This weekend marks the second concert in our series, "Honoring A Tradition." Last time we paid homage to the legendary Alan Toussaint. This time we are extremely excited to bring you the music of Fats Waller!
Thomas Wright "Fats' Waller (1904-1943) was a pianist, composer, singer, and entertainer that changed the face of music. Born and raised in New York, Waller would become one of the most prolific songwriters and performers of his era all the way until today. He is responsible for many of the most popular standards ever written in the jazz and swing canon including, Ain't Misbehavin', Honeysuckle Rose, The Joint Is Jumpin', Blue Turning Grey Over You, and countless others.
So important of an entertainer was Waller that he was kidnapped after a Chicago gig in 1926 and delivered to the Hawthorne Inn which was, at the time, owned by Al Capone. Upon realizing that the gangsters didn't intend him any harm, but simply wanted to be entertained, Waller spent three days entertaining the crew and left hung over and with thousands of dollars in his pocket!
Waller also enjoyed immense popularity in England and Ireland in the 1930's and toured extensively further increasing his worldwide reputation. Waller tragically passed away in 1943 after contracting pneumonia on a cross country train near Kansas City. One can only imagine what Fats could have done if his life wasn't cut short. Fans of this era of music hold Waller on a pedestal for very good reason. His music is fun, riveting, and most of all, will swing you out of the building!
Fats Waller was, in all ways, a true American treasure and his influence has been felt through all styles of music and entertainment.
Join us on Saturday, July 23rd at the Dance Hall in Kittery to celebrate the life and music of the great Fats Waller!
The Kittery Dance Hall
7 Walker St, Kittery, Maine 03904