SEPTEMBER 2002 NUMBER 77
Rose Leaf Ragtime Club August Meeting (8/25/2002)
Reported by Gary Rametta
August, 1995 marked the inaugural meeting of the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club of Pasadena—founded by ragtime enthusiast and artist Phil "P.J." Schmidt—at Biscotti & Books, a coffeehouse/bookstore/music venue on Holly Street in Old Pasadena.
On August 25, 2002 we celebrated the Seventh Anniversary of the Rose Leaf club, our 84th consecutive meeting, this one (like all the others since 1996) held in the banquet room of the IHOP (International House of Pancakes) on Foothill Blvd.
At this month’s meeting on September 29, we’ll hold our 3rd annual Memorial for P.J. Those of you who knew Phil are invited to share your reminiscences of him, in words and/or music.
Finally, I’d like to send out a Get Well wish to Prentiss Bacon, our oldest member (95 years young!) who was ill at home and unable to make last month’s meeting. Mr. Bacon has been on hand for nearly every single Rose Leaf meeting since the club’s inception. We hope to see him ASAP!
Our August meeting was another barnburner, with a splendid variety of tunes and some terrific playing.
Gary Rametta started the meeting off with Joplin’s “Original Rags,” the handed off to Ron Ross, who performed two of his excellent originals, “Sweet is the Sound” and “Retro Rag.” Gary then returned to play Joseph Lamb’s posthumously published “Ragtime Reverie,” unearthed in the early 1990s from one of Lamb’s sketchbooks and published by his daughter, Patricia Lamb Conn.
Bill Mitchell contributed two classics from James Scott, “Ragtime Oriole” and his last-published rag, “Broadway Rag.” Phil Cannon then followed with a couple more gems of classic ragtime, Joplin’s “Fig Leaf Rag” and Lamb’s “Cottontail Rag.”
Stan Long warmed up with his all-American medley, a self-composed piece that mixes “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” “New York, New York” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” It was nicely done, incorporating a lot of blues and boogie figures, plus a fair amount of reharmonization. Stan continued with “Snow Deer Rag” (a 1913 composition by Wenrich and Mahoney), then closed his set with current-day composer Gil Lieby’s “Dixie Rag.”
Bob Pinsker had almost literally just gotten off the plane from England where he and his wife Judy had been vacationing. In addition to inviting everyone to attend his September 22nd concert at the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, Bob came to share some rarities he dug up on a recent trip to the Library of Congress. The first of these was a Tom Turpin song, apparently his last-published piece in 1917, called “When Sambo Goes to France.” Next was a 1924 Jimmy Blythe piano solo called “Chicago Stomps.” Bob explained that the copyright deposition revealed a discrepancy in the titling of the tune—it’s also referred to as “Armor Avenue Struggle” on a recording.
Bob closed his set with a Luckey Roberts composition he found on a piano roll, called “Give Me Some Mo’lasses,” penned in 1923 and taken from Roberts’ show, Go-Go.
Bill Mitchell returned to the keys. First, Ron Ross joined him in a duet version of “The Rose Leaf Way,” written by Ron three years ago to help celebrate our fourth birthday. Ron passed out the sheet music and lyrics and everyone join in to sing along.
After some announcements, Bill continued with Jelly Roll Morton’s “Milneberg Joys” and James Scott’s “Quality Rag.” Gary Rametta then joined him in a duet of “Maple Leaf Rag” to close out the first half of the show.
During intermission, Bill Coleman entertained the troops with a variety of standards and popular tunes.
The second half got underway with Gary giving Fred Hoeptner’s award-winning composition “Dalliance” a spin. Next was Ron Ross, performing Joplin’s marvelous “Wall Street Rag” and his own “Joplinesque.”
Phil Cannon strapped on his guitar/banjo once again, then proceeded with two lovely Joseph Lamb rags, “Ethiopia” and “Contentment.” Gary noted that Lamb had written “Contentment” as a 50th wedding anniversary gift to publisher John Stark, but Stark never published it until years later, after his wife passed away. When he finally did publish it, the sheet music cover art Stark chose was of an old man in a rocking chair, smoking a pipe.
