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Thursday, April 18,2013

Gotta “Boogie”

Lansing documentary features world-class piano playing

by Dana Casadei
Bob Baldori (right) and Bob Seeley are featured in Baldori\'s documentary, \"Boogie Stomp!\" Courtesy photo.

Thursday, April 18 — At 70, some people would be slowing down and taking time to relax. Not "Boogie" Bob Baldori. The local musician and filmmaker will be at Studio C! in Okemos this Saturday for a showing and talkback of his movie, "Boogie Stomp!" The film is being shown as part of the East Lansing Film Society Film Series.

"It seemed to fit with their alternative programming," Baldori said by phone from California, where the film was being shown at the Sonoma International Film Festival. "I'm previewing it to really do audience research and get feedback."

The talkback will include Baldori, East Lansing Film Festival Director Susan Woods and possibly a few others from the cast. “Boogie Stomp!” is the first of a planned series that will showcase great players who are recognized by professionals but not so big with the public. "Boogie Stomp!" features piano man Bob Seeley, whom Baldori met at a piano festival in Detroit five years ago.

"This guy’s recognized around the world as the world's greatest boogie-woogie piano player, but he plays for 32 years in the back of a bar in Detroit," he said. "I find him there and say you should be on a billboard in Time Square, you shouldn't be here. And that's sort of the buddy movie that unfolds."

“Boogie Stomp!” has been in two festivals so far, Sonoma and the California’s Carmel Art & Film Festival in October.

"It looks like we're going to be doing a lot of them this year," Baldori said. He said that he applied to several more, including SXSW. He said he plans to turn the film into a series, and he already has three more ready to go.

The story is only part of the 86-minute film, which Baldori described as a musical and documentary. "Boogie Stomp!" shows the history and origins of American piano music, not just boogie-woogie.

"The movie explains that it all comes from the same place and we demonstrate it," he said. "If it doesn't make you smile and want to dance than I didn't get it right."

"Boogie Stomp!" screening and talkback
6:15 p.m. April 20
Studio C!, 1999 Central Drive, Okemos
$10, $8 students
celebrationcinema.com/elfs

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