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Pianist’s party swagger zigs and zags

The mood will lead his way at Kuss.Michael Kaeshammer performs in the moment.

How many performers treat their audience like the guest instead of the other way around?

That’s part of what makes a Michael Kaeshammer Trio show unique. He invites his audience in for a little bit of musical this and that, ranging from jazz, soul, pop and rhythm and blues. From there you have a party.

The piano-playing singer-songwriter will heat up the Kuss Auditorium at Clark State’s Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The show is part of the Club Kuss series, which will feature a cash bar and complimentary appetizers beginning at 6 p.m.

Where Kaeshammer may differ from some hosts is you won’t know what’s on the menu. It’s more like a party where anything goes.

“You don’t really know what you feel like until you go onstage,” Kaeshammer said. “If you’re not open, you’re not in the moment.”

Kaeshammer has been compared to Harry Connick Jr., but the similarities end with their instrument of choice.

Whereas Connick was born and raised in New Orleans and into that style of music, Kaeshammer’s musical chops were developed about as far from the bayou as the Rhine River.

Kaeshammer was born in Germany, where he studied classical piano. His dad enjoyed New Orleans and Kansas City jazz, which influenced Michael’s interest in boogie woogie and stride piano and New Orleans jazz in particular. His family later immigrated to Canada, and his career took off.

Kaeshammer said when an audience sees how much fun he and the band are having they can’t help but catch that vibe.

The performance will include songs from his upcoming CD, “With You in Mind.” Wherever the mood takes the band from there will make up the rest of the show.

“You’ll see a piano player and his musicians loving it up there. And we will hope to see the audience loving it,” Kaeshammer said.

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