Bob Pinsker returned with a vengeance, this time playing Luckey Roberts’ “Pork and Beans” at breakneck speed. Bob noted that one of the reasons Roberts—probably the first real east-coast stride pianist—was not as well-known as his contemporaries and followers was because of the dizzying complexity of his music. The few available published scores were “dumbed-down” versions of what he actually played. For instance, “Pork and Beans” was written in C-sharp minor and contained lots of pianistic pyrotechnics, while the printed score bore a key signature of C-minor and was comparatively tame. Next was another Roberts piece from his show Go-Go, this one called “Rosetime and You.” Bob finished off with Eubie Blake’s great “Charleston Rag.”
Fred Hoeptner took over the keys for two solos, “Evergreen Rag” from James Scott and “One For Amelia,” a sparkling, original and highly influential piece written in the early 1960s by Max Morath in dedication to Joseph Lamb’s wife Amelia.
Returning from a few months absence was Nancy Kleier. Nancy was particularly enthused about sharing her experiences at the recent Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival in Northern California. Focusing on some of her favorite music and artists from the festival, Nancy started out with Gil Lieby’s folksy “Sutter Creek Strut.” She then moved to Tom Brier’s “Rose Blossoms,” then closed out with Charles Daniels’ “Borneo Rag.”
Ruby Fradkin then strode up to the keys to play three original pieces from her upcoming CD. I didn’t get the titles, but all of them centered around the boogie-woogie and blues sound that’s really captured Ruby’s interest and made its way into her playing.
Bill Mitchell came back up, joining Ruby on a duet of Arthur Marshall and Joplin’s “Swipesy Cakewalk.”
Next was Stan Long, performing a piano/vocal rendition of Tom Lehrer’s folk song, “The Wild West is Where I Want to Be.” Stan’s vocals were really wonderful.
Gary Rametta and Bob Pinsker closed out the meeting with two classic rags, Joplin’s “Weeping Willow” and the Joplin/Chauvin collaboration “Heliotrope Bouquet.”
Please come to our September meeting and help us remember P.J. Schmidt, our founder. We’ll have a cake and refreshments on hand, plus a card to send to his daughter Ilana.
A NOTE ABOUT OUR CD & TAPE LENDING LIBRARY
Our club owes a debt of gratitude to member John Tulley, who does a terrific job managing and organizing our lending library, and to all those who’ve contributed CDs, cassettes or videos.
As you know, the library operates on the honor system. All the items have been generously donated and are a great resource for all of our members. For the most part, this system has worked smoothly. However, in our most recent inventory, we found that there are many CDs and tapes unaccounted for. Some were checked out via the log sheet but not returned, while others were borrowed without the member recording the loan on the log sheet.
If you have any library materials in your possession, please let us know. We'd like to get them back. Also, please make sure to sign out and sign back in any item you borrow.
MEMBERS SPEAK OUT IN PETITION
Recently, a petition was circulated among members, regarding the style and musical content of our programs. Without exception, support was expressed for programs that focus on well-rehearsed, instrumental ragtime.
In practical terms, what that means is that, unless approved in advance by the program chair, only slots during the last hour of the meeting will be available for vocal performances. In addition, even though none of us members expects perfection, we’d still like to ask all players to perform only if they’ve been able to practice their selections prior to the meeting. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAGTIME 2002
By Fred Hoeptner
The Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival resumed this year under musical director Scott Kirby for its tenth annual edition after a year’s hiatus. The board of directors chaired by Jack Rummel had successfully obtained funding assistance from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District of Denver and the Meet the Composer Foundation and had obviously done a great organizing job. The primary venue was the comfortable and acoustically superb Unity Church in Boulder with after-hours activities at the Ramada Inn. Previously the festival had extensively supplemented the ragtime by including in its schedule selections from peripheral musical genres, primarily various syncopated Latin styles and the amalgamation known as “Terra Verde.” This year the festival reverted back toward ragtime from the extreme exemplified by the 2000 festival, except, strangely, for the climactic Saturday night concert.
