27 & 28 March 2020 : Rent Party Blues : jazz with Mike Denham & Hamish Maxwell
The 1920s rent party was a hot bed for the development of solo piano styles including blues, stride and boogie-woogie. Hundreds of long-forgotten pianists competed for engagements (and public recognition) at these informal events. A few made the big time. Fats Waller, Earl Hines and Jimmy Yancey cut their teeth at rent parties in New York and Chicago. Pianists were also in demand as accompanists for the blues singers of the day.
Mike will play some of their well-known solo pieces, and some more obscure (but fascinating!) items in the style of Cripple Clarence Lofton, Art Hodes and others. It was, of course, the era of prohibition and high-profile gangsters, and these will no doubt provide a wealth of material for Mike’s acclaimed anecdotes!
Special guest, veteran blues singer Hamish Maxwell, will perform some entertaining and thought-provoking songs from the era.