Peter Beets is a Dutch pianist with an astounding technique and a ferocious sense of swing. Other than Monty Alexander, Beets is one of the few out there–that I know of, anyway–who embodies the joy, spirit and sense of swing of Oscar Peterson. OP’s style, and their were many facets to it, is difficult to grasp and even harder to assimilate. Beets has done it.

Though the award-winning Beets has recorded with players like Jeff Hamilton–not coincidently, perhaps, the one-time drummer for OP and Monty–and Curtis Fuller, and has shared stages with the likes of Chick Corea, he’s pretty much unknown in the states.

Herman DeJong, the Philadelphia-based architect/bassist/concert promoter and good friend of jazz, is helping to bring Beets to the U.S. Specifically, Beets will appear at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 22.

At this juncture in Beets’ evolution, he’s combining hard and happy swing with a sincere dose of showmanship, ala the greats like Count, Duke, Krupa, Pops, Peterson and the rare others who were able to appeal to those who may not have liked jazz before or since. Stylistically, it will be interesting to see where Beets goes from here.

Take it from me. Peter Beets’ gig at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 22 is going to be “one of those nights.”

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