Featured performers included pianists Frank French, Brian Keenan, Scott Kirby, David Thomas Roberts, Jack Rummel, and Mimi Blais; violinist Sophie Rivard; guitarist Giovanni DeChiaro; pianist Trebor Tichenor, his daughter Virginia, and her husband Mary Eggers, known as the Tichenor Family Trio; Trebor’s four-piece band The St. Louis Ragtimers; and the five-piece Mont Alto Ragtime and Tango Orchestra led by pianist Rodney Sauer.
The opening concert Thursday evening featured a wide spectrum of ragtime. Some highlights: Roberts playing his “Memories of a Missouri Confederate,” which I hadn’t heard in several years; and French and Kirby duetting on “Belle of Louisville” and “Lone Jack to Knob Noster”. This concert introduced Giovanni DeChiaro, music professor from Mississippi and guitarist extraordinaire, who has transcribed all 52 Joplin rags for guitar. Also introduced in this concert was violinist Sophie Rivard, who became an audience favorite. Blais had recently introduced Rivard, principal second violinist with l’Orchestre Metropolitan de Montreal, to ragtime, and she had quickly become a devotee. At this concert and during the remainder of the festival they featured the compositions of French-Canadian composer Jean-Baptiste Lafreniere (1874-1912), known as “The National Strauss of Canada” for his waltzes. Unfortunately his rags, as admitted by Mimi, are pleasant but unexceptional.
A two-day series of symposia began Friday morning with “Ragtime Orientation.” Subjects broached by attendees included Terra Verde, stride and novelty piano. Scott Kirby responded citing the spectrum that exists between ragtime and the other genres. He cited Lamb’s “Bird Brain Rag” as falling in the transitional area combining the devices of novelty piano in the treble with the tenths characteristic of stride in the bass. “Novelty piano exploits the act of playing the piano as opposed to melodic qualities.” Two symposium sessions featured a “Composers Spotlight” in which Roberts, Rummel, French and Keenan discussed their compositions and the musical ideas that inspired them. Rummel showed how “Waiting for the Zenith” incorporated a three-note pattern that repeated in three different keys. Roberts demonstrated how he changes “harmonic blocks” under a melody that remains relatively constant. He explained how “Roberto Clemente” evolved from watching a documentary about the life of the heroic baseball player. French presented “Cuban Encounter.” George Foreman, renowned bandmaster, musicologist and leader of the New Columbian Brass Band, presented “Band Rags and Brass Bands in the Ragtime Era.” He discussed the standard formats for marches, development of band instrumentation following the invention of brass instruments with valves in the 1830s, and rags that bands have favored.
“Folk Ragtime” led off the Friday series of specialty concerts featuring Roberts, Keenan, and the Tichenor Family. Next in the series was John DeChiaro with “Joplin on Guitar.” Mimi Blais followed with a group of her specialties. “Composer Spotlight” featured new ragtime by Rummel, Keenan, and Roberts. “Dynamic Duos” featured compositions of Joe Lamb, Joplin, and others. Highlights were Roberts’ performance of Lamb’s unpublished “Bee Hive Rag” and Blais’ and Rivard’s performance of Bolcom’s “Graceful Ghost” featuring a violin obbligato and extensive use of double stops. The Friday evening concert yielded a variety of ragtime delights. Featured were the Tichenor Family Trio, Keenan, and French, a tribute to Eubie Blake by Kirby and Blais, and a set of songs and instrumentals by the St. Louis Ragtimers marking their fortieth anniversary and sounding as lively as ever.
Specialty concerts resumed Saturday with “Folk Ragtime of Today” featuring the Tichenor Family Trio and Jack Rummel, followed by a “Joplin Tribute” set featuring Roberts, Kirby, DeChiaro, and Blais and Rivard. Highlights were the violin and piano duets on “Easy Winners,” “Bethena,” and “Elite Syncopations.” French offered the next session “Out of the Box (Terra Verde and Beyond),” as an opportunity for the performers to play something outside the recognized scope of ragtime. Keenan, French, and Kirby performed their own compositions, primarily in the Terra Verde category. The St. Louis Ragtimers finished the series with nine of their favorites including “Blind Boone’s Southern Rag Medley #2,” “Colonial Glide Rag” by Pratt and “King Chanticleer.”
