Michael Kaeshammer

Michael Kaeshammer


MICHAEL KAESHAMMER is a Canadian jazz & boogie-woogie pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger and producer. After studying classical piano for seven years in his German hometown Offenburg, 13-year-old Kaeshammer discovered boogie-woogie and stride piano as played by Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, and Pete Johnson. Within three years he was playing jazz & boogie-woogie in clubs, concerts and festivals all over Germany and other surrounding parts of Europe. He attracted attention almost immediately after the family moved to the Westcoast of Canada, performing at jazz & blues festivals across the country during the summer of 1996.

Since then Michael has released BLUE KEYS (1996), TELL YOU HOW I FELL (1998), NO STRINGS ATTACHED (2000), STRUT (2003) DAYS LIKE THESE (2007), LOVELIGHT (2009), KAESHAMMER (2011), KAESHAMMER LIVE! (2012), WITH YOU IN MIND (2013)) and THE PIANIST (2015). Kaeshammer has been nominated for 7 Canadian JUNO Awards, winning 2 of them. He has also received the WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC AWARDS for “Musician Of The Year” and “Entertainer Of The Year”.

Kaeshammer’s performances, on record and on stage, are an invitation to join the party. He doesn’t play at you. He plays with you. At one of his shows, you’re all in it together, not only part of the story, but virtually part of the band.

“For me the performance is as much about the energy coming off the stage as the energy coming from the audience. It’s about being myself, writing from the heart and showing my love for life. That’s what I want to convey. After the show, people ask me, do you really have that much fun? And I say you don’t know the half of it. It’s even more exhilarating than it looks”.

A night with Michael and his band isn’t the kind of show where you just sit, watch and applaud politely every now and then. Their goal isn’t to intimidate you with the scholarly depth of their music, it’s to entertain, inform and include you. A wild ride with no fixed destination except where he feels he and the crowd want to go.

On stage and on record it’s all about drawing the audience in. That’s where the joy is, pure and simple. And while joy is something Michael Kaeshammer has never had difficulty expressing, on recordings, the German born, Canadian bred pianist expresses it more enthusiastical than ever.

No great surprise then that Kaeshammer is as passionate a cook as he is a performer and songwriter. As he told lifestyle writer, Monique Savin: “I love music and food”. At home I have dinner parties where I invite some friends and everyone cooks together. The day or occasion doesn’t matter. I go shopping just for that meal and I don’t start cooking until people actually arrive; preparing food is part of the party.” (Globe and Mail Newspaper)

Similarly, at his shows, the joy is in the sharing, the process of getting where you’re going, not just the end result. As the Montreal Gazette’s Bernard Perusse says: “He’s a showman. And showmanship is what makes people talk. If you haven’t seen him live, you haven’t really experienced him in his true element.”

“Technically Brilliant and a spectacle”, says CBC Tonic’s Tim Tamashiro. “Like taking a Ferrari for a drive through winding mountain highways and then going for a gourmet meal. It excites all of your senses.”

Like the dinners he whips up for friends at his British Columbia home, Kaeshammer’s shows are prepared with your full participation, and never from a set menu. They’re a party, constantly evolving and likely to explode in a wild flurry of joy that’s as undeniable as it is contagious at any second. While no two shows are exactly alike, here’s a breakdown of how a typical night with Kaeshammer might play out.

When Michael steps on stage he’ll greet you warmly, as an honoured guest. He’ll play a song like “Rendezvous”. A comfortable start, to showcase his fiery piano chops and make you feel at home. The equivalent of taking your coat and hat and showing you around the place.

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