Ezra Charles has been one of the most popular piano players in Texas for over thirty years, touring with the original-music horn band he fronted everywhere from the southwest U.S., to Italy and Ecuador. The band’s most memorable trademarks were his fiery piano style and his all-girl horn section.
With the end of that era at hand, Ezra revealed a new presentation he calls “The Story of Boogie Woogie.” This show runs about two hours, during which he not only performs many of the classic piano pieces that define that genre, he also explains in fascinating detail how it was created in Texas lumber camps in the 1880’s and spread all over the world.
"Nobody doesn't like boogie woogie!" is Ezra Charles' jumping-off point, as he weaves the history of this bouncing, jiving piano format. Peppering the dialogue with his own stories of personal interaction with the Masters, he performs many of the most famous standards of this genre as he explains the relationship between Blues, Jazz, Ragtime and what was originally called "Texas-Style Piano." Accompanied by his son Jakob on percussion, they re-create the excitement of this favorite piano sound from a century ago.
Capping a career in which he has been honored with seven Houston Press Awards for Best Keyboards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Antonio Blues Society, as well as appearances in the International Blues Competition in Memphis, his new one-man show, "The Story of Boogie Woogie," is a runaway success, already selling out ten appearances during the last year. Audiences are delighted by his combination of virtuoso performances of classic Boogie Woogie standards with a spell-binding narrative of the origins on this musical form, strong on the Texas history aspects. He brings to the stage an educated presentation, well-suited to the tastes of sophisticated music lovers who are interested in the best of Texas musical roots.
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