The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival is dedicated to educating young people about the piano.
Thanks in part to a grant from the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, our educational activities include the following:
- We make some free tickets available to schools, so students/families can attend ticketed concerts. Each year the festival has provided tickets to Fairview Elementary, so students can enjoy performances in the Ivy Tech Waldron Whikehart Auditorium, and we provided tickets in 2018 to Fairview and Tri-North.
- We present free concerts in schools. In 2015, Marcia Ball, Bob Seeley, and Carl Sonny Leyland performed at Fairview Elementary for 360 students and 30 adults. In 2016, Bob Seeley, Bill Sims, Jr., and Ricky Nye performed for 550 students, faculty, staff, administration and visitors at Templeton Elementary. In 2017, Bob Seeley, Bill Sims, Jr., and Mitch Woods played at Fairview while Rob Rio, Josh Paxton, and Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne performed at Templeton. The audiences were thrilled, and the students could not sit still! In 2018 our concerts took place at Fairview, Templeton, and Tri-North.
- We present free piano workshops. In 2016, Ricky Nye presented a workshop at Templeton; in 2017 Bill Sims, Jr. presented a workshop at Fairview and Josh Paxton presented at Templeton. In 2018 free workshops took place at Fairview, Templeton, and Tri-North.
2019 workshop information to be announced.
Scroll down for 2018 workshop information.
View videos and photos from the 2015 concert at Fairview and photos and videos from the first festival
View photos and videos from the 2016 concert at Templeton and photos and videos from the second festival
2019 Piano Workshops To Be Announced
2018 Piano Workshops
Bloomington Boogies presented three free piano workshops on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, or beginning, intermediate and advanced pianists. Pre-registration was required. Each workshop was limited to 20 participants. Six students who attended received gift certificates from Vance Music Center or gift cards from Melody Music Shop! Thank you, Vance Music Center and Melody Music Shop, for supporting our educational efforts!
2018 Workshop #1
Judy Carmichael, one of the foremost interpreters of stride piano and swing, presented a free master class for intermediate and advanced pianists on ragtime, illustrating what it is, and how it grew into stride and influenced later styles.
- Location: Tri-North Middle School, 1000 W. 15th St., Auditorium
- Time & Date: 3:15 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018
- Presenter: Judy Carmichael REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP
View exercises and an arrangement from Judy Carmichael's book, You Can Play Stride Piano. The book comes with a CD with practice and performance tempos. The book is available at https://www.judycarmichael.com/new-products/you-can-play-stride-piano-book. It will be available for purchase at Ms. Carmichael's concert performance and Master Class, and she will sell it at half-price to students!
2018 Workshop #2
Eden Brent, an award-winning blues artist, presented a free workshop for beginning and intermediate pianists. She introduced boogie-woogie and blues, and revealed the 12-bar structure. The workshop focused on two boogie-woogie bass line techniques: 1) Double Bass Line, and 2) Honky Tonk Bass Line, and included practice techniques such as hands separate, hands together, overlapping chord changes, and simplifying difficult passages. Straight eighth-note and swing eighth-note feel was discussed and demonstrated.
- Location: Fairview Elementary, 500 W. 7th St., Room 037
- Time & Date: 3:45 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018
- Presenter: Eden Brent Read the Aug. 20, 2018 Bloomington Herald-Times article about this workshop
2018 Workshop #3
Cassidy Gephart, a recent graduate of Belmont University, presented a free workshop for beginning and intermediate pianists on blues and boogie woogie.
- Location: Templeton Elementary, 1400 S. Brenda Ave., Room L17
- Time & Date: 3:45 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018
- Presenter: Cassidy Gephart REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP
Also recommended by Cassidy: The Story of Boogie-Woogie: A Left Hand Like God, by Peter J. Silvester.
In 2017 Josh Paxton provided sheet music for his workshop.
- Click to see some of Josh Paxton's examples of basic, 12-bar form, first using a simple boogie woogie left-hand pattern, followed by an example using a Professor Longhair style rhumba left-hand pattern.
In 2016, Ricky Nye presented a workshop at Templeton. Ricky selected musical examples and encouraged those interested to view them, look up the artists, and do additional YouTube searches. Here are his suggestions:
- Clarence "Pinetop" Smith - "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" - considered by many to be the first recorded boogie woogie
- Albert Ammons - "Shout For Joy" - Ammons is one of the "Big Three" in boogie woogie, along with Meade "Lux" Lewis & Pete Johnson
- Roosevelt Sykes - "44 Blues" - also known as "Vicksburg Blues" as done by Little Brother Montgomery
- Memphis Slim - "Every Day I Have The Blues" - a blues standard performed in combo setting
- Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) - "Every Day I Have The Blues" - Fess' version, incorporating his own special language