Saturday, August 1, 2015
Jazz Performance Saturday - Bram Wijnands playing "Hallelujah"
The first Saturday of the month is reserved for jazz pianists and today we have a great one - Bram Wijnands playing the 1927 piece Hallelujah!
Wijnands was born in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands. He started playing piano when young and even before he turned eight he was studying Stride and Boogie Woogie recordings of piano greats like Thomas "Fats" Waller, James P. Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim.
In 1991, he graduated from Hilversum Conservatory in the Netherlands. He was performing with various jazz artists like Slide Hampton, Gene Connors, Jos Moons, Richard Ross and Deborah Brown, even before he graduated. Soon he was touring with his trio around Europe, Russia, and the United States.
Over the years he has led many bands from trios to seven piece groups. Although playing at various festivals and venues around the world Wijnands always makes sure that he returns to his native Holland for the 'Jazz In Duketown' festival in Den Bosch, Holland.
The tune Hallelujah was song with the music written by Vincent Youmans, and the lyrics by Leo Robin and Clifford Grey for the Broadway musical Hit the Deck. The plotline of Hit the Deck was loosely adapted for the 1936 Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger's film Follow the Fleet. Then in 1955 MGM released a film version entitled Hit the Deck which featured the enduring tune Hallelujah.
Here in a video which was posted on February 10, 2015, Wijnands plays a stride version of it on a 1927 Steinway grand piano!