Boogie Stomp! Offers a Piano History Lesson

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In a four-handed piano celebration, Boogie Stomp! will lead Chautauquans on a danceable journey through 100 years worth of classic American music, from jazz to swing to rock ‘n’ roll.

Known as far as Moscow and Amsterdam, pianists Bob Baldori and Arthur Migliazza will boogie on the grounds at 8:15 p.m. August 22 in the Amphitheater. In a musical romp, the pair will bring post-Civil War piano history to life.

Vice President and Director of Programming Deborah Sunya Moore said the concert will include video projection and a discussion that will take the audience through history, showing how today’s music is connected to the 19th century.

“It’s the story of the roots of American music, specifically American piano music,” Baldori said. “Everything that we play is heavily rooted in dance.”

He said that blues, rock ‘n’ roll and swing all come specifically from the black music community of last century.

“One of our lines is, ‘If it doesn’t make you want to get up and dance, musicians aren’t doing their job,’ ” Baldori said. “You’ll see that night that a big part of it is the rhythm.”

One of the themes of the performance is the roots of these styles come from mostly anonymous geniuses, he said.

“We try to tell their stories, and how it shaped the music,” he said. “There’s a beginning, middle and end. We tell the story of how all this came to be. Then we tie it all together in the second half. And we show the technical elements in a fun and exciting way.”

Moore said it was a challenge to decide what to present on the Amphitheater stage during the week on America’s music.

Andrew Manzella

The author Andrew Manzella

Andrew Manzella is a reporter and feature writer from western New York. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from SUNY Buffalo State.