Elton, Billy Joel tribute performance at Franco Center Jan. 26
January 26, 2024 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm$30 – $35
PHOTO CAPTION: Joe Boucher, pianist and vocalist for Piano Men: The Music of Elton and Billy, will be performing at the Franco Center with the tribute band at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26. Tickets available at 207-689-2000 or www.francocenter.org/shows. The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston. Submitted photo.
Elton and Billy Joel tribute performance coming to Franco Center Jan. 26
LEWISTON–Piano Men: The Music of Elton and Billy tribute band will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at the Franco Center. The concert is a tribute to the amazing songs of Billy Joel and Elton John. Rarely have these songs been heard performed live in this way as Elton and Billy have only on a few occasions performed with orchestras, according to the band.
Members of the band include Joe Boucher (piano, lead vocals), Christopher Eastburn (bass guitar, vocals), Gary Backstrom (guitar, vocals), Steve Hodgkin (drums), Matt Kennedy (saxophone), and Nick Pires (audio engineer). At times the band is joined by musicians playing violins, viola, and cello; and a female vocalist.
Joseph Boucher grew up in the quaint seaside village of Biddeford, Maine. He is a singer and songwriter who has fronted the power pop band Frotus Caper. They recorded and released four critically acclaimed albums. He has worked as a studio session musician, playing piano and arranging pop, rock and folk songs for many artists.
Boucher is an on-air host and producer at Maine Public Classical Radio. For 16 seasons he was the concert manager for The Portland Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, he spent seven years touring internationally as stage manager. For more information visit www.pianomenmusic.com
Chris Eastburn is an arranger, orchestrator and award-winning composer. His music has been performed to acclaim from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Commissions include a ballet score for Island Moving Co. called “Newport Stories,” a string orchestra and chorus score for the theatre production “Moses Brown and the Voyage of the Slave Ship Sally” and a score for Caitlin Corbett Dance Co. called “Tom’s Wealth.”
Eastburn’s string quartet/vocal quartet score “Consent to Gravity” choreographed by Daniel McCusker was hailed as “one of the most successful new musical works for dance I’ve heard in ages” by Debra Cash, dance critic for NPR’s Here and Now. His arrangement and orchestration of “Jazzy Old St. Nick, a hip swing version of a Christmas favorite” is now available from the Hal Leonard choral music catalog. Learn more about his music at www.eastburnmusic.com
Gary Backstrom has been playing for the last 20 years touring the country with his award-winning jam band Jiggle the Handle and as the Gary Backstrom Band. He has opened for such acts as Little Feat, Spin Doctors, Rat Dog, The Samples, South Side Johnny, The Allman Brothers, Warren Haynes, and Blues Traveler. He has shared the stage with Dereck Trucks, AOD, and members of Todd Rundgren’s Band. Check out more details at www.garybackstrom.com
Steve Hodgkin had an active schedule as a working drummer in a variety of rock bands before making a switch to singer/songwriter in 2000 when he fronted Portland-based original rock band The Reedlings. Hodgkin returned to the drums in 2004 to perform and record with Joe Boucher in Frotus Caper and has been working with Boucher ever since.
Nick Pires was an active member of both the jazz and concert bands in high school while also gigging frequently in the local music scene. After graduating, Pires put his musical aspirations aside to attend Full Sail University in pursuit of a career as a live sound engineer. Despite not playing for several years, he continued to maintain an interest in music and networking with musicians through his work in concert production and eventually found his way back to the drums.
Matt Kennedy spent the last 30-plus years as a professional saxophonist starting in his hometown of Denver, Colorado and later as a fixture in the blues and roots scenes of Portland, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Baltimore, MD, and Washington DC before settling in Portland, Maine. Over the years, he has backed a wide range of artists, including Terry Adams (NRBQ), Daniel Johnston, John Popper (Blues Traveler), Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, and Peter Tork (The Monkees). He is currently an active freelance saxophonist in Portland, Maine and is a member of the soul/funk band Mamas Boomshack (www.mamasboomshack.com).
Piano Men music videos can be viewed at https://www.theirsongs.com/piano-men
Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m. Concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.francocenter.org/shows or by phone at 207-689-2000. Tickets can also be purchased in person at our box office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door day of show.
The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. Parking is available in the mill lot. The building is handicap accessible on the Lincoln St. Alley side.