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John Brothers Piano Company 

When: Sun., Feb. 12, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $5

The term "hard-working" is reserved for those who play frequently, practice often, and usually, make very little. But the two young gentlemen who make up The John Brothers' Piano Company exceed this simple classification by vast stretches; they perform for hours on end; they practice constantly; they lug a piano around with them. The traveling pianists (who aren't actually brothers) have made a name for themselves playing Bay Area transportation hubs where they stump transient audiences with their showmanship, folding together the intrigue of romantic composition and the pizzazz of ragtime. John Thatcher Boomer and John Morgan can rip through original pieces on their tattered upright for a full day, given good weather and enough stimulants. Their ivory-tickling also makes a perfect lounge soundtrack, and it's a rare occasion that they bring their dramatic show to a proper venue. Supplemented as of late by new touches, such as Boomer's skill on the clarinet, the two take turns, dueling and one-upping one another while simultaneously complementing each other's individual style. At Vitus (201 Broadway, Oakland) on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m., $5, VitusOakland.com

— Will Butler

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