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Alvin Waddles

Pianist, singer, composer, director, Alvin Waddles began studying the piano at the age of eight in his hometown of Detroit, MI. He continued his studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University Of Michigan School Of Music after which he returned to the Detroit area where he currently resides. After returning home he immediately immersed himself in the rich musical culture of the city, benefiting from the diverse influences that would eventually shape his own unique style.

Mr. Waddles has worked in the Detroit and Ann Arbor Public Schools as well as the Music Ministries of several churches; among them, the historic New Bethel Baptist Church, Hartford Memorial Baptist and Hope United Methodist in Southfield, MI. where he has served as the Director of Music since 1995.

He has been musical director and/or pianist for numerous theatrical productions including: The Wiz, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Chorus Line, West Side Story, Sophisticated Ladies and received rave reviews as a featured performer in the Detroit Music Hall's long running production of Ain't Misbehavin'. During the 2010-2011 season his diverse gifts were on full display when, within a two week period, he sang the role of Crown for Bolling Green University's production of Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' and played the composers 'Rhapsody in Blue' with the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra.

Mr. Waddles has delighted Detroit music lovers with performances in a variety of musical events including the Detroit International Jazz Festival and the Detroit Festival of the Arts. He is the featured piano soloist in annual productions of "Too Hot to Handel" in Detroit and Chicago and can frequently be heard performing his own Fats Waller Revue.

Mr. Waddles' engagements as a soloist and featured artist have taken him to a variety of destinations including Barbados, Beijing, Paris, Barcelona and Ghana, West Africa. He has also traveled extensively as musical director/pianist for Cook, Dixon and Young (formerly of the Three Mo' Tenors). He has been blessed to work with some of the world's finest musicians including Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Brazeal Dennard, Minister Thomas Whitfield, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Placido Domingo, George Shirley, Marcus Belgrave, Jack Jones, Haley Westenra, Stephanie Mills and Tramaine Hawkins.

Fats Waller's Review

Initially performed in 2004 to celebrate the centenary of Thomas "Fats" Waller's birth, Alvin Waddles' Fats Waller Review has continued, bypopular demand, to play to capacity crowds ever since. This tribute to the late, great 'King of Harlem Stride Pianists' features Mr. Waddles' signature pianism and rich baritone voice and draws from over 50 songs written and / or recorded by Fats Waller.

Audiences in Detroit, Chicago, New York and Dallas have delighted to hear such favorites as "Honeysuckle Rose", "Ain't Misbehavin'", "Feets Too Big" and "Handful of Keys" all performed with a wit and panache reminiscent of the legendary entertainer.

Gene Parker - saxophone, Alvin Waddles - piano, Djallo, Djakate - drums, Marion Hayden - bass.

Evening With Alvin Waddles,
November 17, 2017


Get ready for a truly unique concert experience conceived and produced by a true Detroit Original, Alvin Waddles. Classical, Opera, Jazz, Blues and Gospel.

Save the Date

November 17
Beverly Hills, MI
Seligman Performing Arts Center
Evening With Alvin Waddles and Friends V
with Rackham Choir, the Too Hot Trio, Alaina Brown.
Gregory Ashe, Detroit Country Day Choirs and others
November 22, 24, 25
Grosse Pointe, MI
Dirty Dog Jazz Café
with Marion Hayden and Djallo Djakate
December 3
Birmingham, MI
Congregational Church of Birmingham
Cranbrook Music Guild
A Holiday Gift
December 16
Detroit, MI
Detroit Opera House
Too Hot to Handel
with Rackham Choir, Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke,
Karen Marie Richardson, Marion Hayden, Dave Taylor,
Chris Collins, Walter White and others
January 13, 14
Chicago, IL
Auditorium Theatre
Too Hot to Handel
with Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, Karen Marie Richardson and others
February 3
Detroit, MI
Palmer Woods Music in Homes
Mardi Gras Celebration
with Marion Hayden and Djallo Djakate
February 6
Detroit, MI
Metropolitan United Methodist Church
African-American Music Series
with Marion Hayden and Djallo Djakate
February 8
Toledo, OH
Toledo Museum of Art
Flying Aces
with Marion Hayden, Leslie Deshazor and Djallo Djakate
March 10
Big Rapids, MI
Tuba Bach
Songs from the Americas
with Kira McGirr, Jeffrey Norris and Edward Mallette
March 14
Ann Arbor, MI
Michigan Theater
Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation
with Gerald Clayton and the Hope UMC Gospel Choir
March 24
Southfield, MI
Hope United Methodist Church
Gospel Choir 27th Anniversary Concert
March 29
Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan Hospital
Gifts of Art Solo Performance
April 21, 22
Memphis, TN
Orpheum Theatre
Too Hot to Handel
with Rod Dixon, Karen Richardson, Marion Hayden and Leo Davis

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