The Saturday evening feature concert always draws the largest audiences, many of whom are from the Boulder-Denver area and are unfamiliar with ragtime. This year was no exception, the seating being about three-quarters occupied. However, attendees heard precious little ragtime. Except for DeChiaro, who played two Joplin rags and his 6/8 march “Antoinette,” Blais, who played one rag by Lafreniere, and perhaps Mont Alto’s renditions of “Solace” (although Joplin calls it “a Mexican serenade”) and Kelly’s 1910 composition “A Certain Party” (labeled “rag and two-step”), the concert was devoid of it. This is to disparage neither the quality of the performances nor of the music presented, which I enjoyed. In fact, a careful reading of the festival program revealed that the concert was advertised as featuring a “special French-American tribute.” Music presented included, among others, that of American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, French musette music, Haitian meringue music, music of Trinidadian Lionel Velasco, several waltzes by Lafreniere, “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” by Debussy, and a waltz by Hal Isbitz written in honor of a French singer. But it seems to me that a golden opportunity to introduce a receptive audience to the broad scope of mainstream ragtime of yesterday and today was missed.
Sunday began with a brunch at the Ramada Inn followed by open piano all day. This can be one of the most interesting parts of the festival with pianists of all ability levels playing rags both popular and obscure.
For many ragtimers and me, the Monday night concert is the highlight of the festival. The venue, the showroom of the Chris Finger Piano Company in nearby Niwot, fosters an illusion of total immersion in music. Highlights were Keenan and Rivard duetting on Rummel’s ragtime waltz “When The Work Is Done I’ll Dance,” Eggers’ piano performance of “Doin’ the Hambone,” and Blais’ Zez Confrey showpiece incorporating excerpts from the classics. The concert climaxed with five pianos and a string bass performing “Belle of Louisville” to a standing ovation and the same plus violin performing “Maple Leaf Rag.” Following the concert Chris Finger treated all to a reception with food and refreshments in the pavilion adjoining the showroom, the perfect conclusion to an exciting festival.
Sundays, 2-3:30 pm PT, “Syncopation Station,” KDHX St. Louis MO 88.l and www.kdhx.org; host, Van Ford.
Sundays, 8-10 pm PT, “The Ragtime Show,” KSBR Mission Viejo CA 88.5 and www.ksbr.net; host, Jeff Stone.
Mondays, 9-10 pm PT, “The Ragtime Machine,” KUSF San Francisco CA 90.3; host, David Reffkin. Go to www.live365.com, enter KUSF in the search box, and click on “go.” Then click on the speaker symbol at #1. Besides music, Reffkin features extensive interviews with ragtime personalities and commentary on various aspects of the genre.
Thursdays, 7-8 pm PT, “Ragtime America,” KGNU Boulder CO 88.5 and www.kgnu.org; host, Jack Rummel.
RAGTIME HITS SUTTER CREEK
By Ron Ross
Here are a few reflections on the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival of 2002, held in the quaint little Gold Rush town of Sutter Creek, California on August 9, 10 and 11:
I arrived on Friday night, August 9, managing to find the lovely Historian Inn, a fairly new facility on the north end of town, which was the official hotel for the Festival. Checked in and made it back to Belotti’s Inn in time to catch the dueling pianos of Nan Bostick and Tom Brier going at it tooth, nail and ivory. Here you had two marvelous old uprights, with the fronts removed with two excellent piano players banging out the great ragtime tunes. There was, of course, the obligatory mechanical hand sitting on top of “Hot Rod” Tommy’s piano, trying to distract him, and the lovely Kitty Wilson rapping on her washboard to distract everyone else. But the music won out, and a good time was had by all.
When the dynamic duo took a break, we got to hear Elliot Adams and Carl Sonny Leyland. Carl plays the most amazing and accurate boogie (or boogie-woogie) and stride piano that you are likely to hear in this day and age. Although not strictly a ragtime player, Carl nevertheless “stole the show” over this remarkable weekend and anyone who likes good rollicking piano music of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s needs to go hear Carl Sonny Leyland whenever he can. He is scheduled to perform at the Orange County RagFest in October, incidentally.
