Sidney-based pianist Michael Kaeshammer is performing at the Port Theatre on Oct. 15. (Photo courtesy Tine Acke)

Sidney-based pianist Michael Kaeshammer is performing at the Port Theatre on Oct. 15. (Photo courtesy Tine Acke)

Vancouver Island pianist performs in Nanaimo after long absence

Sidney’s Michael Kaeshammer plays the Port Theatre on Oct. 15

A Vancouver Island pianist who hasn’t performed in Nanaimo for “years and years” will be making up for lost time at an upcoming concert.

On Oct. 15, Sidney’s Michael Kaeshammer will be heading up Island for a show at the Port Theatre.

Kaeshammer said he’s been performing “sporadically” during the pandemic, and shows he has been able to put on have been for small groups or live streamed. He said the audiences he has had have been very vocal about their enjoyment of live music.

“People are yelling out that it was so great to be back in a theatre or it’s so great to hear live music again,” he said. “The pandemic has definitely brought things like streaming and Zoom meetings and things that will stay around that weren’t as common before as they are now, but nothing will beat live music.”

Being unable to tour for the past year and a half has allowed Kaeshammer to keep busy with projects that he didn’t have time for before, he said, including a book about his travels in China and a new record.

It’s been three years since Kaeshammer’s last studio album, Something New, which he recorded in New Orleans and has a lot of New Orleans influences due to the musicians on the album. Kaeshammer describes his next CD, tentatively set for a fall 2022 release, as “a little more on the crossover, poppy jazz side but still my stuff.”

“We actually had plans to go into the studio April 2020 and then we got back from Europe and it all came down and we basically started locking down and kept postponing the plans,” he said. “So I kept writing and the album keeps changing.”

Kaeshammer said he’ll be playing some of those new songs at his upcoming show at the Port Theatre and he’ll be paying close attention to how the material is received by the crowd.

“It’s going to feel great to be in front of an audience and the feedback from an audience for new songs or for anything that you’re going to put on record is the truest. It’s the real honesty,” he said. “In a studio, everything can sound good.”

WHAT’S ON … Michael Kaeshammer performs at the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $35 for adults, $30 for members, $15 for students with valid ID. Live-stream tickets also offered. Available from the Port Theatre.

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