Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ragtime Is Dead? Hell, It Ain't Even Sick.

That remark by the late Bob Darch was much on my mind this past
week, at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, MO. 'Maple Leaf
Rag,' the tune that started the ragtime craze in America, was published
in Sedalia in 1899, and every year, during the first
Wednesday-through-Saturday in June, the city hosts a music festival to
honor composer Scott Joplin and his publisher, John Stark.
The future of ragtime looks bright, with many young players and
composers, some only in their teens, showing off their pianistic skills,
compositional knowhow, and knowledge of ragtime history. To name only a
few, there were Adam Swanson, Wesley Reznicek, Morgan Siever (who is all
of 13!), Luke Vandermyde, and Max Keenlyside.
In the photo we see Brett Youens and Larisa Migachyov, both past
teenage, but still very much in their salad days. Larisa is turning
pages for Brett, because he's playing his composition, 'Rag Doll Rag,'
which was inspired by listening to a number of Larisa's compositions.
You can listen to Brett, Larisa, and all the ragtime wonder-kids by
searching their names on youtube. And then you just might be inspired,
yourself, and decide to come to the 2011 Festival and hear them live.

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