Thank you to everyone that helped make our inaugural Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival a success. We are already looking forward to next year set for March 14 – 16, 2014. Please email us at email@example.com with any questions you may have. In the meantime, Keep the Ragtime Playing in the Old West!
ADAM SWANSON, Festival Music Director, who lives in the small town of Shenandoah, Iowa, is rapidly becoming known as one of the world’s foremost performers and historians of ragtime and early American popular music. Although he is only twenty-one years old, he has been a featured performer and lecturer at ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States. Adam is the youngest three-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, held in Peoria, Illinois. In 2007, he appeared alongside the late John Arpin at the Bohém Ragtime and Jazz Festival in the Republic of Hungary, and he has also toured Switzerland. Adam has played for renowned Disney/Hollywood composer Richard M. Sherman (Mary Poppins, etc.), as well as noted film critic and historian Leonard Maltin. 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 enjoys working with other musicians and has recorded albums with legendary 1950s piano star Johnny Maddox, pianist Frederick Hodges of the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, former rock star and ragtime entertainer Ian Whitcomb, and even a western swing album. Adam performs every summer in the Diamond Belle Saloon at the historic Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado. He has studied piano with Waleed Howrani of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a graduate of the Moscow State Conservatory, and is currently in his third year of college under the tutelage of Dr. Lisa Campi, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. Adam is also an avid railfan, and he collects antique sheet music, records, and piano rolls. His CDs are available at cdbaby.com. Visit Adam online: www.adamgswanson.com.
DANNY 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.
BILL EDWARDS, widely known in the music world as “Perfessor” Bill, he’s been involved with ragtime since the age of five when he discovered it on recordings of the 1950s laying around the house. Bill has been performing professionally for over thirty years from his early days in Durango, Colorado, at the Diamond Belle Saloon to a wide variety of concert and festival venues over the past two decades, often as a headliner. He is also a collector of ragtime era sheet music focusing on both the content and the artwork. Bill has performed for the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, near his Northern Virginia home. His website, ragpiano.com, contains everything ragtime from articles on playing and collecting to ephemera such as 1950s ragtime artists and a vast array of original composer biographies. He has published one book on composer E.T. Paull, and is near publication on two books about female and male ragtime era composers. Bill will always regard his tenure living in Durango and attending Fort Lewis College as instrumental in his long career.
WILL PERKINS is a nineteen year-old pianist from the central valley of California. Having started piano lessons at age eleven, he has quickly found himself completely immersed in the demanding genre of stride piano. While focusing mainly on interpretations of the second generation of stride pianists, including Dick Wellstood, Ralph Sutton, and Don Ewell, he has maintained a love for all syncopated keyboard stylings. Will has been fortunate enough to have participated in music festivals and concerts throughout California and most recently as a featured pianist in the 2012 Bohém Ragtime and Jazz Festival in Kecskemét, Hungary. His most recent album, Will Power, was released in 2011. When Will is not playing the piano, he enjoys basketball and baseball, and he will be departing for a two year stint of missionary work in the country of Uruguay starting in April 2013.
MARTIN SPITZNAGEL has been hailed as a “remarkable, exhausting, and utterly astonishing” talent. A native of Pittsburgh, Martin discovered his love of the piano and a curious music called “ragtime” early, winning a Yamaha Disklavier piano at the age of fourteen in Calliope Media’s nationwide “Crazy for Ragtime” competition. In the years since, he has been an active composer and performer, studying with noted jazz pianist and pedagogue Tony Caramia and Grammy-nominated pianist Brian Holland. He has been a featured performer at music festivals across the country including the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, and the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, California. In October 2007, in association with Rivermont Records, he released his debut album, Tricky Fingers, which music legend Max Morath declared “a stunning piece of work.” In 2011, Martin was selected as the Scott Joplin Foundation’s Artist in Residence, and in May he claimed the title “World Champion of Old-Time Piano Playing” at the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest in Peoria, Illinois. When he is not at the piano, Martin works as an instructional designer, writer, and filmmaker. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Jessica.
DR. LISA CAMPI WALTERS has performed and adjudicated throughout North America, and has given lecture recitals for such organizations as the National Music Teachers Association. She has played recitals for the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Scotia Festival of Music in Nova Scotia, for CBC radio, for the National Public Radio on WBFO: for the “Opus, Classics Live” series at the University of Buffalo, and for the “Piano Bench” series on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio. She received her DMA from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rebecca Penneys, and she currently serves as conservatory faculty for the Music in the Mountains Festival and as the keyboardist for the San Juan Symphony Orchestra. She also regularly performs as the pianist for the Red Shoe Trio of Fort Lewis College. Dr. Campi is also the founder, Artistic Director, and one of the adjudicators for the Four Corners Piano Competition at Fort Lewis College. As a member of the Taliesin Piano Trio, Lisa participated in the National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America rural residency in Blytheville, Arkansas. The members of the Taliesin Trio were active throughout Arkansas as performers, clinicians, and teachers, and began a concert series entitled “Composers in their Own Words.” Lisa is also a vigorous advocate for the music of our time, has performed a wide range of solo and chamber works by leading contemporary composers, and has been associated with several modern music ensembles, including “Ossia” in Rochester, New York, and “Zephyr” in Spokane, Washington. Lisa is a native of Silver Spring, Maryland. She received her BM from Indiana University and her MM from the University of Maryland.
