MIMI BLAIS “Thirty years ago, I came for the first time to the Scott Joplin Festival, I did not expect that this trip and this music would totally change my life.” For Mimi Blais, ragtime music became a way to discover her many talents as an entertainer, story-teller, communicator, educator, actress and composer. Nicknamed the New Queen of Ragtime, at her very first visit to the Scott Joplin Festival in June 1990, by musicologist and historian Ed. Berlin,
Mimi is in high demand because of her charming personality, her deep musicality and her flawless and precise technique at the piano. Classically trained, she started piano at age 7, then entered the Quebec City Conservatory of Music. She obtained a L.Mus, B.Mus in performance & a Concert Diploma at McGill University in Montreal, where she presently lives. Whatever the style of music she chooses to play, she receives unanimous praise from the public and the media; in Canada, in the United States, in Europe and more recently in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This gifted pianist, generous to a fault, causes laughter and tears. Her music speaks to the audience, caresses, tickles, charms, dazzles, and surprises. It touches the soul. https://www.mimiblais.com/
Taslimah P. Bey began studying classical music at age 16, and switched to jazz in her senior year of high school. Taslimah started researching ragtime music and the roots of jazz in college. When she heard Charlie Gabriel, the music she had read about came alive for her. She formed Taslimah’s Ragtime Band, featuring the compositions of early ragtime composers, including Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Tom Turpin, Artie Matthews, Harry P. Guy and James P. Johnson. For her efforts in performing the music and lecturing on the lives of these highly talented 20th century American composers, Taslimah received an award for the Preservation of African-American Music from the Society for the Culturally Concerned in Detroit.
Taslimah is a regular performer at Jazz and Ragtime Festivals across the country, including the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, Greenfield Village’s Ragtime Street Fair, and the West Coast Ragtime Society’s festival in Sacramento. She has performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans, and at the Blue Note Jazz Café in New York City. In addition to performing ragtime, Taslimah teaches music at Spain Middle School in Detroit. She has been featured in Metro Times newspaper, and as the cover article for the Oakland University magazine. https://www.facebook.com/Taslimah079
DANNY COOTS began playing drums at the tender age of 6 years old. Since then, he has studied with Nick Baffaro, Rich Holly, Alan Koffman and Jim Petercsak in percussion. Danny attended The Crane School of Music and St. Lawrence University and University. He eventually served as adjunct faculty at St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University and Potsdam State University from the 1970s into the 1990s. He continued traveling and performing with David Amram, Ray Shiner, Daniel Pinkham, Herb Ellis, Will Alger, Jack Mayhue, Speigle Wilcox, Mimi Hines, Phil Ford, Bob Darch, Pearl Kaufman and Arthur Duncan.
In 1996 Danny moved to Nashville, Tennessee and has lived there ever since. Danny has recorded extensively in Nashville, New York and L.A. and has appeared in over 100 countries. He has played on over 100 recordings, one of which won a Grammy in 2005. After moving to Tennessee, Danny joined the Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band for 5 years and helped found the Titan Hot Seven. During this time he played and recorded with Dick Hyman, Houston Person, Bob Wilber, Johnny Varro, Jeff Coffin, Tim Laughlin, Harry Allen, Dave Hungate, Bill Allred, John Allred, Randy Reinhart, Ron Hockett, John Cocuzzi, John Sheridan, Dan Barrett, Vince Giordano… to name a few. dannycoots.com/
A native of Southern California, Bill Edwards discovered ragtime when he was six years old, and hasn’t been able to leave it alone since. He started his professional career in California in the late 1970s then resided in Durango, CO, through the first half of the 1980s, where he took up residence at the famous Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel. Bill has lived and worked in Northern Virginia since 1986, applying his vibrant personality and passion for ragtime and history to his stage performances.
