Boston's Piano Bars: A Sometime Thing? Say It Isn't So
We’re paying tribute to Boston’s piano bar scene and the great American Songbook. From Diamond Jim’s Lounge at the Lenox Hotel to the dark paneled Oak Room at the Copley Plaza Hotel—the piano bar has been the stomping ground for sweethearts and celebrities—and the stopping ground for piano greats like Dave McKenna and Gladys Troupin. Now, this throwback to another era is in peril. The Oak Room is undergoing massive renovations and the fate of its legendary piano bar is unknown. Other hotels—from the Ritz, to the Four Seasons-- have already shut down their ebony and ivory acts. This hour, we keep the piano bar alive with Ron Della Chiesa as our guide and pianists Jane Potter and Robert Baughman at the bench.
Ron Della Chiesa, WGBH Radio host, Classical New England, author of Radio My Way: Featuring Celebrity Profiles from Jazz, Opera, the American Songbook and More
Jane Potter, pianist, associate professor at Berklee College of Music. Potter performs around the country and internationally with jazz groups, and as a soloist- including gigs like her eight-year run at the Oak Room in the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.
Robert Baughman, adjunct piano instructor at Phillips Academy in Andover and the Groton School in Connecticut. Baughman has performed at many of Boston’s legendary piano bars, such as the Ritz Hotel, Boston Harbor Hotel, the Charles Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel, Lily’s Café in Faneuil Hall, the Top of the Hub, and the Oak Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.