IAN WHITCOMB has been entertaining the world for over forty years. Born in Surrey, England, in 1941, he is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and he became the “Father of Irish Rock.” Ian hit the American Top Ten charts in 1965 with his novelty record “You Turn Me On.” He appeared at the Hollywood Bowl with the Beach Boys and on such television programs as Shindig!, Hollywood A Go-Go, and American Bandstand. Subsequently, he toured with the Rolling Stones and the Kinks, but he quickly abandoned life as a British Invader to devote himself to resurrecting the roots of pop music, especially ragtime and the simple, heartfelt songs of turn-of-the-century Tin Pan Alley. Later, he was invited to sing on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show numerous times. Ian is also an author, best known for his classic book on the history of pop music from rags to rock, entitled After the Ball, still in print after almost forty years. He has published nineteen other books, including a biography of Irving Berlin, a memoir of his life in Los Angeles, and a novel set in Southern California. Ian has written and performed music for several movies, including Stanley’s Gig, The Cat’s Meow, and Last Call. In 1998, he produced a Grammy-winning CD called Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage. As well as singing in a special sort of way, Ian plays piano, musette accordion, and ukulele. Indeed he spearheaded the revival of the ukulele, that lively little instrument of pleasing plangency. Ian is married to Regina Whitcomb, who often performs with him on stage. The new Ian Whitcomb Show on XM radio can be accessed as a podcast or from www.ianwhitcomb.com.
30-MINUTE SESSIONS ENTERTAINERS
LACY BLACK was born and raised in Durango, and learned to play piano from her mother, a well-known area music teacher. As she continued to expand her skills, Lacey learned to read music, but still plays mainly by ear. Her first professional show was in Silverton, Colorado, where she began playing honky-tonk and ragtime in the Bent Elbow Saloon and Restaurant in the summer of 2000, quickly moving to the Grand Imperial and Grumpy’s Saloon, where you can still hear her honky-tonk and ragtime music during the summers at lunch time. Lacey graduated in 2006 with degrees in music performance and education from Fort Lewis College in Durango. Her teaching history includes one year at Silverton Public School, three years as an adjunct professor at Fort Lewis College, and nearly eight years as a private piano teacher. However, she makes most of her living from behind the piano, entertaining audiences all over the United States, and relying on the fan base that she has built over the years to support her in her new endeavors. Lacey has released several CDs and is the founder of the band Red Rhapsody, with whom she produced two full-length CDs of all original music. Her song “For You,” was second-runner-up in the International Songwriting Competition in 2007. Songwriting continues to be her passion—watch for a new CD of original songs in the future. Currently, Lacey performs mostly solo, but she can also be found playing with Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge from time to time, as well as making guest-appearances. She has performed with the likes of Michael Martin Murphey and appeared on many studio albums of local Durango musicians over the years. When she’s not sitting at the keys, she can be found outside, biking, skiing, hiking, fishing, and enjoying the beautiful mountains of Colorado! For more information about Lacey Black, visit her website at www.laceyblack.net.
HOYLE OSBORNE has an astonishing range of styles and a repertoire that runs from music of the Old West to ragtime, classic jazz, historic Latin-American music, original compositions, and all kinds of great popular songs. He has entertained in concerts and music festivals all across North America and played piano on-screen in the 2011 film Cowboys & Aliens. Hoyle has entertained several seasons on the paddlewheel steamboats Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen, cruising up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. For twenty years, he was a featured ragtime pianist at the Diamond Belle Saloon in Durango, Colorado. Twice now, Hoyle’s original ragtime numbers have been prize-winners in the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation’s composition contest. He has also performed in the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, the birthplace of ragtime. This past fall, his ragtime-inspired composition, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” was given its premiere by the San Juan College Orchestra. Jane Voss, singer and songwriter, and Hoyle Osborne have toured the U.S. many times over the past 35 years. They have been guests on the National Public Radio programs Mountain Stage, All Things Considered,and Fresh Air. They have presented “Singing America’s History” programs about flappers, ragtime, and the Great Depression in museums, libraries, and schools. Two of Hoyle’s CDs were recorded at the Diamond Belle Saloon—Ragtime Cowboy Joe and Live at the Diamond Belle. His most recent disc is Panazon: Pan-American Café Music. Ragtime legend Max Morath said, “It is a hot-then-subtle mix of sturdy ragtime and dancing Latin themes—close cousins musically, as virtuoso pianist Osborne and his superb ensemble illustrate in every measure.” New Age pianist George Winston added, “Great CD! Good luck with it.” Much more information can be found at www.hoyleosborne.com.
DANIEL ROTTENBERG was sitting in a bar. A piano walked in and said, “Keys on me.” Daniel, 21, has been tickling the ivories since he was four years old. He started playing classical pieces, but when he reached the age of 12 he heard “The Entertainer” played on piano and instantly 180’d into the world of ragtime. He played at the Diamond Belle Saloon in the Strater Hotel for seven years. Now he enjoys playing stride piano along with composing his own pieces and writing musicals. He released his first CD in 2007 titled Rockin’ Rags and is working on a second. Daniel, from Durango, Colorado, lives in Denver and is a student at Metropolitan State.