Jazz Pianist Performing

Tonto Community Concert Association hosts rising jazz star

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The Tonto Community Concert Association features the youthful musician Michael Kaeshammer in its Tuesday, Feb. 5 concert.

Kaeshammer is one of the most exciting, young, jazz pianists in the country today. Still in his mid-20s, he has released a series of award-winning, critically acclaimed recordings and has developed a large, international following through his dynamic live performances.

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Michael Kaeshammer

With each recording and performance, Kaeshammer digs deeper into the jazz tradition while carving out his own unique musical vision. He might "Jellyroll" into rumba, or "parade" into post-bop fun or cook up a fiery, rhythmic gumbo to breathtaking keyboard pyrotechnics. With Kaeshammer's soulful voice in the mix, whatever "flow" he "goes with" leads the audience on an unpredictable journey through the many fantastic facets of jazz.

He was classically trained in Germany, but fell in love with boogie-woogie piano at the age of 13. By the time Kaeshammer and his family moved to Canada four years later, he was a veteran of the German club, concert and jazz festival circuit.

In 1996, still as a teenager, he released his auspicious debut recording, "Blue Keys." Critics hailed Kaeshammer's "prodigious technique and thunderous left hand bass lines on a repertoire of brilliantly reshaped traditional jazz and blues classics."

Kaeshammer followed with "Tell You How I Feel" in 1998, his first recording for Alma Records and producer, Peter Cardinali. It featured a team of Canadian jazz stars on a series of studio performances, demonstrating Kaeshammer's mastery of a dizzying variety of jazz forms.

The concert is at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the Payson High School Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are included with the season ticket price of $80, which includes admission to this and the other three remaining concerts. Single concert tickets may also be purchased (subject to availability) at the door for $30.

The remaining concerts for the 2007-2008 season are: Trio Excelsior!, March 3; The Celtic Tenors, March 31; and On Broadway!, May 12.

The Tonto Community Concert Association is a nonprofit organization that brings high quality concerts to Arizona Rim Country at an affordable price.

The all-volunteer group also supports other performing arts activities in the region. The concerts feature artists of national and international reputation and are held at the Payson High School auditorium.

For subscriptions or other information, call (928) 474-6115.

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