For many years Mr. Edwards was a featured entertainer at the Fish Market in Alexandria. Since 1996, Bill has been applying his particular penchant for the music on his website, which includes biographies of over 350 ragtime era figures. He has attended all of the major US and Canadian ragtime festivals and competitions, particularly the World Championship of Old-Time Piano, for which he holds the 1991 title, having been there every year since 1987. Bill was a featured performer in the 2012 multi-award-winning documentary about the competition, The Entertainers, and the Artist in Residence for the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in 2014.
Bill frequently accompanies silent films at events where he plays and has presented seminars on over 25 ragtime-related topics. Mr. Edwards has 44 different CD titles and over 20 published compositions available for your enjoyment, a detailed book on the life of composer and publisher E.T. Paull, and an upcoming encyclopedia on over 530 female composers of popular music from the ragtime era, available for the 2019 Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival. In 2016 he was awarded the lifetime achievement award in the field of Ragtime Research and Performance by the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival, an event for which he has been the director of symposiums for several years. That veteran ragtime performer Max Morath handed him this honor made it all that much more special. He also continues to play at the Diamond Belle each summer, a connection to his ragtime roots.
You can find out more than anyone would ever want to know about Bill and Ragtime at http://ragpiano.com
MARTY EGGERS (piano, bass and tuba) began his music career in
Sacramento, California, where as a teenager he helped found the
Sacramento Ragtime Society in 1982. He has been playing music
full-time since the early '90s.
For ten years Marty was the bassist for the now-defunct ragtime trio Bo Grumpus. He is married to pianist and drummer, Virginia Tichenor. They live in Oakland, California, performing together as a duo, with the Crown Syncopators and with the Cali-Co Ragtime Quartet.
Marty has been a long-time member (on bass) in the trios of internationally-known pianists Butch Thompson and Carl Sonny Leyland.
Marty plays bass and tuba with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. For
nearly twenty years he has held down a regular spot on piano at San
Francisco's legendary music club, Pier 23.
Pianist Virginia Eskin has performed with many orchestras in the United States and Europe, as a soloist with the New York City and Boston Ballet Companies, and, in concert halls, American embassies, and museums throughout the United States and Europe.
Her “Ragtime Project” recordings include “Fluffy-Ruffle Girls” (Koch 1999), “American Beauties: The Rags of Joseph Lamb” (Koch 2000), and “Spring Beauties” (Koch 1998). She has also recorded the works of many women composers, including Amy Beach, Rebecca Clark, Marion Bauer, Ruth Crawford, and Czech composer Vítezslava Kaprálová.
A native of San Diego and long-time resident of Boston, she now lives in Keene, NH. In 1994, Keene State College awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in recognition of her contributions to women's music. She is a member of the adjunct faculty at Keene State and has previously taught at Boston University, Northeastern University, and New England Conservatory.
Hailed in the press as one of the best concert pianists in the world, Frederick Hodges has established a reputation specializing in late romantic music as well as Ragtime, Broadway, and Hollywood musicals of the first half of the twentieth century by America’s best composers, such as George Gershwin and Cole Porter. He maintains a busy concert schedule of stage, television, radio, and film appearances around the globe. Additionally, he is a much sought-after silent film accompanist for both live performances and DVD.
He performs regularly at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in California, the Cinecon Film Festival in Hollywood, The TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and at silent film festivals around the country. He also performs at music festivals around the country, such as the Sacramento Music Festival, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, and the Sedalia Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. www.frederickhodges.com.
Brian Holland is an internationally renowned pianist, composer, recording artist, and entertainer who has enjoyed a musical career spanning more than 35 years. His career flourished when he discovered the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. In 1999, he won his third title and was retired as undefeated. He has since returned three times to serve on the judges panel, most recently in 2014.
Brian has played with some of the hottest jazz bands in the US: Titan Hot Seven, Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, The Holland Rhythm Company, and others. He has traveled all over the world performing his creative styles of jazz, ragtime, stride, boogie, and blues. Holland has fourteen recordings solo and ensemble to his credit, and garnered a Grammy nomination for his work with Bud Dresser on their album: Ragtime, Goodtime, Jazz.
