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Rick Wakeman in Birmingham

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Double helping of keyboard maestro
Keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman is making two visits to Birmingham – first with colleagues from Prog Rockers Yes, then solo for his Piano Portraits concert.

Rick has reunited with Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin and reformed the Yes line-up that last played together in 1990. They play Birmingham's Symphony Hall on March 13, 2017, as part of a tour that began at Cardiff Arena on March 12 and concludes at Manchester Apollo on March 25.

Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Yes, Piano Portraits, Prog Rock, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall
Reunited: Trevor Rabin, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman


On June 24 Rick returns to Birmingham to present Piano Portraits at the city's Town Hall. The album of the same name became the first solo piano album to enter the UK's Top 10 chart.

Since Rick, Jon and Trevor last played together, on Yes' Union tour, there have been various versions of the band but the trio now feel it is the right time to reunite. They have even recorded some new tracks.

''Trevor and I have wanted to play Yes music together since the Union tour and, as for so many of us, there is no Yes music without Jon. The 'Holy Trinity of Yes' is for me very much a dream come true,'' Rick says.

''To be able to sing and perform with Rick and Trevor at this time in my life is a treasure beyond words,'' adds Jon. ''I'm so excited to create new music and revisit some of the classic work we created many years ago, it's going to be a musical adventure on so many new levels.''

Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Yes, Piano Portraits, Prog Rock, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall
Venue: The trio play Birmingham Symphony Hall on March 13


Trevor admits: ''After 18 years of immersing myself in film scoring I couldn't be happier to be going out on tour with Jon and Rick. After we worked together for the first time on the Union tour in the '90s, we were determined to play together again. It's a dream to be going out with Jon and Rick after so many years. We are all completely dedicated to this project."

The most successful Prog Rock group of all time, Yes was co-founded by Jon Anderson and the late Chris Squire in 1968 and went on to sell millions of units with releases such as Fragile, Close to The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans, Going For The One and 90125, as well as embarking on several record-breaking world tours.

Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Yes, Piano Portraits, Prog Rock, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall


After the Wakeman/ Anderson/ Rabin dates Rick returns to the road for his Piano Portraits tour. The album was initially inspired by the positive reaction to his performance of David Bowie's Life On Mars on BBC Radio 2 in early 2016.

The record features instrumental versions of hits Rick originally performed on - Space Oddity, Morning Has Broken and Wondrous Stories - as well of others specifically
chosen for their wonderful melodies, including Stairway To Heaven, Help and Eleanor Rigby. There is also a selection of some of his favourite classical pieces, Berceuse, Clair de Lune and Swan Lake.

The show will include at least eight of the pieces on the album, plus other musical surprises and anecdotes from Rick.

Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Yes, Piano Portraits, Prog Rock, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall
Venue: Rick Wakeman's solo show is at Birmingham Town Hall on June 24


Yes featuring Wakeman, Anderson and Rabin 2017 UK tour dates

Mar 12: Cardiff Arena;
Mar 13: Birmingham Symphony Hall;
Mar 15: Brighton Dome;
Mar 16: Bournemouth International Centre;
Mar 19: London Hammersmith Apollo;
Mar 21: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall;
Mar 22: Edinburgh Usher Hall;
Mar 24: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall;
Mar 25: Manchester Apollo.


Rick Wakeman Piano Portraits 2017 UK tour dates:

May 25: Apex Theatre, Bury St Edmunds;
June 3: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill;
June 8: Opera House, Buxton;
June 10: The Anvil, Basingstoke;
June 17: De Montfort Hall, Leicester;
June 22: Cadogan Hall, London;
June 24: Town Hall, Birmingham;
June 25: Royal College of Music, Manchester;
July 5 & 6: Stables Theatre, Wavendon, Milton Keynes;
July 07: Gillingham School, Dorset.


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Why? Double helping of Rick Wakeman in Birmingham
When: March 13 and June 24, 2017
Phone: 0121 780 3333
Website: www.rwcc.com
Where: Symphony Hall and Town Hall, Birmingham
Cost: £53 - £78 (Symphony Hall); £38 (Town Hall)
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