Bruce Katz Master Class Programs

A survey of Blues and Blues-related piano styles  


This can be structured for piano players or a more general interest group that might include pianists. I include live performance and audio and video materials. This is a 90 minute - 2 hour presentation


  • I discuss some general history and origins of blues and barrelhouse piano styles.


  • Discussion and illustration of particular elements of “Blues Piano” - certain embellishments and “blues sounds” that create a blues sound on the piano


  • Illustration and performance of historical styles of Blues Piano including: Stride, Boogie-Woogie, Chicago Blues, Jump Blues, early Jazz/Blues, New Orleans Blues.  Discussion of important figures in each of these styles and audio/video.


All throughout this presentation/discussion/performance I invite and encourage participation from the audience.  I will pose questions and answer questions about content, style, music, particular musicians, my own music, etc. 

History of Blues


This is a condensed version of the course I created and taught at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This is ideally done in two 90 minute classes, but I have done it in the past in a single class.


  • I explore the origins of the music from historical recordings of work songs/field hollers to acoustic Country Blues, Classic Blues (1920’s/30s), Boogie Woogie,  pre-war Chicago, “Jump Blues, Electric Chicago Blues. 


  • If possible I include the gospel origins of Soul Music and early soul as well.


  • Extensive use of audio recordings and video


  • If my band is present, we will illustrate these styles live and discuss what we are all doing.


Artists discussed: Alan Lomax recordings, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Blind Willie McTell,  Louis Jordan, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Spann, Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, Ray Charles, Freddie King, BB King  and others as time permits.

Playing Blues Music in a traditional ensemble


This is a clinic that I do with my band present and is primarily for aspiring Blues musicians. We perform as a group and individually. The students can have their instruments with them and participate if there is time, space, gear.  Otherwise we play and discuss what we are doing.


  • Discuss and illustrate the roles of guitar, drums, bass, keyboards in different styles of Blues - Acoustic Blues, Electric Blues, Swing Blues.  


  • Break up into instrumental groups if space and time permit

Hammond Organ Master Class


This is a discussion, illustration and performance using a traditional B3 or a double manual digital “clone”.  


  • Drawbars, Expression Pedal, Leslie speeds all are discussed


  • Differences between piano and organ touch


  • Special organ techniques - glissandos, percussion, chorus  

Contact - Booking/Management 

Legare Robertson

Founding Music


Phn:    804.690.5122


©2020 by Bruce Katz Band