Luca Sestak – Keeping Boogie Woogie Alive
The word ‘Genius’, like the word ‘Awesome’, gets thrown around a lot these days. Genius this or Genius that, “only a genius can solve this puzzle in 10 seconds” videos on Youtube (by their standards, apparently I am a Genius…). Sadly, the word has lost it’s mojo.
However, the word Virtuoso does not get used all that often. It has retained it’s exclusivity and it’s impact. You don’t hear many artists labelled as Virtuosos, but I think a case could be made that Virtuoso accurately describes Luca Sestak’s insane ability playing boogie woogie piano.
I found a high dollar electric piano for dirt cheap on a garage sale website a few years ago. I bought it home in the hopes that the kids might take an interest and start playing around with it. Play around with it they did – make beautiful music they did not. So I decided to try and teach myself some boogie woogie to see if that might kindle some interest from them.
How does anyone teach themselves anything these days? Youtube. So I started looking through some tutorial videos and eventually found footage of a young German Boogie Woogie pianist simply rocking the living shit out of a piano. Luca Sestak.
I had never seen anything like it. The front was taken off the piano so that you could see all of the wires and the keys going crazy. I swear it looked like the guy had 20 fingers. The speed, the rhythm, the obvious improvisation, the complexity of the left hand bass line that kept the whole song rocking along. I was truly blown away.
Turns out that this 23 year old German had played the piano since he was 8 years old. Although he went through classical training, he gravitated towards the blues and Boogie Woogie and also taught himself largely from Youtube videos. Since then he has traveled the world playing at various jazz festivals and won numerous awards for his playing.
Although his discography is a little limited with only 2 solo albums, there is still enough material on Spotify to really get a taste for some of Sestak’s high class jazz piano playing. I had a few buddies round for a poker night recently, I put this on in the background and they said “shit, this is just like playing poker in Red Dead Redemption”. They loved it.
This is some of the best background music you could find for just about anything. Follow the links below to check out Luca Sestak on iTunes and Spotify. Do him a favor, buy an album and help him keep high quality Boogie Woogie piano alive.
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