The historic contract to publish the Maple Leaf Rag was a major event in American music history. Joplin’s composition became the first ragtime best seller and ushered in the Ragtime Era of American popular music. The unique royalty contract itself was a milestone in the protection of intellectual property rights and went a long way toward stimulating what became known as Tin Pan Alley.
But it was also a major event in American race relations as a white businessman and the son of a slave entered a inter-racial partnership to publish a black man’s composition. Thus, this location at 114 E. Fifth Street marks the site of an important place where America’s music began!
Richard Dowling will perform a special showcase solo concert on Wednesday, May 31st to kick off the 36th Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri.
Mr. Dowling’s Great Scott! Festival program will be a full-length solo recital featuring all six Joplin works used in the 1973 Oscar-winning movie The Sting, all five Joplin waltzes, all six Joplin marches, all eight of Joplin’s works written in collaboration with other composers, plus many rarely-heard Joplin works. The program will also feature two Audience Choice selections. Mr. Dowling will conclude his program with a magnificent solo piano transcription of A Real Slow Drag, the final number from Joplin’s opera Treemonisha.
Mr. Dowling will be the first pianist in history to perform the complete cycle of Scott Joplin’s 53 piano works in public at New York City’s Carnegie Hall On April 1, 2017 –– exactly 100 years to the day after Joplin’s passing. Mr. Dowling’s 3-CD set of The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin, recorded on a Steinway grand piano will be available for purchase in The Ragtime Store located in Liberty Center during the festival.