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DC hosts a piano man with real keys in the community

Rod Russell will be entertaining Dawson Creek next Tuesday, May 17. He opened the first music store on the Alaska Highway in Fort St. John.
Piano Man
Rod Russell will play in Dawson Creek Tuesday night. A still from one of Russell's piano instruction videos.

Rod Russell will be entertaining Dawson Creek next Tuesday with piano-led songs from what he calls the golden era of music, the 50s through 70s. 

While piano based, the styles are a mixed bag of old fashioned rock and roll, country, Latin, blues and swing. 

Russell is a pianist, singer and music coach when he isn’t performing. He began his career with the piano while still in his teens. 

“In grade nine I started taking piano, classic piano, but it didn’t really stick. Then I joined a rock and roll outfit around the same time and never looked back,” he says.

Russell opened the first music store on the Alaska Highway in Fort St. John.

“I’m from up in that neck of the woods.  I opened the first music store in Fort St. John in the 60s and did lots of playing in that area before building a restaurant in Kelowna in the mid 70s,” he says. 

“My band played in Dawson Creek for about a year and a half in Di’s Pizza and Steak House as well as at many other events in DC.”

He is also a teacher of piano, reaching more than 70,000 people with his lessons. He breaks them down simply. 

“This is really an easier way to read music. There are a million notes on each and every page, but playing a melody line with your right hand and chords with the left has always worked for me.”

 Russell opens his Monday show with a 50s medley before hitting such touchstones as the King, Piano Man Billy Joel, Neil Sedaka, Dan Hill Floyd Cramer and Glenn Miller, to name a few.  He promises a laid back affair.

 “My concerts are very casual and friendly as if the audience is sitting around my living room.” 

The show goes Tuesday, May 17, 7pm at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Theatre. Doors at 6:30pm. Tickets are available at the KPAC box office, by calling 250 782 9325 or at the door.