Bob Seeley is one of the greatest living proponents of boogie woogie whose artistry includes ragtime, Harlem stride, and blues. A Bloomington Boogies favorite who still performs around the world at age 90, Seeley is "a force of nature - the best boogie woogie player on the planet," according to Dick Hyman. Seeley's greatest influence was Meade Lux Lewis, a giant of boogie woogie who was also a personal friend. Bob first met Meade in Detroit in the 1940s, and a longstanding friendship developed which greatly influenced Seeley. He also played piano with Art Tatum, who reportedly was duly impressed. Eubie Blake was among Seeley's circle of friends, and he worked as accompanist to blues vocalist Sippie Wallace.
In his book entitled A Left Hand Like God: A History of Boogie-Woogie Piano, author Peter Silvester wrote of Seeley, "His solos are notable for their coherence and logical progression, which propels them to a satisfying climax. Of all the contemporary pianists, Seeley reproduces the sound and spirit of Meade Lux Lewis with the most conviction and sometimes even surpasses the master".
Bob is a phenomenal pianist and one of the greatest boogie woogie players ever. Don't miss this opportunity to see Bob Seeley, a living legend and a link to the great boogie woogie players from the early 20th Century.
Steinway artist Judy Carmichael is a leading interpreter of stride piano and swing. Count Basie nicknamed her “Stride," acknowledging the command with which she plays this demanding piano style. She received a Grammy nomination for her first recording, Two-Handed Stride, which included four giants of jazz from the Count Basie Orchestra: Red Callendar, Harold Jones, Freddie Green, and Marshall Royal. A native of California, Carmichael moved to New York in the early 80’s and has maintained a busy concert schedule ever since. She has toured for the U. S. Information Agency throughout India, Portugal, Brazil and Singapore; in 1992 she was the first jazz musician sponsored by the U. S. Government to tour China. Judy has been featured on numerous television and radio programs, including Entertainment Tonight, A Prairie Home Companion, CBS Sunday Morning, shows on the BBC and many others.
One of a handful of musicians who approach jazz from a perspective of its entire history, Judy Carmichael explores the music deeply, infusing it with a “fresh, dynamic interpretation of her own” (Washington Post). The National Endowment for the Arts rewarded Carmichael’s knowledge of piano with a major grant to present early greats on film and to discuss the history and development of jazz piano with college students across the country.
Judy has written two books on stride piano and numerous articles on jazz. She is celebrating her 19th year producing and hosting her Public Radio Show, Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired, broadcast on over 170 stations throughout North America and abroad and on SiriusXM. Her recordings and books are available at www.judycarmichael.com, on iTunes, and through C&D Productions, PO Box 360, Sag Harbor, NY, 11963.
2018 festival attendees rated Judy Carmichael the pianist they enjoyed the most and wanted to see again. We welcome Judy back to Bloomington Boogies!
Stephanie Trick & Paolo Alderighi
Classically trained pianist Stephanie Trick began playing at age five. After being exposed to early jazz, the syncopation and swinging rhythm piqued her interest and it became clear that she wanted to pursue stride and classic jazz styles. Now she has a swinging approach that is inspired by original stride pianists such as James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and others, and a firm command of boogie woogie, ragtime, and blues. Stephanie has performed in many parts of the U.S. and Europe at venues and festivals which feature all those styles and more. A serious student of classic jazz and the stride piano tradition, she has played with a number of celebrated musicians. One of those is the acclaimed pianist Paolo Alderighi, Stephanie's husband! Together they create fresh arrangements of songs from the Swing Era in a four-hands piano duo, and they have several albums together.
Born in Milan, with a degree in piano from G. Verdi Conservatory, Paolo Alderighi is one of Italy’s foremost jazz pianists. Paolo met Stephanie at a piano festival in Switzerland in 2008. Three years later they started to collaborate on a four-hands piano project dedicated to classic jazz, preparing arrangements of songs from the swing era while drawing from ragtime and blues. Following the release of their first album, Two for One (2012), they performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. A second CD, Sentimental Journey (2014), shows their commitment to four-hands duets on one piano, rarely used in jazz. Their partnership continued with Double Trio Live (2015) and Double Trio Always (2016), recorded in the piano trio setting, but with two pianists instead of one. In 2018, they released their most recent recording, Broadway and More.
