Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Alex Hassan, master of novelty piano

One of the most amazing pianists in the world lives right nearby in Falls Church, Virginia. Alex Hassan has spent more than thirty years collecting, studying, arranging, and playing piano music from the 1920s and 1930s. His specialty is the spectacular pyrotechnics of what's known as novelty piano -- beautiful melodies that move through incredible embellishments.

You can hear Alex Hassan play this coming Tuesday, January 20, at 6pm at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. The performance is free, and no tickets are required. If you don't have political connections or a lot of money, you aren't going to find a better special event to celebrate inauguration day.

Alex also occasionally gives performance in the area. The above video includes excerpts from his performance on November 28, 2008, in the Bonita Lestina Performance Series at Old Town Hall, City of Fairfax, Virginia. CDs of Alex's music are available through Shellwood Productions.

A special thanks to J.M. for inspiring and helping with the video.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi all, if you like ragtime, jazz, and novelty piano, consider membership in the Northern Virginia Ragtime Society (Mr. Hassan is currently president!). Every two months, the NVRS holds a piano concert featuring different artists. The next one is January 20, featuring ragtime pianist John Petley. Considering the quality of the featured artists, it is a very good deal.