Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival


Be a part of the 3rd Annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival March 20- 22, 2015, 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

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2015 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
We're currently working on firming up the Festival schedule. Please check back often for most up-to-date information.

Friday, March 20

10:00 a.m., Pullman Room
Fred Astaire in Ragtime
Symposium with Frederick Hodges

Fred Astaire is best remembered today for his musical films of the 1930s through the 1970s. His career on the Broadway and London stages of the late 1920s and early 1930s is also celebrated as a highpoint of musical theater. Fred Astaire, however, began his stage career in 1906 as a singer, dancer, and pianist, during the heyday of the Ragtime Era. Many of the best composers of the Ragtime Era, such as Irving Berlin, wrote songs for Astaire to introduce in vaudeville and later on the Broadway stage. This seminar will illuminate this fascinating part of Fred Astaire's early career.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Pullman Room
30 Minute Sessions
Danny Coots, as requested

11:00 a.m., Domingo Mancuello
11:30 a.m., Frank LiVolsi
12:00 p.m., John Remmers

12:30 a.m. – 1 :30 p.m., Lunch Break


1:30 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
Silent Film Comedies
Adam Swanson and Brian Holland

The Bell Boy (Paramount, 1918)
Starring Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton
Out West (Paramount, 1918)
Starring Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton

3:00 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
Boogie and Blues
Danny Coots, Brian Holland, Carl Sonny Leyland, Todd Robbins, Adam Swanson

Our opening concert spotlights the boogie woogie piano talents of Carl Sonny Leyland, who has been inducted into the Cincinnati Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame. Joining him for boogie and blues tunes will be Adam Swanson and Texas's Brian Holland, who is a master of so many diverse musical styles. Adam's portion will focus on the early ragtime-flavored blues of W. C. Handy.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
The Dances of Ragtime (dance lessons for all ages)

Spend a delightful hour with sought after Durango choreographer Lani Dill learning the most popular dances of the ragtime and early jazz eras.

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Dinner Break

7:30 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
That All American Rag
Danny Coots, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Carl Sonny Leyland, Frank LiVolsi, Domingo Mancuello, Todd Robbins, Adam Swanson

Friday evening's concert, featuring all festivals headliners, is a celebration of ragtime music from coast to coast. Each region of the United States developed slightly different ragtime styles, so expect to hear music from New York to Sedalia, Missouri, to San Francisco.

9:30 p.m., Diamond Belle Saloon
After Hours Party (open until about 1:45 a.m.)

Saturday, March 21

10:00: a.m., Pullman Room
Emmett Miller: Minstrel Man from Georgia
Symposium with Adam Swanson

Simultaneously tracing the history of ragtime, early jazz, western swing, and mainstream country music, Adam Swanson presents the story of 1920s recording artist and minstrel performer Emmett Miller. Miller gained his greatest success in the late '20s with Al G. Field's Minstrels and making records for the OKeh label with jazz legends like the Dorsey Brothers, Gene Krupa, Eddie Lang, and Jack Teagarden. Miller's lasting influence, however, has been even more pronounced, as he was the inspiration for many later western swing and country hits, including "I Ain't Got Nobody," "Any Time," "Lovesick Blues," and "Right or Wrong." The presentation will include rare 78 records and sheet music covers from Adam's personal collection.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Pullman Room
Thirty-Minute Sessions
Danny Coots, as requested

11:00 a.m., John Remmers
11:30 a.m., Frank LiVolsi
12:00 p.m., Domingo Mancuello

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

1:30 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
Safety First! Feature Length Silent Movie
Frederick Hodges

Frederick Hodges accompanies Harold Lloyd's masterpiece, Safety Last! (Hal Roach, 1923). This romantic comedy includes one of the most iconic scenes of the silent film era—Harold Lloyd dangling off a clock on a skyscraper in Los Angeles. Frederick is one of the most renowned silent film pianists in the world and only uses authentic period music.

3:00 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
Robbins's Vaudeville Revue: Magic, Music, and More!
Danny Coots, Brian Holland, Carl Sonny Leyland, Domingo Mancuello, Todd Robbins, Adam Swanson

Back by popular demand, festival M.C. Todd Robbins will direct this show, including more vaudeville fun, magic, and perhaps even old-time circus sideshow tricks. Specially featured will be the vocal and comedic talents of Philadelphia's Domingo Mancuello.

5:00 p.m. – 7 :30 p.m.
Dinner Break

7:30 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre
Fantasies and Finale
Danny Coots, Brian Holland, Carl Sonny Leyland, Todd Robbins, Adam Swanson, Frederick Hodges

In addition to sets by pianists Leyland and Holland, in the festival finale, Adam Swanson and Frederick Hodges will perform a number of specially arranged duets. Adam will follow this will the Complete Selection from George Gershwin's Broadway musical Girl Crazy, and Frederick will premiere his own Grand Fantasy on themes from Gershwin's Funny Face.

9:30 p.m., Diamond Belle Saloon
After Hours Party (open until about 1:45 a.m.)

Sunday, March 22

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Diamond Belle Saloon
Farewell Brunch with Impromptu Music
Not included in All Festival Pass