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Missoula's dueling pianos get on stage for the love of music, community

Dueling Pianos Missoula
Posted at 1:03 PM, Dec 09, 2022

MISSOULA - If you have ever been to Missoula’s speakeasy, Stave and Hoop, then you know that some of the people who make the environment so fun are the dueling pianos.

He is a choir director by day, and a piano dueler by night. Meet Doug Olson. He not only duels at Stave & Hoop, but he's the genius behind the popular entertainment.

“To have a roomful of people that are just singing along," said Olson. "I mean, we have some of the best choirs in Missoula right here. And it's amazing. You know, it's just it's the whole. It's like everybody's making music and everybody's apart.”

The born and raised Montanan recently moved back to the Missoula area and brought with him his talent and love for dueling.

Watch the video below to learn more about how the Duelin' Missoulians met.

WEB EXTRA: Meet the Duelin' Missoulians

“No, Missoula is the best place I've ever dueled," Olson told MTN News. "It just is I don't say that because I grew up in Montana. It's It's amazing. People. They get it, they participate. They come early, they stay late.”

But what is dueling?

“It's way more than just playing songs," said Kyle Curtis, another dueler. "And that's another part that is different every night. Some people want to join in on that. Maybe we have a funny new joke. We're trying to try out, But Doug has been great in turning a night of songs into a show that people will remember.”

A recent graduate of the University of Montana's Jazz Piano music program, Curtis, spends his time dueling as a way to bring joy to others and challenge himself.

“Every night is a totally different night," Curtis told MTN News. "Even if we play the same songs, they're always in a different order. It is really fun to be able to cultivate a different show on the fly every night.”

Josh Farmer is another member of the dueling pianists.

You can watch —and hear — the Duelin' Missoulians all at Stave & Hoop which is located at 223 North Higgins Avenue in downtown Missoula.