Go ahead and try to stump the dueling piano players at Ernie Biggs Piano Bar. They double dare you.
“They just specialize in a wide variety, from classics to stuff you think they couldn’t play on piano, like hip hop,” said Aaron Kenney, the club’s General Manager.
The combination of high-level musicianship and plenty of laughs has quickly made the club on Rock Road a hit with Wichita audiences. The success shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since the first Ernie Biggs was started by a Little Rock businessman in the Arkansas capital a decade ago, four more have been opened — in Springfield, Mo.; Branson; Kansas City and Wichita.
The latter seemed like a natural, since the city had been without a dueling piano bar.
“I think this was much needed,” Kenney said. “There wasn’t a place where you could go out and be entertained with a show and people telling jokes.”
Ernie Biggs stations three or four musicians at each of its locations. They perform there three weeks a month, then make a guest appearance at one of the other clubs the other weeks.
Based in Wichita are musical director Matt Kschinki and fellow pianist/singers Paul Bowen and Zach Spakowski. All are fluent on instruments like the guitar, drums and sax as well.