. 30 at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm and on Dec. 3 at the Performing Arts Centre in Vernon.

Over the years Kaeshammer has been a steady and recurring presence at the Dream Cafe in Penticton.

The Vancouver Island-based musician’s latest album was recorded in Vancouver, at Bryan Adams’ fame Warehouse Studio with touring musicians David Piltch on bass and Johnny Vidacovich on drums.

READ MORE: Kaeshammer back at the Dream

The trio spent countless hours together on stage and off, honing their musical connection, and not wanting that connection to dissipate, Kaeshammer gathered them together to capture their sound more permanently.

“The concept was simple,” said Kaeshammer. “Let’s call a tune and then, let’s record it. These are all first takes, loose and energetic.”

The lead single “You’ve Got It In Your Soulness” is a lost-in-the-moment capture of the sound and a reverent but progressive take on the Les McCann jazz-soul song that first appeared on McCann’s and trumpet player Eddie Harris’ 1969 Grammy nominated live album Swiss Movement.

A mélange of styles masterfully conveyed is a hallmark of Kaeshammer’s versatility and inclusive approach to making music.

Throughout decades as a professional performer first in Germany and then Canada after making Vancouver Island his family home, the double JUNO winner has interwoven elements of classical, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, stride, and even pop into his signature brand of music.

“When I play, I don’t worry about if it’s jazz or pop or classical or whatever; I just play what I hear and let the music decide what it wants to be,” Kaeshammer said. “Sure, there are different styles, different eras, different approaches, but when you really look at it, it’s all just music based on 12 notes.”

You could always distill music down to those 12 simple notes, but it’s the art you build from them that’s the magic.

On The Warehouse Sessions and all the music he’s released since his 1996 debut album Blue Keys, Kaeshammer displays his keen focus on creating that magic.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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