Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Stomp

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  • Date: July 15, 2023 Sat
  • Time: 8:00 pm
  • Location: Hough Hall
  • Tickets: $18-$45

$45, $30, $18.

Doors open at 7pm for seating.

This annual show at the Palladium features two grand pianos, four great boogie woogie and blues pianists. This year’s event features Rob Rio, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Tony Castellano Jr., and Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues.


Known by some as the “Boss of Boogie,” pianoman/vocalist Rob Rio plays the boogie-woogie and jump blues of the 40’s and 50’s with a virtuosity and elan that has excited audiences around the world for more than 35 years. Rio was inducted into the Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame in 2008. He has appeared with many of the original blues greats, such as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, James Cotton, Charles Brown, Joe Cocker, Paul Butterfield and many more, and has recorded with Mick Jagger, Canned Heat, Billy Boy Arnold, William Clarke, Coco Montoya, Finis Tasby, Walter Trout, Mud Morganfield, Phillip Walker, Jody Williams, among others.

Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Rio now resides in Los Angeles and has been performing at festivals, events and clubs at home and on the road nationally and internationally. In the past year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic limiting travel and gigs, he has continued to write and record, releasing the viral hit “RONA VIRUS BLUES” in March, 2020. He has been a favorite attraction throughout the Southland for the last 30 years, either as a solo performer or with his band, The Revolvers. His main influences include Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Jimmy Yancy, Roosevelt Sykes, Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, and Ray Charles.

Billy C. Wirtz is a radio host, gifted pianist and American musicologist who defies easy classification. The brand is Music, Humor and History, and he promises to deliver generous helpings of all the above at the Stomp. He has been featured as a special guest on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise for the last twenty years and hosts the popular “Rhythm Revival on WMNF Fridays from three to six pm. He currently has a weekly gig at Heidi’s Jazz Club in Cocoa Beach on Saturdays and tours the states during the Summer.

With a unique style combining traditional form with contemporary themes, ride along with the Rev as he takes us from the Texas Turpentine Camps to the Villages with several musical side trips along the way.


The popular Tampa Bay duo has been performing together since 1983 in the U. S. and in Europe. Liz sings and tickles the ivories despite being born with only three fingers on each hand, and Doc accompanies on guitar & vocals. The Ohio natives have appeared with artists including Diamond Teeth Mary, Pinetop Perkins, Marcia Ball and Leon Russell. Also known for their songwriting, Liz & Doc released their seventh album Quirky Boogie in 2016 featuring a new batch of original songs plus some covers. Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues were inducted into the Boogie Woogie Blues Hall of Fame in 2008.

Tony Castellano Jr. was born in Chicago to jazz musicians. His father, pianist Tony Castellano Sr., had a trio in Miami; his mother was a singer. Tony Jr. started playing piano upon moving to Miami, Florida at the age of six.

Castellano is an old-school lounge pianist, with repertoire heavy on the songs of Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Mel Torme, but he can rock out, too, playing hits of Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker and Otis Redding. He once had a conversation with Billy Joel and remembers telling the piano man, “Billy, you’ve paid my rent the last 20 years.”

Tony also leads various jazz combos. “My style would be catering to the room. I have a variety of music: rock ‘n’ roll, reggae, jazz. It depends on the age group. We run the Sinatra gamut.” He has played with some of the greatest including the late great Ray Charles, John Lamb, Herby Mann and Richie Cole. He has recorded many albums of different genres like classical improve and contemporary jazz.

You can find Tony playing all around Tampa Bay area, such as Club 201, downtown St. Petersburg, Wednesday 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 2:30 – 5:30pm, and with a big band Monday nights at the Blue Parrot on St. Pete Beach at 7pm.

Presented by the Palladium.

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