Michael Kaeshammer has invested a lot — countless hours at the keyboard, hundreds of recordings, thousands of live performances, millions of miles in the air and on the road — all in pursuit of a mastery of 12 notes across 88 keys.
But for the acclaimed Canadian pianist and singer, there is no set destination, no achievable end point on his path; it’s all about the journey itself, and that journey will always be ongoing.
Over the course of decades as a professional performer, Kaeshammer has developed a style that weaves threads of classical, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, stride, and even pop into a signature sonic tapestry.
Kaeshammer will bring his gifts to the Bowlus Fine Arts Center auditorium Saturday evening at 7 o’clock.
Visit www.bowluscenter.org for ticket information.
“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,” said Kaeshammer. “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.”
Born and bred in Germany, Kaeshammer began performing on club, theater, and festival stages throughout Europe in his early teens and continued on that trajectory after emigrating to Canada’s West Coast with his family in the mid-’90s. His first studio album, Blue Keys, dropped in 1996 and spurred a consistent sequence of heralded releases and high-profile international performances. Through it all, the world watched as he grew from child prodigy to full-fledged phenom; from unparalleled pianist to virtuosic songwriter.
“I do listen to a lot of music, but I’m not overly influenced by other people; it’s more about trying to learn something new every day,” muses Kaeshammer about his musical evolution. “I’ll take pretty much any opportunity if it’s going to help me discover new things and help me progress.”
Those opportunities have been as wide-reaching as the artist’s subsequent breadth of style, and include opening slots for the likes of Ray Charles and Anne Murray; stints backing singers like Marva Wright, the late blues queen of New Orleans; co-writing sessions with rockers Randy Bachman and Colin James; official Olympic Games performances in several world cities; and TV specials.