I’m really delighted that we are going to have this Boogie Woogie and Stride evening at Boisdale of Canary Wharf. I think this is some of the most important music ever invented and a key part of the history of music. This particular music, Boogie Woogie and Stride, brings the most joy to me personally and I’m very pleased to say we have got some of the greatest players in the world to come and play. We’ve got the A, the B and the C of Boogie Woogie which is of course Axel Zwingenberger, Ben Waters and Charlie Watts. A world renowned Boogie Woogie group and I’m delighted that we have the A and B coming. Ben Waters is probably Britian’s biggest export of Boogie Woogie and he is constantly playing in festivals all over the world. He’s the only living man I know, who like Fats Domino, can push the piano across the stage with his knees! He’s constantly in demand, not just for his piano knee pushing, but also his pianist skills. Axel is a giant of the piano and without question Germany’s greatest Boogie Woogie pianist – he studied and played with some of the greats and went to America and made a record with Big Joe Turner and Lionel Hampton. What’s great is he plays differently to Ben and differently to me. He treats this music in the same way a concert pianist might study Beethoven or Bach, he studied Boogie Woogie in the same way. Having those two alone is wonderful and I will also join them. The third person we are getting plays Stride piano and that’s the trickiest of all the Jazz piano styling to achieve and play successfully – it’s quite dangerous as well. We have the old British master playing, Neville Dickie. He is probably the greatest Stride pianist that Britain has. Each of them will do a number, they will do duets and at some point it will culminate on three pianos and have all of us Boogie’ing together. There is Blues, New Orleans Style, Stride and Boogie Woogie, all originating from the great pianists of the 30s and 40s. It’s the music I would play if I was at home. This will be as special as Mozart and more fun than an ice cream!


p84-1 It’s great to see the music alive and I can’t wait to get into Boisdale and do this. The atmosphere in every Boisdale is pretty wonderful – partly due to the genius of its founder – which comes out of every pore of the building, it’s basically cheerfulness and bonhomie. When I go into Boisdale it’s like going into a club you dreamed of going into in the 1940s, with music, lovely food, people drinking and being cheerful, it’s got the atmosphere of a lost magic age. It’s a fairyland of delights. For me personally it’s one of the greatest treats and an evening I’m looking forward to more than anything!


In association with the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, 11th May 2016 at Boisdale of Canary Wharf

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