Please Note: If you received the August 2021 program guide, please know this program's date was listed incorrectly.
In the 1890s, the first great American musical craze swept the nation—ragtime. The lively, syncopated music, made popular by musicians working in red-light district clubs such as pianist Jelly Roll Morton, had its roots in a melding of African rhythms and marches popularized by John Philip Sousa, among other sources . Today, most people are familiar with ragtime through the works of composer Scott Joplin.
Join Orin Grossman, composer, pianist, and Emeritus Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University as he traces the ragtime style from its beginnings to the faster, more complex piano styles of stride and “novelty” piano, as demonstrated in the music of Zez Confrey and George Gershwin. Grossman illustrates his talk by performing several of Joplin’s wonderful rags, Confrey’s spectacular piece “Kitten on the Keys,” and a few of his own arrangements of favorite Gershwin’s songs.
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