Fans of Michael Kaeshammer can enjoy a special treat in August.
The boogie-woogie jazz pianist and vocalist’s two shows at the Mary Winspear Centre’s Charlie White Theatre, Aug. 21 and 22, will be filmed for inclusion in a PBS special focusing on the Victoria-raised musician, his newest album and his connections to jazz and blues hotbeds in the Deep South.
The special, to be aired this fall and again twice more afterward, will also be released as a DVD, Kaeshammer said.
He likes the idea of blending community support for the arts and public broadcasting with delivering his music out to a broader audience.
“(Especially) if you’re an artist who isn’t relying on top 10 radio,” he said, a PBS special can be an excellent vehicle to reach those listeners with eclectic tastes who can appreciate the music.
The filming will also capture Kaeshammer in his home in North Saanich, as well as on the road in both New Orleans, where he recorded Something New, and Memphis.
“I’ve always loved coming back home, because I love the Peninsula and Victoria,” he says. “When I travel and I come home I feel so happy. I thought it would be great to film it here … This special is a great way to promote the area and show a little of the music scene here.”
Producers considering a documentary on Kaeshammer had attended one of his shows in Toronto in late 2018. “They liked what they saw and said ‘let’s do it,’” he says.
No musical feature on the man and his music would be complete without a trip to Hermann’s Jazz Club. The pianist is thrilled that the club where he got his start is thriving again under a new management group, and he hopes to include the live venue in the documentary.
The two shows will begin with a special cocktail gala at 6 p.m., with the concerts following at 7:30. Each night will feature special guest musicians, though Kaeshammer coyly avoided revealing who they might be. He did divulge that the nights would involve a similar cast of musicians who played on Something New.
“In the end, its going to be really fun, both nights,” he says.
He noted that one fan even write to say he had already bought tickets to both shows, knowing they would be different from each other.
As the concerts are to be part of a future television airing, attendees will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and any video or audio recording will be strictly prohibited. For tickets, visit marywinspear.ca or call the box office at 250-656-0275.
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