The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


It’s a “ragtime to riches story.” Matthew Ball, an attorney-turned-YouTube-boogie-woogie-piano-sensation with a link to Frederic Chopin is set to wow audiences at the Pemberville Opera House Saturday, Feb. 1 (think Groundhog Day Eve celebration, or maybe an early Valentine’s Day treat).

With more than 2.5 million YouTube views of his performance and at home video footage, Ball – aka The Boogie-Woogie Kid – has earned a large and loyal following. Critics have proclaimed him “awesome” “crushing” and “fantastic.”

He also boasts a pedagogical link to Frederic Chopin himself, having studied classically at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., with Dr. Flavio Varani, who traced his pedigree of study through the Paris Conservatory back to Frederic Chopin by way of Magda Tagliaferro, Alfred Cortot, and Emile Descombs, who was a late pupil of the composer Chopin.

Matthew Ball, Detroit's own Boogie-Woogie Kid, will
perform at the Pemberville Opera House Feb. 1 as
part of the ongoing Live in the House concert series.

Ball is proof that life can begin again at 30. A native Detroiter and graduate of Oakland University and The University of Detroit Mercy Law School, Ball quickly found himself disillusioned by the day-to-day grind of office work and politics. In 2001 he attended a Motor City Boogie-Woogie & Blues Festival that became for him the start of a journey that would  shape him into one of the nation's leading boogie-woogie and blues pianists.

With a lot of time, work, and effort over the next few years Ball would reach a breakthrough in 2005 with a career-launching performance at the exclusive Arches Piano Stage in Cincinnati, where he shared the stage with some of the same musicians that first inspired him to play back in 2001.

Ball’s Pemberville performance promises to include a special toe-tappin’ program of family piano fun featuring classics like “Swanee River,” “Over the Rainbow,” “The Entertainer,” “Bumble Boogie” and many more.

Tickets are $10 for the show, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Beeker’s General Store, 226 E. Front St., Pemberville, or by calling Carol at 419-287-4848. More information is also available at

Find out more about Ball at or hear a preview of his boogie-woogie skills at

Matthew Ball, Detroit’s own Boogie-Woogie Kid, will perform at the Pemberville Opera House Feb. 1 as part of the ongoing Live in the House concert series.




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