Saturday’s highlights included the hilarious stage show “Dill Pickles Ranch” melodrama, which is so bad, it’s good. Stevens Price plays the piano as a motley crew of thespians acts out the tale of Sweet Sue and her trials and tribulations with her darling Jack and the villainous landlord who is determined to have Sweet Sue for his own. I wish I had seen the beginning, so I could give you a better flavor of the plot, but suffice to say the plot is not the thing. What is the thing is the over-the-top performances by all, the clever and not so clever puns, the amusing set and props and the interaction of the cast with the piano player. Highly recommended if you go next year. I somehow missed the notice of it in the program, thinking it was part of the evening concert but it’s usually scheduled for morning and afternoon performances on Saturday at the Main Street Theater.
The most fun venue, although a bit crowded because of its small size, is the Ice Cream Parlor, where Stevens Price hangs out (it’s his place, that’s why he hangs out there). You can order some terrific ice cream and sandwiches while listening to the music. The piano is another upright with the front removed and sounded darned good to me. I even got a chance to play it during the open piano periods a couple of times.
Other venues included Belotti’s Inn, where a large banquet room was the site of two pianos and held about 100 people (rough guess). Here you could go into the bar and bring back drinks or dine in the restaurant.
The town legitimate theater was a comfortable place to listen to the pianists in a more formal setting. I listened to Carl Sonny Leyland and Keith Taylor perform in this setting. Keith is a former southern Californian who has lived in southern Oregon for 25 years, he tells me. Keith plays the classic and contemporary rags very well and sometimes wears a black cowboy hat to go with his western outfit
Another pleasant setting was Susan’s Place, the little indoor-outdoor restaurant, located a half-block down from Main Street, but my one attempt to eat dinner there on Saturday night was thwarted. You see, you had to have reservations or wait an hour, neither of which I qualified for or had time for before the Saturday night concert.
Now that was the piece de resistance, with the six headliners putting on a great show. Stevens Price mc-ed and started off the show and then brought on Nan Bostick (“Granny Nanny”), Carl “Sonny” Leyland, Pat Aranda, Tom Brier and Keith Taylor. Then came the grand finale, with the whole gang playing “Dill Pickles” in an uproarious round robin. If you’ve never seen one of these, it’s a real hoot. One person starts the piece, then, after playing one section or less, the next person slides in at the piano and picks up where the first person left off, and so it goes, with each of the six players putting his own particular stamp on the classic rag (Leyland’s boogie version was delicious). In this case it went on for about 10 minutes until finally the janitors (in the guise of Granny Nanny and “Sweet Sue” Jan Stevens) began sweeping up the place with giant push mops, including sweeping the piano and closing the lid of the grand piano until the performers finally cried “Uncle” and the thing came to an end.
(Nan Bostick wrote the following, since I was not able to stay for the Sunday performances):
Tom Bopp's solo performance Sunday noon at the Main St. Theater, was tops, Tom Bopp at his best (as you folks get to see at Old Town Music Hall each year). Sunday afternoon's dual piano concert with Bopp and Keith Taylor went fine till the rest of the crew decided to crash the 2nd half with their antics. This included: Granny Nanny Bostick with rifle, dragging a reluctant Tom-Tom Brier, threatening to shoot up the place if they didn't let Tom play; the two of them taking over the pianos till Deputy Sheriff Patrick Aranda, armed for bear, hauls them off on a “nuisance” charge; Sheriff Stevens Price entering with Carl “Sonny” Leyland in handcuffs pleading with Aranda to keep the varmint busy at the piano. Ends with a free-for-all multi-handed "Maple Leaf Rag" including the sound crew and all comers. Life continued for another couple of hours at the Ice Cream Parlor, "Granny" at the keyboard, her fingers wrapped in electrical tape.