The Paolo Alderighi and Stephanie Trick Duo has performed in a variety of venues around the world, including many festivals and jazz clubs. Along with their concert performance on Sunday they will perform in a school on Monday and lead a Master Class on stride and jazz. We welcome Stephanie and Paolo to their first appearances at Bloomington Boogies.
Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes
New Orleans multi-instrumentalist Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes leads Sunpie & The Louisiana Sunspots. Playing a mixture of Zydeco, blues, gospel, jazz, African and Afro-Caribbean music, Barnes plays accordion, harmonica, piano, trombone, rub board, and other instruments. Born in Arkansas, Bruce's parents were sharecroppers. His father, Willie Barnes, Sr., was a blues harmonica player raised around musicians “Big Bill” Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Roosevelt Sykes. Bruce taught himself piano, taking the name “Sunpie” from an uncle. In junior high, Barnes learned trombone and later harmonica. He received a football scholarship to Henderson State, earning All-American status as a defensive end and majoring in biology. His studies led him to the National Park Service (NPS). While working, he accepted a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, playing one season in the NFL before deciding football was not for him.
Barnes started working with the NPS again in 1987, becoming a park ranger in Louisiana while performing at night. By 1991, Barnes had formed his band, which became regulars at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage and Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festivals. Barnes began working at the New Orleans Jazz National Park in 1999, playing music while educating visitors about Louisiana culture and traditions. Sunpie & The Louisiana Sunspots has released six albums and played in over 50 countries. Barnes has been featured on the television series, Treme (2010), and in the film, Déjà Vu (2006). He has collaborated on documentaries about Louisiana culture, beginning as narrator on Reconstructing Creole in 2006. In 2012, he voiced Barney Bigard in The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America. Bruce toured with Sting and Paul Simon from 2014 to 2016, and In 2016–2017 served as producer/narrator for "Skull and Bone".
In 2010, Barnes succeeded Chief Albert Morris as leader of the Northside Skull and Bones Gang, continuing a tradition dating from 1819. On Mardi Gras members of the gang dress in homemade costumes and call on ancestral spirits from New Orleans and Africa. Members gather before dawn, sing songs in Créole French and English and march through streets, waking residents of New Orleans. On June 28, 2011, the Times-Picayune reported that Perseverance Hall would begin hosting weekly free music classes taught by professional musicians; the paper called the event the "brainchild of U.S. Park Ranger Bruce 'Sunpie' Barnes." The program resulted in a book co-authored by Barnes, Talk That Music Talk: Passing on Brass Band Music in New Orleans the Traditional Way.
After a two-year absence we welcome Sunpie Barnes back to Bloomington Boogies!
Jean-Pierre Bertrand was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, to parents who were amateur musicians especially fond of classical music and opera. After studying classical piano as a child, Jean-Pierre heard a Memphis Slim record and decided to learn other piano styles. He became fascinated by the rhythm of boogie woogie and began to explore works by Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Jimmy Yancey, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and others who play genuine blues and boogie woogie with a touch of swing. He also love sthe music of Oscar Peterson, Junior Mance and Count Basie.
In 1977 Jean-Pierre met Jean Paul Amouroux, a great French boogie woogie pianist, who encouraged Jean-Pierre. Bertrand began playing small gigs in piano bars on weekends, and beginning in 1989, he began "Les Nuits Jazz & Boogie" in Paris, a festival with traditional jazz and boogie woogie players. These successful concerts led him to his artistic carrier, and he became artistic director of a hotels group "Event" Company, JPB Music, that organizes concerts and shows as well as private events. Since 2006 Bertrand has organized the Beaune Blues Boogie Festival in Burgundy each December.
Jean-Pierre is renowned as one of the best French boogie woogie and blues pianists. He has recorded 14 albums and performs in clubs, concerts and festivals in France and abroad, playing solo and in duos with Axel Zwingenberger, Ray Bryant, Little Willie Littlefield, Jean-Paul Amouroux, and many others.
Jean-Pierre Bertrand plays an intensive music with passion and charisma. We welcome him to his first Bloomington Boogies!