The traditional piano bars are disappearing. I'll show video of the three in the San Francisco Bay area that are left. The video will feature pianists and individuals who will tell you about their Piano Bar experience in an era when they existed everywhere in great numbers; in Pizza Parlors, Restaurants, Bowling Alleys and many places. I've been a part of the piano bar experience since I was a teenager when my mother would encourage me to sing-a-long with her and others surrounding the piano. This documentary will feature pianists who also made their living for years accompanying singers at piano bars. I started the video filming in San Francisco where I currently reside. I intend to travel to LA, Chicago and New York in pursuit of finding the few old fashioned Piano Bars that might exist today. Piano bars are not the same as Karaoke bars, where recorded background music accompanies singers while lyrics are flashed on a screen, nor is it the same as the Open Mic concept, where singers take turns standing next to a keyboard or piano, holding a microphone and singing. I'll be exploring the merits of the Old Style Piano Bar, where people sat around the piano with a bar. It was a source of social interaction with new and old friends and a place to raise your voice while singing with many others; a place where the Great American Songbook was and is revered and everyone has memorized the lyrics to popular standards. In the past, there were no iPhones or iPads to refresh your memory. Children and adults together would enjoy the songs and learn from hearing. Imagine singing along with no microphone!
I'm hoping this documentary will encourage the revival of old style piano bars in hotels, cocktail lounges, restaurants and other places where the community come together in song with a real live piano player who is sitting right in front of you while you are on a high chair or bar stool, communicating with him/her and the music, enjoying new and old friends who are doing the same. Turn off the TV, your computer and other devices and go out and support your last of the piano bars....if there are any! Please don't let them disappear, but reappear.
Risks and challenges
I'll do my best to complete my documentary in a timely manner, still being able to discover other exiting piano bars left in the Western US and if possible travel to the Chicago and New York areas. This all depends on the generosity of donations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)