Praised by The L.A. Jazz Scene as a musical duo that can “draw out the beauty in the rich melodies and play the music with taste, sensitivity, and a real affection for the idiom,” Ivory&Gold® celebrates the greatest examples of American jazz, blues, ragtime, Broadway and hits from the Great American Songbook. The internationally renowned American musical performer and historian Max Morath hails Ivory&Gold® as “musically flawless.”
The duo, consisting of Anne Barnhart (flute and vocals) and Jeff Barnhart (piano and vocals), was formed in 2001 to perform at the prestigious annual Jazz Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho. Subsequently, Ivory&Gold® has been invited to appear in hundreds of venues from coast-to-coast.
Engagements outside the United States have included concerts and workshops in Kigali, Rwanda, a feature in Caesarea, Israel, as well as the 400-year-old concert venue Zunfthaus Zur Waag in Zurich. Ivory&Gold® is well known in the United Kingdom, where annual tours include appearances in Selby Abbey in York, The CatStrand Theatre in New Galloway, Buccleuch Theatre in Langholm, Darlington Arts Centre and both Neal’s Yard and the Pheasantry in London.
Anne is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and holds both bachelor and masters degrees in music. Anne is a member of the International Who’s Who in Music and Musicians in the Classical and Light-Classical Fields. Anne’s teachers include Vanita Hall-Jones, John Wion and Ransom Wilson.
Jeff Barnhart is a highly regarded pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer, pedagogue and entertainer. He began his professional career at age 14 performing throughout New England at jazz clubs and restaurants, both as a soloist and with ensembles. He continued to maintain a busy performing schedule while earning a double bachelor’s degree in Music and English (Summa Cum Laude) from Connecticut College. Jeff is on the road performing over 300 shows a year in all corners of the globe, many of them featuring Ivory&Gold®.
Ivory&Gold® has played to packed houses on six continents in every imaginable scenario. This husband-and-wife team continues to thrill audiences with music, history and humor, enjoying a hectic schedule of concert, festival and private home appearances.
THE KIRBY FAMILY (Scott and his daughters Sara and Leah) will make their first appearance this year at the SJRF. Both of the Kirby sisters have performed with their Father Scott individually in past years, but are joining forces this year on violin, voice, guitar, ukulele, and washboard. Scott Kirby has been coming to the festival since the early 90s, and is known for his interpretations of Scott Joplin.
He has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and at the Smithsonian Institute, performing the ragtime of Scott Joplin, and also presents a multi-media stage show called “Main Street Souvenirs,” which features his original artwork and 150 years of American music. "With 'Main Street Souvenirs' Scott Kirby has created a stunning theatrical concert. This superbly talented entertainer blends his skills as an artist, pianist, composer, and historian, in a show that evokes the American past and its music with longing and affection."- Max Morath
"In Scott Kirby's playing we encounter the very essence of ragtime. He is the embodiment of the Scott Joplin ideal." - Edward A. Berlin. http://scottkirby.net/music/
Dr. Dave Majchrzak recently retired as Musical Director for the Scott Joplin Foundation but he manages to fill his time. He has completed his bucket list performing in ragtime festivals across the country. He currently holds down the piano bench for the St. Louis Rivermen Traditional Jazz Band and is continuing the legacy of the great Trebor Tichenor with the St. Louis Ragtimers. He still performs and arranges for the St. Louis Stompers Classic Jazz Band. You may also run across Dave on the St. Louis Riverfront playing with the Don Scherrer Banjo Bands. He currently serves as the Artistic Director for the St. Louis Jazz Club’s Labor Day Festival. Surprisingly, he still finds time to continue his practice as a small animal’s veterinarian in St. Louis County. ragtimedrdave.net/
Larisa Migachyov was born in Russia and began her classical piano training at the age of 5. After immigrating to the United States, she quit music for many years, until, by pure chance, she saw a flyer advertising the San Antonio Ragtime Society on a supermarket bulletin board. She attended one of the meetings and was instantly hooked. A year later, she composed her very first rag, the Purple Chicken Rag, and premiered it at the 2006 Scott Joplin Festival. That began her ragtime life.
