Mr. Boogie-Woogie (photo by Anous Heil)

Eric-Jan Overbeek, piano/vocals

Tuesday, March 3, 2020,

11:30 am – 12:30 pm,

The Arizona Senior Academy Building

While rhythm and blues (R&B) and boogie-woogie have the same musical roots, each has a unique flavor. With its piano, guitar, percussion and brass, R&B invites you to sit back, relax and listen. The vocals are stirring and often sad, expressing a variety of emotions.

By contrast, one vocalist and his or her piano usually perform boogie-woogie. It can be performed with more than one musician, but it is usually a small group, a duo or a trio with drums and/or guitar accompanying the piano. Though it is related to R&B, it might be said to be its more extroverted cousin. Rather than passively sitting and listening, the fast, flashy, hard-thumping instrumentation and vocals exhort you to get up and dance.

The two genres are descendants of African-American spirituals, gospel and call-and-response field/shanty chants. Their appeal, however, is universal. They are played and sung all over the world by people of all races, creeds and colors. 

And so, a gentleman from the Netherlands comes to entertain the Arizona Senior Academy audience with some hard-driving, old school, New Orleans style R&B, complemented by some killer boogie-woogie, and delivered with high speed piano thumping.

Eric-Jan Overbeek, AKA Mr. Boogie-Woogie, is an internationally known pianist, singer and recording artist whose 30-year career has seen him open for the likes of Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Johnny Copeland, Koko Taylor, and even The Blues Brothers Band. His awards include Best Dutch Blues Pianist 2010, Best European Blues Pianist in 2005, and winner of the Dutch Blues Challenge 2017.

Get ready for a rollicking show – it will be a man, his piano and voice, and our ears. That’s all that is needed for a most enjoyable experience.

Written by Roxy Mitchem-Horn, Academy Village Volunteer

March 3: “Mr. Boogie-Woogie”