Groovin’ on the Green with Ricky Nye

Ricky Nye will perform at Fairfield’s Groovin on the Green on Thursday, June 22. CONTRIBUTED
Ricky Nye will perform at Fairfield’s Groovin on the Green on Thursday, June 22. CONTRIBUTED

The keyboardist knows how to boogie woogie.

Ricky Nye will be in concert at Fairfield’s Groovin’ on the Green concert series on Thursday, June 22. He will also have several special guests joining him on stage — Lil’ Red & The Rooster.

We caught up with Ricky Nye in a Q&A to find out what audiences can expect from the evening. He also filled us in on some of his latest musical endeavors.

Last year, Nye released several album projects, including “Ricky Nye Plays Holiday Favorites” and “Gettin’ Loose!”

Q: What can we expect from the concert?

A: "This is a special situation. Last year, we played Groovin' on the Green with my quartet, Ricky Nye Inc. This year, I will perform with some of my friends who make up the duo Lil' Red & The Rooster — Pascal Fouquet and Jennifer Milligan. So, it will be the trio version of my band — myself, Chris Douglas (upright bass) and Paul Ellis (drums) — along with Lil' Red & the Rooster."

Q: Do you know the format of the night?

A: "The best thing I can do is to describe the nature of what we'll do. We'll play some traditional boogie woogie, blues of the swing variety or jazzy blues, and New Orleans rhythm and blues material. It's rhythm music. It's a whole lot of fun. It's meant to move you."

Q: You mentioned you played Groovin’ on the Green last year. Have you played there before?

A: "No, last year was the first time."

Q: What was your experience like, and what are you looking forward to this year?

A: "The space is wonderful, and there's plenty of room for people to gather. It was really great. I saw a lot of familiar faces, and met a lot of nice folks. It was a warmhearted event. We had fun. There was a little rain while we were setting up, so we wondered if people would come out, but they did. It was nice."

Q: Why would you encourage your friends and fans to come out on Thursday?

A: "It's a concert setting. It's not like coming to a club where there are all kinds of distractions and things. It's special."

Q: You’ve received a lot of awards and accolades. Is there one that is especially meaningful to you? And, why?

A: "At the Cincy Blues Fest, which happens every year, there is a piano stage, the Arches Boogie Piano Stage. The folks that put that on have established an International Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame, and in 2013, I was inducted into this hall of fame. That meant the world to me. Boogie woogie is a world I didn't grow up in, and I heard it and fell in love with it."

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

How to go

What: Groovin’ on the Green featuring Ricky Nye with special guest Lil’ Red & The Rooster

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, June 22. (The series runs on Thursdays throughout the summer.)

Where: Village Green Park, Fairfield

Cost: Free

More info: www.Fairfield-City.org/Green

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