Since then, Larisa has composed many more rags - 37 by last count - and has performed at the Eau Claire Ragtime Festival, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, the Buenos Aires Ragtime Festival, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, and many others. She has released three CD's - "A Heap of Rags", "Oh, that Ragtime Chick!", and "A Dream Come True". The latter CD features 11 of her compositions played by the best performers in the ragtime genre. In 2016, Larisa made her Carnegie Hall debut. Larisa lives in San Francisco. https://www.larisamigachyovmusic.com/
David Reffkin is director of the American Ragtime Ensemble and a leading authority on ragtime orchestration and performance. He was a recording engineer on the Grammy-winning Red Back Book album of the NEC Ragtime Ensemble and later played with them. He hosted The Ragtime Machine radio program for 30 years, with interviews and reviews appearing in The Mississippi Rag, win the Best Ragtime Journalist award. As a professional violinist, he is a soloist and a member of various ensembles, as well as a conductor, arranger, and music contractor.
Acknowledged for his editorial work, he wrote the Foreword for the discography Cakewalks, Rags, and Novelties (2003), and helped edit forthcoming books on Brun Campbell (Larry Karp) and the new edition of King of Ragtime (Edward Berlin). David helped create the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in 1974, organized and directed the All-Star Orchestra, and in 2006 received the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, the city of San Francisco awarded him the Mayor’s Certificate of Honor. www.davidreffkin.com/
Joyce Richardson has been a general classroom music teacher in Perth Amboy New Jersey Public Schools, retiring in 2014. She has been named A. V. Ceres School’s Teacher of the Year for 2011.
She is a Fulbright scholar and is the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminars Abroad Award given by the U. S. Department of Education in 2010 She received a grant from the American Education Initiative of the National Music Foundation in 2004 for a lesson plan design based on Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha Overture and Wall Street Rag employing Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
Joyce sings with Philomusica Community Choir in East Brunswick. She is on the Executive Board of the New Jersey Retired Music Educators Association where she is serves as President until 2021. This will be Joyce’s first appearance as a performer in the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival.
Martin Spitznagel: Whether performing the masterworks of Scott Joplin or the score to Star Wars, Spitznagel’s electric performances have left audiences across the world enthralled with America’s first popular music, Ragtime.
Martin discovered ragtime at age 12. By age 14, he’d won a Yamaha Disklavier piano in Calliope Media’s nationwide Crazy for Ragtime competition. His good fortune continued when, in 1998, he met Eastman School of Music pianist and pedagogue Dr. Tony Caramia, who challenged him to “find the surprise” in every performance.
In the years since, Martin has grown into an award-winning composer and sought-after performer. When he’s not at the piano bench (or chasing after his much-more-talented son, Parker), Martin works as a multimedia producer, writer, and filmmaker in Pittsburgh, PA, where he lives with his wife, Jessica. He is delighted to return to the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival, and feels privileged to revel in the company of the musicians and music-lovers who have brought him so much joy. spitzfire.com/
Born and raised in eastern Kentucky, Squeek Steele began playing the piano by ear at the age of three. Other than piano recitals, her first public playing came at age twelve when she played hymns for an old time revival. Squeek has a Bachelor of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, and Master of Music, Catholic University of America.
As pianist, organist, composer, teacher, Squeek has performed in Europe and Southeast Asia as well as the United States. She holds a Guinness World Record for most pieces of music performed from memory. SQUEEKY KEYS, the documentary about her Guinness World Record was screened in 2019.
