WHITE ROCK — When Dominik Heins and Wendy Bollard hit the stage Saturday night (Oct. 19), the show will serve as a litmus test for a possible remount at a later date.
Old-school jazz is the soundtrack for the semi-scripted show, which has pianist Heins playing boogie-woogie riffs with Sam Shoichet on double bass and Alex Klassen on drums. Bollard enters the picture playing three different singers - Doris, Doreen and Delilah - who audition for the band.
The two-set production is staged at the 350-seat First United Church auditorium in White Rock starting at 8 p.m. Saturday.
"It's Dominik's show," said Bollard, the artistic director of Peninsula Productions.
"We might take it on the road, because it really is a great show," she added.
Heins and Bollard, both residents of the Semiahmoo Peninsula, last shared the stage in June during a concert featuring Heins and special guests at Blue Frog Studios.
Heins can usually be heard rocking the 88s in boogie-woogie style, a skill he learned growing up in Hamburg, Germany. Initially, he took after his father, a professional organ player in a church. Then, as a teen, Heins discovered a cassette tape of Jerry Lee Lewis performing a 1964 set in Fort Worth, Texas.
"It was so lively and powerful - I just loved it," Heins said with a wide smile. "I became a bit of a Jerry Lee Lewis expert, and then I learned about his idols, his inspirations, and that's when I learned more about country music and boogiewoogie."
By age 14, Heins would sneak out of the house at midnight to jam with other musicians on the Hamburg scene, returning home at around 5 a.m. "The next day," he recalled, "I'd fall asleep in school but it was so great - I learned so much being on stage, how to play piano, and it was so much fun. I realized it was exactly what I wanted to do."
Years later, Heins was thrilled to share the stage with Lewis (as part of an opening band) and also Chuck Berry (as a member of his band, in a one-off show in Hamburg).
In more recent times, Heins and his wife, Nina, settled in South Surrey after living in Ottawa for a time.
Here in Metro Vancouver, Heins said it's not always easy for him to find gigs as a pianist, especially in the boogie-woogie style.
"I find that once people hear me, they love it right away," he told the Now during an interview last June. "Maybe they're not familiar with the terms boogie-woogie or stride and the things I do on the piano, but once they hear me and maybe know the music, they usually really like it. But whenever I try to promote myself, sending out my CDs to festivals, they're usually a bit skeptical. I need to make them hear me, and then they hire me."
Tickets for Saturday's Dominik Heins Show are $25 via tickets.surrey.ca, or $30 at the door. First United Church is located at 15385 Semiahmoo Dr., White Rock. Heins is on the web at www.dominikheins.com.
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