With his recording career now spanning two decades and twelve albums (including two JUNO wins), Vancouver Island-based Michael Kaeshammer (pronounded Case-hammer) has earned a loyal international following as a triple threat. He’s a piano virtuoso with a technical mastery of many different styles, an eloquent singer-songwriter and a charismatic showman who connects with concert hall audiences as though he were entertaining guests in his own living room. Le Babill Art Montreal raves, “an original artist who is at the top of his art and clearly in love with the creative process.” With his band, Michael is a sure bet on a great time.
On December 13th, Kaeshammer and mates will play music from the musician’s extensive repertoire, but not just the classic boogie-woogie, blues and jazz for which he was originally known. Over the last few years, Michael has been steadily featuring more originals on his albums, and he told OttawaJazzScene.ca that writing those tunes at home “is actually what gives me the most in music… A lot of the material I do now is not so much playing the head or something and then soloing. I like songs that have a chorus, verse and story, almost like a singer-songwriter thing, played in a jazz style.”
Unconstrained by genre barriers and music industry pressures, Michael follows his own muse to create works that are richly melodic and warmly accessible. The performer’s latest TD Sunfest appearance is in support of his 2018 album, the eleven-track Something New, which was recorded in New Orleans at the historic Esplanade Studios in the beating heart of the Treme district. On this new release, producer/arranger/performer Kaeshammer plumbed the depths of The Big Easy sound as he shared the spotlight with a series of celebrated guest performers, including Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers, New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band, Chuck Leavell (the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones) and fellow Canucks Colin James and Randy Bachman.
Michael says, “Instead of recording and creating the touring band (in Canada), we decided to record where the sound already is…For me, everything I grew up listening to came from New Orleans. My piano style is based in that (culture) and I lived there for a little while before Katrina. I have a lot of friends there, musicians. I just love it. I hear a second-line beat or I hear (Professor) Longhair or James Booker and I’m a kid again.” For more of the latest buzz on Michael Kaeshammer, please visit his website.