Luca Sestak has uploaded videos to YouTube since he was 11 years old. Even back then you could easily see how many talent he had. Right now, at 16 years of age, Luca outplays even veteran boogie woogie pianists. Discover the new boogie woogie sensation from Germany.
How did you react the first time you heard boogie woogie music?
I don’t really remember. During my piano lessons I was allowed to play a few boogies myself, although I didn’t really absorb them at the time. Later on, when I began to really appreciate music and piano playing, I heard a boogie woogie tune on the Internet I thought: “WOW! This is what I want to be able to play myself.“ I was totally enchanted by this new groove and it ripped me along immediately.
What was your favourite boogie woogie sheet music book?
Definitely The Real Blues ‘n Boogie Buch. I learned a lot from this book.
Do you still use sheet music to learn new boogie woogie pieces?
These days I write mainly my own pieces, or I learn pieces that I like by ear. But I can recommend every beginner I to buy sheet music. With sheet music it’s much easier to learn boogie woogie than with trying to learn pieces by ear.
How many hours a day do you practice?
Here you always have to distinguish between playing for fun and practicing. When I play for fun, everything is possible for me. From 0 to 5 hours a day. It’s not that when I play I sit down and play for five hours straight, haha! But the piano and the music (I play the guitar and blues harp a bit too) envelop me and I can’t stop playing. It’s simply that when I get home from school, from being with friends, from vacation or anything else, the first thing I do is to slip behind to the piano and play. Sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes for an hour, and sometimes longer.
With regards to practicing… that’s a good question. I would like to practice more. I think I like blues and boogie woogie so much because they represent freedom and improvisation. The ‘not practising’ part of me loves this. Of course, that isn’t always right; of course you have to learn every piece to be able to eventually play it well and this does not work without practice. Sometimes I practice half an hour, sometimes two hours, it depends entirely on how motivated I am.
What are your plans for the immediate future? To become a professional boogie woogie/jazz pianist?
Well, I have no idea. We’ll see what happens and how it goes with the concerts. So far I have noticed that it gives me unbelievable pleasure to be on stage and to give concerts, but that it can be very tiring as well.
What tips or suggestions would you like to give those of us who want to get better at boogie woogie?
For those who have never played boogie woogie, I would recommend sheet music because that makes the beginnings a lot simpler. But it’s also important to leave sheet music at one point and to try to play by ear. Many pieces that you will like to play, can not be found on sheet music. I also recommend you to practice a great deal, to play a lot, to listen to a lot of music and most importantly to love music and to have fun with it!
Visit Luca’s website to buy his CD or to see his sheet music suggestions.