Those not familiar with pianist Michael Kaeshammer's work might find it a bit baffling that the Gold Coast Jazz Society chose a 36-year-old German-born, Canadian-raised singer-songwriter to headline the Mardi Gras-themed February edition of its 21st Anniversary Jazz Concert Series. A closer inspection however reveals that Kaeshammer -- touted as Canada's triple-threat for his virtuosic piano playing, pristine vocals, and glistening persona -- has the Fats Waller-inspired chops to pull off such an endeavor.
No stranger to the lively and animated take on the blues, the debonair musician has been tickling the ivories in true New Orleans' boogie-woogie fashion since the age of 13. He tells New Times that he just wrapped up work on his next studio release, due out in May, a reworking of 20 songs originally recorded and/or produced by influential New Orleans R&B maestro Allen Toussaint. "It's everything my dad had in his record collection," says the personable Kaeshammer. He's quick to point out that the album is "not a period piece," rather, he rewrote a great deal of arrangements to fit his backing band and give it a modern sound.More »