YES Keyboard Legend RICK WAKEMAN Announces Final Solo Tour

YES Keyboard Legend RICK WAKEMAN Announces Final Solo Tour

The ultimate keyboard wizard, Rick Wakeman CBE, will be embarking on a tour of the U.S. with a series of solo piano concerts for the last time in 2024. Rick, who has become almost as well known for his intimate piano shows as his prog rock extravaganzas, has decided that after a career spanning over 50 years, he is calling a halt to lengthy American one-man show tours, in order to concentrate on composing, recording and collaborating with other musicians.

As an exclusive gift for fans, on these shows Rick will be premiering a brand new piece of music, “Yessonata”, a 30- minute instrumental work featuring YES themes and melodies, woven into sonata form.

Rick first started establishing a reputation as one of rock’s most original and proficient keyboard players in the late ’60s, when he worked with the likes of David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Marc Bolan, Lou Reed, Al Stewart, Elton John and other artists too numerous to mention, as a much-in-demand session player. He stepped out of the recording studio and into the limelight when he first joined THE STRAWBS and then YES, helping to make the latter the most successful progressive rock band in the world by contributing to seminal albums such as “Fragile” and “Close To The Edge”.

But outside of YES, Rick was really able to unleash his creativity with a series of groundbreaking concept albums, “The Six Wives Of Henry VIII”, “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth” and “The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table”, which have been performed in large-scale shows featuring bands, orchestras and choirs.

However, he is equally at home as a solo artist in up close environment of concert halls, performing music on a piano — both his own and tunes that have a special resonance for him — and recounting wickedly funny stories taken from the length of his career. In recent years, he has added a rack of electric keyboards to ring the changes and enable him to enlarge his live solo repertoire.

Now, for the last time in 2024, Rick will be taking to the road in the U.S. with an all-new solo piano and keyboard show, featuring the premiere of a stunning new work. Don’t miss this final opportunity to enjoy an evening of great music and hilarious stories, delivered by one of the truly legendary figures of rock music.

Rick says: “I always planned to stop touring by my 77th birthday — for those of you who wish to send me a card, it’s May 18th! — but there is so much to fit in before then that I’m having to make plans now and so my final one-man shows will have to cease by that date.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed performing the various one-man shows, but it’s time to call it a day. I intend to throw in the best of what I have done in the past, plus a few new surprises on the way, and possibly even the odd guest joining me on the odd occasion.

“The plan is not to perform at the same venue twice throughout this period, so whatever venue you are hopefully thinking of coming to, it will be the last performance there — and I am taking this opportunity of thanking everyone and anyone who has supported me over the last 53 years!”

After this initial string of dates, Rick will be taking the tour to South America in April, but will return to North America for the second leg later in the year.

2024 U.S. tour (first leg):

March 19 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
March 20 – Wellmont Theatre – Montclair, NJ
March 22 – Paramount Theater – Huntington, NY
March 23 – Scottish Rite Auditorium – Collingswood, NJ
March 24 – Tupelo Music Hall – Derry, NH
March 26 – The Vogel @ Count Basie Center for the Arts – Red Bank,
NJ
March 27 and March 28 – The Barns – Vienna, VA
March 29 – Egg – Hart Theatre – Albany, NY

For tickets and more information, visit RWCC.com.

Photo by Lee Wilkinson

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