CONTINUING GIGS AND UPCOMING EVENTS
Brad Kay Sunday afternoons, 2-4 p.m. at The Unurban, 3301 W. Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica. Coffee, etc. No cover charge
Jerry Rothschild Fri. and Sat., 7-10 p.m. at Curley’s Restaurant, corner Willow & Cherry, Signal Hill.
Sat., Sept. 28, Ragtime Ruby Fradkin, Shannon Center, Whittier, CA 90601. Come join the fun as Ruby and her ragtime band kick off Whittier College'’ Renowned Jazz Series for 2002. For ticket information please call: (562) 907-4203.
Sun., Sept. 29, Rose Leaf Ragtime Club meeting: IHOP Restaurant, 3521 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Participating musicians free, small donation for others.
Sat.-Sun., Oct. 19-20, RagFest 2002. Orange Country’s third annual ragtime music festival. Headlining this year are Patrick Aranda, Brad Kay, Tom Brier, Neil Blaze, Nan Bostick and Carl “Sonny” Leyland. Doug Haise, Bob Pinsker, Bill Mitchell, Randy Woltz, Jeanne Ingram, Mitch Meador, Eric Marchese and the Albany Nightboat Ragtimers are featured, and many guest artists will make surprise appearances. For ticket info., call (800) 690-6684, see ragfest.com or contact email@example.com
Sun., Oct. 20, Kathy Craig & Bill Knopf, piano and banjo on rags, blues, marches, and a lot more. Old Town Music Hall (See above for details).
Sun., Nov. 3, Sue Keller, Internationally famous ragtime pianist/vocalist in her first performance at Old Town Music Hall (See above for details).
Sun., Nov. 10, Coyote Hills Jazz Band with Sheryl Stephens (vocals) in a return engagement at Old Town Music Hall. (See above for details).
Sun., Nov. 17, John Novacek, pianist and composer who has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and on the Tonight Show. Old Town Music Hall (See above for details).
Sunday, Dec. 1, Bob Milne, pianist, in his sixth appearance at Old Town Music Hall, playing ragtime, boogie-woogie, novelty, jazz and ragtime. (See above for details).
SCOOP: EXCITING NEWS ABOUT “RAGTIME RUBY’S” CONCERT SATURDAY!
The Shannon Center at Whittier College is making a special offer to Rose Leaf Club members who would like to attend 12 year-old Ruby Fradkin’s concert Saturday evening, Sept. 28 @ 8 PM. Tell the box office you are a member of the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club and tickets will be two for the price of one. Tickets are $30 regular admission; $25 for seniors. Tickets may be ordered by calling the box office at (562) 907-4203.
Rose Leaf Ragtime Club attendees are familiar with Ruby’s wonderful playing, and will welcome the news that Ruby’s debut CD, entitled “Warmin’ Up,” will be available Sept. 28. This 12-song collection includes four originals (plus a Joplin rag).
To get to the Shannon Center, exit the I-605 Freeway (traveling either north or south bound) at WHITTIER BLVD. Turn EAST on Whittier Blvd. And proceed approximately two (2) miles to PHILADELPHIA ST. Turn LEFT on Philadelphia St. and proceed several blocks through historic Uptown Whittier to PAINTER AVE. Proceed ACROSS Painter Ave. and turn LEFT into the DRIVEWAY on the East side of the Shannon Center. A large parking lot is located on the North side of the building. Additional parking is located on the right side of Philadelphia St. opposite the Shannon Center, and further up Philadelphia St. on the left side. Parking at the Shannon Center is FREE!
ORANGE COUNTY RAGTIME FESTIVAL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
RagFest 2002, Orange County’s third annual ragtime music festival, is just around the corner. The two-day event will be presented by The Friends of Jazz on Saturday, October 19, 2001, and Sunday, October 20, at Steamers Café in Fullerton and at the Recital Hall at Fullerton College.
RagFest 2002 will feature three separate and distinct programs of ragtime entertainment, including piano solos, two-piano duets, instrumental ragtime, songs and more. Festival headliners include Tom Brier, Brad Kay, Patrick Aranda, Nan Bostick, Neil Blaze and Carl “Sonny” Leyland. Numerous local musicians, including Randy Woltz, Bob Pinsker, Jeanne Ingram, Eric Marchese, and Bill Mitchell and his combo, The Albany Nightboat Ragtimers, are slated to perform. Numerous surprise guest artists are also scheduled to appear.
