Join us for a romping, stomping evening of Classic Blues, Boogie Woogie, Ragtime, and Traditional Jazz! $10 admission at the door. Please RSVP to 612-238-9941.
Minnesota Steinway Artist, Butch Thompson, and two highly qualified friends pay tribute to the pioneering boogie woogie pianist Albert Ammons, and other boogie woogie innovators.
Joining Mr. Thompson are Ammons’ granddaughter, vocalist Lila Ammons, and German pianist Axel Zwingenberger, a top interpreter of the boogie woogie style. Hear solo piano, four hands and two pianos duets, sassy classic blues, boogie woogie tunes and more!
Ammons and Zwingenberger will be touring the U.S. in April and have added this
Twin Cities event to their calendar! Don’t miss their kickoff performance at Schmitt Music Edina!
Please RSVP to Schmitt Music Edina and reserve your seats today! Call 612-238-9941 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out this video of Lila and Axel:
Butch Thompson, piano
Steinway Artist Butch Thompson is one of the most prominent musicians in traditional jazz. Born in Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota, he was playing Christmas carols on his mother’s upright piano by age three, and began lessons at six. He picked up the clarinet in high school and led his first jazz group, “Shirt Thompson and His Sleeves,” as a senior. He began his professional career at age 16 in Minnesota, and two years later was visiting New Orleans frequently to learn from veteran musicians like clarinetist George Lewis. He played American and European festivals during the 1960s and ‘70s and began his solo recording career in 1966. In 1974, he joined the staff as the house pianist of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, an association that continues to the present.
In addition to extensive touring (he has traveled the world from Cairo to Tokyo) as a soloist and with his trio and 8-piece Jazz Originals Band, he finds time to write and teach. His writing has appeared in various magazines including Down Beat and The Mississippi Rag, and among his teaching credits are residencies at the American University in Cairo and the New England Conservatory of Music. His recordings include the Grammy-winning Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton on the Verve label and a long-running solo series on Daring Records of Boston. Learn more about Butch from his website: butchthompson.com.
Lila Ammons, vocals
Born in Chicago, Lila Ammons is a Minnesota-based vocalist with a wide-range of experience. Ammons started singing publically at age five, studied piano and violin for several years, and performed in school and all-city orchestras and choirs, theater plays, and musical theater, before deciding to attend college and major in music. A New York City based classical singer for several years, Ammons’s strong desire to return to her roots led her back to jazz, blues, and most recently, boogie woogie. Ammons’s musical “roots” are legendary. She is the granddaughter of the great boogie woogie pianist, Albert Ammons, and niece of tenor sax titan Gene (Jug) Ammons.
As a jazz vocalist, Ammons has appeared in several Twin Cities venues, such as Rossi’s Blue Room, The Times Cafe, Sofia’s, The Dakota Jazz Club, and The Dakota County Jazz Club. She has also sung in several festivals, including the Twin Cities Jazz (summer and winter) festivals, Arts and All That Jazz and Freedom Jazz Festivals. In addition, she has performed in the Chicago Blues and Cincinnati Blues and Boogie Woogie Festivals.
In 2008, she began touring Europe with German pianist, Axel Zwingenberger, world renowned for his performances and compositions of boogie woogie and classic blues piano. They are performing to sold out theaters and receiving glowing reviews. With Zwingenberger, she has performed in the Ascona Jazz Festival (Switzerland), The Stars of Boogie Woogie Festival (Vienna, Austria), Duc de Lombard Boogie and Blues Festival (Paris, France), Bansko International Jazz Festival (Bulgaria, Salzburg Jazzherbst, and the Stars of Boogie Woogie Festival (Vienna, Austria). As a solo vocalist, she has sung at the Laroquebrou Boogie and Blues Festival (France), Holland International Boogie Woogie Festival (Netherlands) and festivals in Brussels, Belgium.
Most recently, she has been featured vocalist with the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie Quartet with Zwingenberger and British musicians Charlie Watts, Ben Waters and Dave Green. She was also featured on the BBC 2 Radio program hosted by British musician and radio/Television host Jools Holland, pianist and founding member of “Squeeze,”a popular band during the late 1970s, ’80’s and ’90’s. Holland is host of the very popular British television show, “Later…With Jools Holland”.
Ammons and Zwingenberger recorded a CD early in their partnership (2008) entitled, “Lady Sings The Boogie Woogie,” a collection of lost gems of the boogie woogie and classic blues eras . Ammons is currently in the midst of recording her own debut jazz CD.
Ammons earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) and a Masters in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music (NYC). She has taught voice on the college level (McNally-Smith College of Music) and teaches privately.
Axel Zwingenberger, piano
Axel Zwingenberger, one of the most renowned of boogie woogie and blues pianists today, and Lila Ammons, the great interpreter of classic blues and jazz, have won wide acclaim from both critics and audiences for their outstanding renditions of the brilliant but nowadays hardly ever heard masterpieces of the vaudeville blues tradition. Teaming up in 2007, the pair has travelled a dozen countries, performing their artistry to enthralled listeners.
Zwingenberger has more than 30 albums to his credit, many with legends of the genre, such as Lionel Hampton, Big Joe Turner, Jay McShann, Sippie Wallace, Champion Jack Dupree, Charlie Watts and many others. Not the least by these co‐operations, he has shaped his own, individual style, based on the music of the greatest of the blues and boogie woogie pianists, such as Albert Ammons, Meade “Lux” Lewis, Pete Johnson and others. In the more than three decades of his boogie woogie mission, he has gained a large international following of young boogie woogie piano entrepreneurs, particularly through his untiring touring activities, with over 4000 concerts in more than 50 countries on 4 continents performed since the early 1970s.