Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) is pleased to announce that he will return to the USA in March and April 2023 with his latest tour “An Evening With Rick Wakeman: His Music And Stories”, starting Wednesday, March 15 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
“It’s always so enjoyable playing in America,” Wakeman comments. “At every show, I see old friends and hopefully, make new ones. I’m looking forward to ringing the changes with the addition of keyboards, which is a bit of a departure from my traditional ‘piano shows’, but will give me the opportunity to vary the setlist.”
Wakeman‘s set will consist of music taken from across the wide breadth of his 50-year-plus career, stripped back to its roots in arrangements for grand piano. It will include work from his early days as a session player arranging and performing keyboards on hits like David Bowie‘s “Life On Mars”, through his groundbreaking stint with progressive rock band YES and his own multi-platinum solo albums, plus quirky covers of other acts like THE BEATLES.
And this glorious display of keyboard virtuosity will be punctuated by hilarious anecdotes and reminiscences of his life. Renowned as much for his irreverent sense of humor as his musical talent, as he himself says, all of Wakeman‘s stories contain an element of truth; it’s up to the audience to decide how much!
In a departure from his previous solo tours, as well as playing a grand piano, Wakeman will also be bringing along a few electronic keyboards to add variety and texture to his set.
Rick Wakeman 2023 U.S. Tour:
March 15 – Phoenixville, PA @ Colonial Theatre
March 17 Fort Lauderdale, FL Amaturo Theater @ Broward County
March 16-23 – ’70s Rock & Romance Cruise (Miami, Puerto Plata, San Juan, St. Croix)
March 25 – Clearwater, FL Capital Theatre @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
March 27 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
March 30 – Bethlehem, PA @ Wind Creek Events Center
March 31 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Sound Waves Theater @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
April 01 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theater
April 03 – Red Bank, NJ @ The Vogel @ Count Basie Theatre
April 04 – Ridgefield, CT @ Ridgefield Playhouse
April 05 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
April 06 – New York, NY @ City Winery
April 09 – Derry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall
Professional musician, keyboard player, songwriter, broadcaster and raconteur, Wakeman‘s career started as a much-in-demand session player, who performed on recordings by David Bowie, Elton John, Lou Reed, Al Stewart and hundreds more artists. His big break came in 1971 when he joined YES, who went on to become the most successful prog rock band in the world, but Wakeman has also always gone his own way outside the framework of that group.
In the seventies, he achieved chart-topping success with solo albums such as “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”, “The Six Wives Of Henry VIII” and “The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table”, which cumulatively sold over 10 million copies in North America alone.
He has written several film scores, amongst them two for director Ken Russell (“Lisztomania” and “Crimes Of Passion”) and two “Harry Palmer” movies starring Michael Caine (“Bullet To Beijing” and “Midnight In St. Petersburg”), and in the U.K., has built up an impressive reputation as a witty guest and host on shows like “Grumpy Old Men”, “Countdown”, “Watchdog” and the comedy cabaret show “Live At Jongleurs”. His wickedly irreverent acceptance speech when YES was inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 nearly brought the house down.
That same year, he made British chart history when his “Piano Portraits” record became the first solo piano instrumental album to enter the U.K.’s Top 10 on release — a feat he then repeated with last year’s “Piano Odyssey”. Both records feature tunes that have a special connection with Rick‘s personal musical journey and his subsequent tours, in which he performs a selection of tracks accompanied by hilarious memories and anecdotes have been instant sellouts in the U.K. Now the achievements of his incredible career have been officially recognized with a CBE in recognition of his services to music, so come and celebrate with him on his forthcoming tour.