Ex-Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman plots final solo tour in the US

Former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman has announced his final solo tour in the United States, stating that it is time “to call it a day”.

On his official website, Wakeman recently announced a new set of live solo dates in North and South America, which he noted would mark the start of his last-ever concerts as a “one-man show”. The statement however, suggests that the keyboardist will not be retiring yet, noting that he will spend the future “[concentrating] on composing, recording and collaborating with other musicians”.

To clarify any confusion, Wakeman took to X to explain: “In March I perform 9 shows in the USA which will be the beginning of the very last one man show tours there. The main bulk of shows will be in October [and] November [and] if demand is there, may carry on into 2025.”

In the statement on his website, Wakeman stated that he had always intended to stop touring by his 77th birthday, writing: “I always planned to stop touring by my 77th birthday – for those of you who wish to send me a card, it’s 18th May! – but there is so much to fit in before then that I’m having to make plans now and so my final one-man shows will have to cease by that date. I have thoroughly enjoyed performing the various one-man shows, but it’s time to call it a day.”

To commemorate the musician’s final solo tour, he will premiere a new piece of music during the performances. Entitled ‘Yessonata’, the 30-minute work will weave melodies from Yes material into a cohesive sonata form.

Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman. CREDIT: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Rick Wakeman’s ‘Final Solo Tour’ will commence on March 19 with a date at Ridgefield, Connecticut’s Ridgefield Playhouse, before travelling to other North American cities including Huntington, New York and Vienna, Virginia, before flying to South America for dates in Mexico City, Santiago, and São Paulo, before concluding the tour on April 15 at Curitiba, Brazil’s Opera de Arame.

Tickets for the tour can be found on Wakeman’s website, which also states that more dates will be announced soon. A full list of dates is listed below.

Rick Wakeman was a member of Yes for most of the band’s career, being featured every album from their classic 1972 LP ‘Fragile’, to their 1997 live album ‘Keys to Ascension 2’. In addition, Wakeman served as a sessionist for various artists including Elton John, Lou Reed, Black Sabbath and most notably, David Bowie. His work appears appears on several of Bowie’s most iconic songs and albums, including ‘Space Oddity’, his 1971 album ‘Hunky Dory’, and his magnum opus, ‘Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’.

In 2017, Wakeman revealed that he played piano on the song ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ from Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’. Later that year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a former member of Yes, alongside fellow inductees Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, Journey and Electric Light Orchestra.

Rick Wakeman’s final solo tour dates in the US are:

MARCH
19 – Ridgefield, Connecticut – Ridgefield Playhouse
20 – Montclair, New Jersey – Wellmont Theater
22 – Huntington, New York – The Paramount
23 – Collingswood, New Jersey – Scottish Rite Auditorium
24 – Derry, New Hampshire – Tupelo Music Hall
26 – Red Bank, New Jersey – The Vogel – Count Basie Center for the Arts
27 – Vienna, Virginia – Wolf Trap
28 – Vienna, Virginia – Wolf Trap
29 – Albany, New York – The Egg Center for the Performing Arts

APRIL
03 – Mexico City, Mexico – Auditorio Blackberry
06 – Santiago, Chile – Teatro Teleton
09 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – Teatro Gran Rex
11 – Porto Alegre, Brazil – Salão de Atos da PUCRS
12 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Tokio Marine Hall
14 – Brasilia, Brazil – Centro de Convencoes Ulysses Guimaraes
15 – Curitiba, Brazil – Opera de Arame


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