Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival

Be a part of the 5th Annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival March 24-26, 2017, in Durango, Colorado. World-renowned performers will be Swingin' It Up at the historic Strater Hotel for three entertaining days filled with live music, silent film comedies, dance lessons, after hours parties, and more! Buy Your Ragtime Festival Tickets Here

Durango Ragtime Festival on Facebook




We are currently finalizing our entertainers for the 5th Annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival. Please check back often for up-to-date information on entertainers, ticket pricing, and festival schedule.

Adam Swanson at Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz FestivalAdam Swanson, Festival Music Director is rapidly becoming known as one of the world’s foremost performers and historians of ragtime and early American popular music. He recently received his B.A. in classical piano performance and is now completing graduate studies as a musicology student at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Although Adam is only twenty-four years old, he has 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 multi-platinum-selling artist Michael Feinstein. Adam has performed at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C., as well as in Hungary and Switzerland. He has worked with such musicians as Toronto’s John Arpin, former rock star Ian Whitcomb, and legendary 1950s recording artist Johnny Maddox, who is one of Adam’s greatest influences. Adam performs every summer at the historic Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado, where he is musical director of the new Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival.

Danny Coots at the Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz FestivalDanny Coots started playing drums in 1964 at the age of six in northern New York. From that time he has studied with Nick Baffaro, Rich Holly, Alan Koffman, and Jim Peteresak in percussion. Danny continued his education at Crane School of Music and St. Lawrence University. He became adjunct faculty at St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, and Potsdam State University from the mid-1970s into the 1990s, while traveling and performing with such jazz greats as Herb Ellis, Will Alger, Spiegle Willcox, Mimi Hines, Phil Ford, Bob Darch, and Pearl Kaufman. In 1995, Danny moved to make his home in Nashville, Tennessee. There he joined the Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band for five years and helped to found the Titan Hot Seven. At the same time, he played and recorded with such artists as Randy Reinhart, John Sheridan, Neville Dickie, Bob Shultz, Ken Peplowski, Dan Barrett, Allen Vache, Vince Giordano, and Rebecca Kilgore. Danny has recorded extensively in Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles on over seventy recordings, including the 2005 Grammy-winning compilation Beautiful Dreamer—The Songs of Stephen Foster. He has performed throughout the world, having appeared in ninety countries.

Danny Coots at the Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz FestivalDanny Coots and Band,
NEW THIS YEAR -- More Information and Photo Coming Soon.




Brian Holland | Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz FestivalBrian Holland is an internationally renowned pianist, composer, recording artist, and entertainer enjoying a music career spanning more than 35 years. Spending his formative years playing in pizza parlors and clubs throughout Indiana, Brian's 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 traveled the world performing his creative styles of jazz, ragtime, stride, boogie, and blues, and played with some of the hottest jazz bands in the United States; Titan Hot Seven, Wally's Warehouse Waifs, the Holland Rhythm Company, and others. Most recently, Brian and Danny Coots have formed a musical partnership, and together they are quickly building a reputation as the fun and musical duo, Holland & Coots. Brian has thirteen recordings (solo and ensemble) to his credit, and garnered a Grammy nomination for his work with Bud Dresser on their album, "Ragtime - Goodtime - Jazz".

Frank Livolsi | Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz FestivalMorten Gunnar Larsen, NEW THIS YEAR -- Bio and Photo Coming Soon.



Carl Sonny Leyland | Durango Ragtime and Early Jazz FestivalCarl Sonny Leyland, originally from England and was drawn to American music he heard on LP records his father would play such as Dixieland jazz, rock and roll of the 1950s and country music of Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. At age 15 Leyland discovered boogie woogie when he heard a school friend working through a written arrangement of a tune called JD's Boogie Woogie (Marvin Wright). Captivated by the sound, Leyland was inspired to begin on a path that would become his life's purpose. Leyland went on to explore the piano blues genre, becoming an authority on early and obscure styles such as those played by Cow Cow Davenport, Little Brother Montgomery, Montana Taylor, and Speckled Red to name a few. In 1988 Leyland moved to New Orleans where he would spend the next nine years active on the club scene, quickly gaining a reputation for his authentic blues and early rock and roll stylings. He toured with the Dallas based band Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets whose lineup included blues great Sam Myers. In 1997 Leyland relocated to Southern California and joined Big Sandy and his Flyrite Boys touring with them for over three years. His repertoire expanded to include ragtime and early jazz styles which enabled him to become part of the traditional jazz scene around Los Angeles and San Diego. In June 2003 the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio was formed with drummer Hal Smith and bassist Marty Eggers, and they have recorded seven albums to date and continue to work steadily on the festival scene. Leyland continues his involvement with the rockabilly scene  and plays each year in the backing band at Viva Las Vegas and more recently at the Rockabilly Rave USA.