Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Boogie Woogie pianist Mark Braun to pedal his piano through Flint, give free concert at Mott Community College


by Beata Mostafavi

Tuesday July 07, 2009, 8:30 AM

Courtesy Photo Mark Braun rides his "Joybox Express," a bicycle that carries his 352-pound piano

FLINT, MICHIGAN -- When it comes to the piano, Mark Braun knows how to boogie.

But for the next six days, the youngest inductee to the National Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame will begin a different kind of music adventure -touring lower Michigan with his 352-pound piano fastened on the back of his bicycle.

Locals may spot Braun riding his 11-foot-long, 4-foot wide Pedi cab today while pulling his Baldwin Acrosonic piano through town.

The musician kicks of a unique six-day tour in Flint, starting at the home of his father Phil Braun and making a stop at Mott Community College's Bear Bistro for a noon concert that will raise money for MCC athletes.

"When I was 22 years old, I imagined building some type of bicycle that could haul a piano all across America, from coast to coast, playing for people I'd meet along the way," Braun, 52, said in a prepared statement.

Thirty years later, Braun said he's achieved a "scaled down version" of the original plan.

The MCC concert is free but the MCC Foundation is taking donations to help raise money for student athletes who need financial support. The Bear Bistro is also donating a portion of luncheon proceeds to the benefit.

Braun will continue on from his hometown Flint to wheel his piano to Lansing for several shows and then to Chelsea for a benefit concert. He plans to end his journey with a large group of cyclists who will ride with him to downtown Ann Arbor for the "Townie Party" hosted by the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.

For details: (810) 762-0425


From http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/07/boogie_woogie_pianist_mark_bra.html

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