Squeek plays all styles and genres of music, performing at the Bucket of Blood Saloon, Virginia City, Nevada. Covers of her old west songs have been used in both television and film soundtracks. www.goodoldsongs.com Downloads available on CDBaby, Amazon, Apple Music, etc.
Adam Swanson is one of the world’s foremost performers of vintage American popular music, including ragtime, early jazz, the Great American Songbook, and more. He holds a master’s in musicology from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Adam been a featured performer and lecturer at ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States, and he is the only four-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. He made his New York debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of nineteen, where he performed with Michael Feinstein. Adam has performed at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival and the Kennedy Center, as well as in Hungary, Switzerland, and Australia. Adam has worked with such musicians as John Arpin, former rock star Ian Whitcomb, and legendary 1950s recording artist Johnny Maddox, who was one of Adam’s greatest influences. He frequently performs at the historic Strater Hotel where he makes his home in Durango, Colorado. Visit Adam online: www.adamgswanson.com.
Virginia Tichenor has been consumed by ragtime her entire life, as the daughter of Trebor Tichenor, the noted ragtime scholar, pianist, collector and founder of the St. Louis Ragtimers. She studied music at the St. Louis Community Association for the Arts, and took advanced training from concert pianist John Phillips. Always at the crossroads of the ragtime revival, her parental home houses the world's largest library of ragtime sheet music and piano rolls. Virginia grew up with legends like Eubie Blake, Max Morath and Butch Thompson chatting in her own living room. Her father is advisor-confidant for most of the ragtime community, so Virginia often heard new rags when they were forming in the minds of their composers. The topic of her college research project? The ragtime revival, of course!
Virginia is very highly regarded as a performer, and is one of the few women playing ragtime professionally in the country. Her repertoire features mostly folk and classic ragtime which she performs in an energetic style.
In the words of the great Dick Hyman, Stephanie Trick is “one of the nicest gifts to arrive on the jazz piano scene in recent times, and we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome her.”
Stephanie was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Kobe-Breda Jazz Friendship Award, and has performed in many parts of the United States as well as in Europe in a variety of venues.
Stephanie frequently performs with her husband, acclaimed pianist Paolo Alderighi, making fresh arrangements of songs from the Swing Era in a four-hand piano duo, and they have recorded five CDs together. In 2014, they played for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. In 2018, they released their fifth recording together, Broadway and More, their first album on two pianos. www.stephanietrick.com
Yuko Eguchi Wright is a native of Tokyo, Japan and holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since the age of three, Yuko studied classical ballet and piano, including a healthy dose of Scott Joplin. In her early teens, she began to study Japanese tea ceremony and was certified with the tea master title, Soyu, in 2009 and received her assistant professor title in 2013 from the Urasenke school. Yuko also studied Japanese geisha's music and dance and received the kouta master title, Kasuga Toyo Yoshiyu, in 2012. Yuko enjoys performing songs from the ragtime era with her husband, Bryan, and she loves making new friends at the festival. Visit Yuko online at: www.yukoeguchi.com
Bryan S. Wright, Ph.D., of Pittsburgh, PA, is a pianist and musicologist based at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches courses in music history. Classically trained as a pianist from age 5, Bryan enjoys playing a variety of syncopated piano music, from classic and modern rags to piano novelties, tangos, and early jazz. With his wife, Yuko, he has performed across the United States and abroad. He is founder and executive producer of Rivermont Records, a Grammy-nominated label devoted to ragtime, dance bands, and early jazz. Bryan also avidly collects 78 rpm records and hosts a podcast, The Shellac Stack, featuring period recordings of ragtime and early jazz bands. Bryan has released two solo piano albums Syncopated Musings and Breakin’ Notes, and recently collaborated with Brian Holland and Danny Coots for the CD and DVD Live from Buenos Aires. All are available in the Ragtime Store. Visit Bryan online at: http://www.bryanswright.com/