Seems like I make this announcement every year about this time. It's a yearly event that I get pretty excited about, and I feel like I want to share it with everyone who is remotely interested in American piano music and especially the music of New Orleans.
The event is called "Piano Night," and it's held every year, usually the last Monday in April. That means tomorrow, as of the date of this post.
It's a live show of some of the best New Orleans piano players in the world. This year the headliner is the fabulous Monty Alexander, who hardly needs an introduction to jazz piano fans. It will be interesting to hear how he weaves New Orleans elements into his playing. Also on the show is Henry Butler, a New Orleans native who, for me anyway, is the best living piano player on the planet. Check him out on Youtube. Especially his rendition of "Something You Got." Amazing.
Marcia Ball is back again. I don't think she has missed piano night in at least the last 15 years. She is very entertaining whether she plays solo or with her band.
Also featured is a lesser known artist, but one who is special to me as I got to study with him back in 1987 when I went to New Orleans to learn how to play that style. Tom McDermott has several CD's out, and I recommend all of them (at least the six I've heard so far). Very creative player.
There are quite a few others on the bill too.
So you may be wondering how you're going to travel to New Orleans on just 24 hours notice. No need. The entire concert is broadcast live by local radio station WWOZ and you can stream the broadcast on your computer, smart phone, tablet or whatever you use. Click here.
If you want a sneak preview, there is an excellent video clip you can view that features Butler and McDermott. Click here.