Inspired 2012: Music for Youth
When: Saturday, 7: 30 p.m.
Where: Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music
Tickets: $39, $45 (Victoria Jazz Society 250-388-4423), McPherson box office (250-386-6121), Lyle's Place, Ditch Records
With a little help from his friends, Michael Kaeshammer is giving Victoria a big thank-you for the support he received as a young man.
On Saturday, the pianist will be joined by singers Measha Brueggergosman, Dan Hill and Denzal Sinclaire for a fundraising concert called Inspired 2012: Music for Youth. Proceeds will go toward Inspired: The Michael Kaeshammer Foundation and the Victoria Jazz Society's student outreach program.
Kaeshammer invited the other singers, all of them friends, to perform. He says the fundraiser is his way of paying back the city that nurtured his musical dreams as a teenager.
"Without Victoria, I wouldn't have the career I have. [The music community] really taught me a lot back then," he said.
In the late 1990s, Kaesham-mer emerged as a teen prodigy pounding out boogie-woogie in local haunts such as the Fern-wood Inn (then the George and Dragon). Today, the 35-year-old has a national following as a jazz-pop singer/pianist who has toured Europe and the U.S. extensively.
Kaeshammer quietly relocated to Victoria last March after stints living in Toronto, New York City and New Orleans. Seeking to base himself here, he's now shopping for a condo.
Kaeshammer's new Inspired foundation will raise money to help Victoria schools purchase instruments and provide students opportunities to study music. The pianist says if this weekend's concert is successful, he will mount fundraising concerts annually.
The Victoria Jazz Society's outreach program includes a Jazz in the Schools series as well as free music workshops during the TD Victoria International JazzFest.
Kaeshammer's trio will back up all the performers. Sinclaire is a noted jazz vocalist, while Hill is best known for his 1977 hit Sometimes When We Touch.
Brueggergosman is an opera singer who has sung with many of Canada's leading symphony orchestras. In Victoria she'll perform pop standards, including some from her new album, I've Got a Crush on You.
Brueggergosman first met Kaeshammer at a Juno Awards ceremony. The pair became fast friends.
"I think we were speaking German together. It just seemed like we had a lot in common. ... We just started having coffee in Toronto and hanging out," she said.
The singer was particularly keen to participate in a fundraising concert that helps music students. As a youth, Brueggergosman was active in school bands and music camps, as well as studying voice and piano privately.
"I was very much a product of music in the schools," she said. "I was in every choir, every vocal ensemble. ... That's how I ended up doing what I do."
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