Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival


Be a part of the 4th Annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival March 18- 20, 2016, 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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FOURTH ANNUAL FESTIVAL SET FOR MARCH 18 – 20, 2016

FRIDAYMARCH 18

Pullman Room
Ragtime 101: A Festival Music Primer
10:00 a.m. Symposium with Frederick Hodges

Frederick Hodges will give an entertaining illustrated seminar presenting the fascinating history of ragtime music and the evolution of its rich diversity of distinct regional and cultural styles. The seminar will feature special guest appearances by celebrity ragtime pianists of great renown.

Pullman Sessions
With Danny Coots, as requested
11:15 a.m. Will Perkins
11:45 a.m. Kylan DeGhetaldi
12:15 p.m. Andrew Greene

Lunch Break
12:45 – 2:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre
2:30 p.m. “Authentic Ragtime” Concert
Act I: Danny Coots
Brian Holland
Max Keenlyside
Frank LiVolsi
Act II: Duet Performance with Adam Swanson and Tom Brier

Our first concert this year focuses on classic ragtime and piano rags of the first two decades of the twentieth century. While the festival features a wide variety of music, here we are going to try to stay close to the roots of what we celebrate. Expect to hear the classic rags of Scott Joplin, among others, and in the second half, festival newcomer Tom Brier is going to play exciting duets of more obscure rags with Adam Swanson.

Dinner Break
4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre
7:30 p.m. “Ragtime a la Carte” Concert
Tom Brier, Danny Coots, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Max Keenlyside, Carl Sonny Leyland, Bob Seeley

“Ragtime a la Carte” will include a variety of ragtime-related music, including almost all festival headliners. Tom Brier, Sacramento’s wizard of ragtime, is making his first appearance in Durango, and returning from Canada is the brilliant young pianist and composer Max Keenlyside. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Tom Brier play a whole set of his original compositions in the Pullman Room on Sunday.

Diamond Belle Saloon
9:30 p.m. After Hours Party

SATURDAY, MARCH 19

Pullman Room
10:00 a.m. Gene Greene: “The Ragtime King”
Symposium with Adam Swanson

Adam Swanson tells the forgotten story of the other “Ragtime King,” vaudevillian and early recording artist Gene Greene. Remembered in history books as one of the first performers to sing scat (or nonsense syllables) on records, Adam will play many of Greene’s hard-to-find recordings in addition to illuminating more of his life and career. Don’t miss this chance to hear all about the man who wrote the famous “King of the Bungaloos”!

Pullman Sessions
With Danny Coots, as requested
11:15 a.m. Will Perkins
11:35 a.m. Kylan DeGhetaldi
11:55 a.m. Frank LiVolsi

Lunch Break
12:15 – 2:00 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre
2:00 p.m. Silent Film Feature Comedy: The Freshman (Starring Harold Lloyd, 1925)
With Frederick Hodges, piano

Back by popular demand, Frederick Hodges performs for another feature-length silent comedy starring Harold Lloyd. Like Safety Last!, which was shown last year, The Freshman (1925) is one of his most famous movies. Lloyd plans to do anything to become the most popular student on campus…

Henry Strater Theatre
3:30 p.m. Boogie and Blues Extravaganza
Act I: Danny Coots
Brian Holland
Adam Swanson
Act II: The Greatest Living Boogie Woogie Pianists!
Solos and Duets with Carl Sonny Leyland and Bob Seeley

This year, we are indeed honored to have with us both Carl Sonny Leyland and the legendary Bob Seeley who are two of the greatest exponents of boogie woogie piano in the world. The second half of the Boogie and Blues Extravaganza will be entirely devoted to the talents of these superb artists who have rarely performed together in the past.

Dinner Break
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre
7:30 p.m. “Ragtime, Broadway, and Beyond” Concert
Act I: Tom Brier
Danny Coots
Brian Holland
Max Keenlyside
Act II: Bob Seeley
Frederick Hodges: Selection from Watch Your Step
Adam Swanson: Rodgers and Hart Fantasy

Saturday night’s concert, “Ragtime, Broadway, and Beyond,” takes us from authentic ragtime to jazz and the songs of Broadway in the 1920s and ‘30s. The finale of the evening will include Frederick Hodges playing the selections from Irving Berlin’s 1914 Broadway show Watch Your Step and Adam Swanson’s Rodgers and Hart Fantasy.

Diamond Belle Saloon
9:30 p.m. After Hours Party 

SUNDAY, MARCH 20

Pullman Room
10:00 a.m. Blues Piano Influences
Symposium with Carl Sonny Leyland

Carl Sonny Leyland presents a new, informative symposium on blues pianists whose records became an indelible influence early in his career. Featured will be many African-American recording artists such as Cow Cow Davenport, Speckled Red, Jimmy Yancey, and more. Learn about the distinct, individual styles of these artists from one of the few experts in the field!

Pullman Sessions
11:15 a.m. Frank LiVolsi
11:45 a.m. Max Keenlyside
12:15 p.m. Tom Brier Plays Tom Brier

Lunch Break
12:45 – 2:30 p.m. 

Henry Strater Theatre
2:30 p.m. “Till We Meet Again” Concert
Tom Brier
Danny Coots
Brian Holland
Max Keenlyside
Carl Sonny Leyland
Bob Seeley
Adam Swanson

Extending the festival to a full three days this year gives us an opportunity for this “farewell” concert, featuring almost all festival pianists. A variety of music is assured, showcasing the each musician’s personal style, from ragtime to boogie. “Till We Meet Again…”

Dinner Break
4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre
7:30 p.m. Bar-D Wranglers in Concert
Classic Western String Band

The final concert is particularly special—for the first time, the ragtime festival is going to feature a full band, Durango’s own gifted musicians called the Bar-D Wranglers. Their repertoire stretches from ragtime tunes and the Great American Songbook to western swing and Sons of the Pioneers-style classics. Out-of-towners who have not heard the Wranglers—expect to be blown away. Adam Swanson will join them on piano for a few selections.

Diamond Belle Saloon
9:30 p.m. After Hours Party