From the moment that Michael Kaeshammer took to the stage at the Center in Vancouver for the Performing Arts, on the evening of December 13th, you knew this was going to be a fun and entertaining evening, filled with great music. Kaeshammer possesses uncanny stage presence, an abundance of charisma-oh and did we happen to mention that he is a superb pianist, with great jazz vocals.
The grand piano was turned at an angle giving his audience a clear view of Kaeshammer, as his fingers danced nimbly across the keys, and at other times elegantly coaxed a whisper from his piano. At times, he simply turned and spoke to members of the audience as though they were old friends, while at other times he simply walked about the stage, addressing his fans between tunes.
Kaeshammer is adroit when it comes to boogie woogie tunes such as his opening song "Husband," a number in which the audience joined in by clapping to the beat. As a singer, he was also equally at ease, swinging into "I Found A New Baby," reminding one of a young Bobby Darin. "I Found A New Baby," possesses a deep bass groove that compliments Kaeshammer’s vocals and piano chops nicely.
Kaeshammer who has an ample musical vocabulary performed Oscar Peterson’s "Place St. Henri," and Lionel Hampton’s 1944 hit, "Hamp’s Boogie Woogie," featuring a terrific walking bass line, and the more laid back "Cinnamon Sun," from his current CD Days Like These. Kaeshammer injected humor into the tawdry "St James Infirmary," performed in bygone years by legends such as Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Bobby Bland
As Kaeshammer’s set drew to a close, there never was a doubt that there would be a standing ovation, and an encore. The audience was already on their feet before the last song of his set concluded, and enthusiastically greeted his encore, "Comes Love."
Looking ahead to 2008, Michael Kaeshammer already has extensive bookings throughout the United States and Europe. Catch his act if you can, because this is a young star that you do not want to miss. I know I am already eagerly looking forward to experiencing another Michael Kaeshammer concert.