Like last year’s festival, the focal venue will be Steamers, a jazz nightclub and restaurant in downtown Fullerton. Two different programs are being presented at Steamers on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, while a third “all-star” program is being held at Fullerton College’s Recital Hall on Saturday night featuring all festival headliners, featured performers and guest musicians. A new feature this year is the addition of some floor space for dancing. While both venues aren’t especially designed for dancers, the festival coordinator, Eric Marchese, has said that floor space will be cleared at both venues so that those who wish to kick up their heels will be able to do so.
RagFest 2002 will kick off at Steamers on Saturday afternoon, October 19. The opening program, at noon, features a seminar by Nan Bostick on the development of the Indian intermezzo, a popular musical form during the original ragtime era.
The rest of the afternoon will be a Ragtime Musicale featuring Bostick, Aranda, Brier, Blaze, Kay, Leyland, Doug Haise, Bob Pinsker, Eric Marchese, Randy Woltz, Mitch Meador, and Bill Mitchell and his combo, the Albany Nightboat Ragtimers. Each performer will take turns at the piano doing sets ranging from 20 to 30 minutes. Spectators will be treated to solos, rehearsed and spontaneous two-piano duets, six- and eight-handed versions of popular ragtime tunes, vocal renditions of ragtime, and a variety of instruments ranging from violin to tuba and banjo. Tickets for the opening program are $15 per person.
On Saturday evening, a special Variety Show will be held at the Recital Hall on the campus of nearby Fullerton College. During this cabaret-style event, all of the festival headliners, featured performers and guest artists will have the opportunity to showcase their most outstanding numbers. Tickets for the show, which begins at 8 p.m., are $20 per person.
Sunday's event will be a "Ragtime Casual" back at Steamers, an informal musicale during which patrons will have the opportunity to dine and dance while listening to live ragtime performance. The Sunday event begins at 11:30 a.m. and will wind up with a romping, stomping, "all-star" jam session featuring many of the weekend's best performers. Tickets to the Sunday program are $15 per person.
Package price for the entire weekend is $40. Individual ticket prices are $15 per person for each of the two Steamers events and $20 per person for the Saturday night variety show.
Steamers Cafe is a noted local jazz club located in downtown Fullerton, at 138 W. Commonwealth Ave, one block west of Harbor Blvd. and three blocks south of Chapman Avenue. The Recital Hall is located on the grounds of Fullerton College, on Lemon just north of Chapman Avenue. Free parking is available in a lot just north of the Music Department building and in several surrounding lots. The largest of these is a two-story parking structure along Chapman Ave. at Lemon just south of the Recital Hall.
Refreshments will be served at the Recital Hall for the 8 p.m. Variety Show evening concert. At the two Steamers events, food is not included in the price of the ticket but can be ordered separately from the cafe's extensive menu.
Seating is limited at both venues and all events, so the public is encouraged to obtain their tickets in advance.
Checks or money orders should be made payable to Friends of Jazz Inc. and mailed to: P.O. Box 5671, Fullerton, CA 92838-0671. Each order should include a list of all guest's names, the total number of seats required and which programs they're for.
All tickets will be Will Call at Steamers on October 19 and 20 and, if purchasing only the Saturday night show, at the Recital Hall entrance.
For tickets and more information, call (800) 690-6684, access the RagFest website at ragfest.com, or contact Eric Marchese at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Thank You’s to reporters Gary Rametta, Fred Hoeptner, Ron Ross and Eric Marchese for their fine contributions to this issue. Additional thanks to Eric for his usual thorough proofreading job.
Remember Ruby’s concert and Rose Leaf bargain rates. If you receive this by Saturday it’s not too late to catch the concert at Whittier College.
Bill Mitchell, Editor Phone (714) 528-1534 Fax (714) 233-3886
Rose Leaf Club webpage <http//members.tripod.com/roseleafrag/>