Boogie-Woogie, the Music

Boogie-Woogie is a type of blues music that developed in mostly creole African-American communities (mainly in New Orleans, Louisiana) in the 1870s. The meaning of “Boogie-Woogie” comes probably from a modification of the Bantu term "Mbuki Mvuki" (Mbuki: "to take off in flight"; Mvuki: "to dance wildly, as if to shake off one's clothes.) and used to stand for a completely uninhibited party, with wild dancing, loud music and unlawful (due to the prohibition) alcoholic drinks. It literally means: "to dance wildly”, as if to shake off one's clothes.

 

Characteristics of this style of music are the regular and quickly repeated bass patterns played with the left hand which create a stomping and rolling rhythm while swinging melodies, licks and figures played by the right hand create the actual melody or theme of the song. Boogie Woogie playing eventually extended from solo piano, to piano duo and trio, guitar, big band, country and western music, and gospel.

 

While traditional blues music expresses a variety of emotions, Boogie-Woogie is mainly associated with dancing and is not strictly a solo piano style; it can accompany singers and be featured in orchestras and small combos.

Peaking in popularity in the southern United States as well as New York in the late 1930s with names like Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, the genre had a first revival in its transformed style, now known as Rock'n'Roll, in the 1950s with names like Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, certain works of Ray Charles and Little Richard.

 

Later in the late 1970's the tradition of Boogie-Woogie music had its renaissance in Europe with names like Leopold von Knobelsdorff, Axel Zwingenberger, Hans Georg Moeller, Vince Weber, Champion Jack Dupree and Jean-Paul Amouroux.

 

It is having a current revival with young and talented musicians who are on their way to becoming legends one day.

The Traveling Piano Man, Boogie & Blues Piano.

-Lukas Koeninger-

"StreetBoogieWoogie,

if the music is good, you'll dance..."