The Cheyenne Concert Association is excited to present master pianist, Bobby van Deusen on Tuesday, March 10 in the Central High School Auditorium. The performance will begin at 7p.m. with a performance by Todd Dereemer and Friends. Featured artist, Bobby van Deusen will perform at 7:30.
You’d have to look far and wide to find anyone who matches Bobby van Deusen’s talents at the piano. He’s a master of a wide range of jazz styles, possesses great classical chops and has astonishing technique. Pensacola-based van Deusen, a former member of the Barbery Coast Dixieland Band, who also paid his dues backing the likes of Pete Fountain, Al Hirt and Sammy Davis Jr., can dig into the styles of many piano greats. But even when he mines those distinctive sounds, he quickly adds a special something that makes the tune his own for the moment. Ragtime stride, American Songbook ballads, instrumental jazz classics, bossa nova, show tunes and movie themes are all fair game for van Deusen.
Born in Philadelphia, van Deusen began his musical training at age 7. He listened to everything from Beethoven to Star Kenton, and has said, “I was eight years old when I heard Rhapsody in Blue and thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard.” Determined to play the Gershwin masterpiece in its entirety – “18 minutes and change” – van Deusen learned the piece, which led to his winning a young musician’s competition at age 11. Classically trained, he attended Whetstone School of the Performing Arts, Capital University, Ohio State, Eastman and Curtis, which helped develop the dazzling technique that became a trademark of his playing style. He turned pro in 1976, touring the midwest, playing at clubs, piano bars and providing concerts. In 1985 he moved south, but has played all over the country with Hilton Hotels, and was a featured entertainer for five years at the Hilton Sandestin. He has also been the “House Band” for RadioLive, a production of WUWF Public Radio, for 18 years.
Jazz author, Ken Frackling says of van Deusen, “When you’ve got a piano marvel in the house, you wind him up and let him go – and then go along for the ride.” Based on this high praise from one who knows his stuff, the Cheyenne area audience is in for a real treat with van Deusen on March 10th.
Todd Dereemer is a popular Cheyenne singer-songwriter whose poignant and amusing songs are a diary of everyday life. His heartfelt style gives him a real connection with his audiences. Todd has produced four albums, has appeared on local radio and television as well as national television shows. His songs have also been featured in commercials and on radio. He has toured all over the world, most recently performing a tour in Berlin, Germany. He will be joined on stage by accomplished local musicians Mark Wielang and Steve Scott.
Tickets for this March 10th event are $5 for students, $20 for Adults and Seniors, or $50 for an entire family, and can be purchased in advance at Niemann Music, or may be purchased at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the performance. Piano students from the Cheyenne area may attend the performance free with a paying adult.
The Cheyenne Concert Association is a nonprofit organization that is celebrating 85 years of presenting artists for Cheyenne audiences. For more information about the association or its programs, contact Dorothy at 635-0833.