THE PIANO STOMP FESTIVAL STORY...

ABOUT
From dazzling boogie woogie duets to sensational high flying dancers to red hot jazz bands, simply put, we feature the absolute best national and international pianists, musicians, dancers and bands the world has to offer. And with an ever changing program, we guarantee you’ll never see the same show twice.

Chase Garrett’s Annual Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp is entering it’s 8th year as not only the premiere boogie woogie and blues piano festival of Iowa and Missouri, but of the Midwest as a whole. Our mission is to provide each community with unprecedented entertainment, musicianship and family friendly programming by bringing world class pianists, bands and guest musicians together at The Englert Theatre in the heart of Iowa City and new to 2017, The National Blues Museum and Blues City Deli in beautiful downtown St. Louis. The Piano Stomp Festival reaches over 1,000 people each year, attracting tourists and residents, creating a powerful entertainment staple in both communities.

We produce one small-scale festival each fall during the second weekend of November. Over the course of the past seven years Chase Garrett’s Annual Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp has become a favorite pastime with residents of Eastern Iowa and the Creative Corridor. Each year offering festival attendees opportunities to experience, learn about and enjoy this unique American music with events ranging from live concerts to piano masterclasses to boogie woogie dance workshops. We feature music and activities for all ages and are excited to bring this wonderful event to The National Blues Museum and Blues City Deli in beautiful downtown St. Louis this fall!

HISTORY
Chase Garrett’s Annual Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp was first organized in the fall of 2010 by Iowa City native and professional blues and boogie woogie pianist Chase Garrett. Garrett came up with the idea for the Piano Stomp in the fall of 2009 after his mother, Katherine, passed away. She had taught him to always chase his dreams and give back to his community and so after having newly acquired a bit of life insurance money after her passing he decided to do just that.

The idea was simple; gather two pianos, an upright bassist, a percussionist and four international pianists and host a great night of authentic blues and boogie woogie piano music at The Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City. Having never organized a public event prior to this it ended up proving no easy task and took Chase a total of six months to work out all of the details through various meetings, emails and phone calls, but by the end of June 2010 the lineup was finalized, the venue was booked and promotional materials were in hand.

Garrett spent most of that summer performing his brand of blues and boogie piano on various street pianos that had been placed throughout the downtown Iowa City ped-mall via a collaboration between local downtown businesses, Coralville, IA music shop West Music and the city of Iowa City for the “Tickle My Ivories” project, as well as personally having handed out over 1,000 fliers to passers by. This strategy worked very much in Garrett’s favor and earned him the support of his community and also garnered him a local following as well as a few partnerships with downtown businesses.

Chase hosted the First Inaugural Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp at The Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City, IA on Friday, November 12th, 2010. The total number of attendees exceeded 600 and the concert itself featured just seven musicians. Since then, Chase Garrett’s Piano Stomp has featured over 65 musicians from 11 countries and 9 states, entertained more than 4,900 members of the community and has become a favorite past time with residents of Eastern Iowa and the Creative Corridor. 

TO THE FUTURE
Today Chase Garrett’s Piano Stomp has become a unique two day traveling music festival featuring big bands, vintage jazz bands, international pianists, world champion boogie woogie dancers, dance workshops, piano masterclasses, nightly swing dances and guest musicians. However, this year the Piano Stomp Festival will be revisiting its acoustic routes by featuring two boogie woogie and blues pianists of the future with a primary focus on rhythm section musicianship, pianist collaborations and solo piano traditionalism proudly presented in both the heart of Iowa City, IA and beautiful downtown St. Louis, MO.

Below are the individual posters from each Annual Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp Festival. Click on each image to enlarge!