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RagFest ’13 a successful blend of old and new

“Perfessor” Bill Edwards

Erika C. Miller

Eric Marchese

Janet Klein

Andrew Barrett

Front: Ragtime pianists Vincent Johnson, Doug Haise, Gary Rametta, Ryan Wishner, Eric Marchese and Bill Mitchell. Back row and seated in the RagFest Model T: Ragtime pianists Bob Pinsker, Andrew Barrett, Eugene Shin and Will Bennett.

This year’s RagFest continued the same format as RagFest 2012, with a full day of music at Steamers Jazz Club & Café followed by a second full day at Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Attendance on the second day was down compared with our previous festival, but that didn’t detract from the entertainment value of this wonderful weekend of ragtime.

Making their RagFest debuts were the all-new act Tom Marion and His Ragtime String Trio; The California Feetwarmers, playing and singing the pop music of the teens and ’20s; special guest vocalist Meredith Axelrod, who also sat in with Tom Marion’s new group; and 16-year-old Ryan Wishner, who played informally at RF12. The festival also informally featured Will Bennett, a 21-year-old pianist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Gary Rametta and John Reed-Torres, two solo pianists who made their first festival appearances at RagFest 2012, were also each back again.

Returning from previous RagFests were some of the most popular acts from past festivals, starting with “Perfessor” Bill Edwards, a headliner from the 2007 and 2008 festivals. The Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra, and Brad Kay and Those Syncopating Songbirds, were featured acts at the Muckenthaler’s outdoor amphitheater, as were Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys, a favorite of longstanding at The Muck. Andrew Barrett delivered much solo piano and accompanied Meredith Axelrod at Steamers and vaudeville duo Evans & Rogers at Muckenthaler Center. Solo pianists Bob Pinsker, Vincent Johnson, Eric Marchese and Shirley Case, RagFest veterans all, were featured throughout the weekend, as was vocalist and festival favorite Erika C. Miller, and the duo of Bill Mitchell on piano and Jimmy Green on banjo.

Review by Fred Hoeptner
2013 Photo Page 1
2013 Photo Page 2

The Orange County Ragtime Society

2014 dates:
February 15 - 1 to 4:30 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club
March 15 - Noon to - 3:00 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club
April 19 - Noon to 3:00 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club
May 17 - 1 to 4:30 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club
June 21 - 1 to 4:30 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club
July 19 - 1 to 4:30 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club

SPECIAL EVENT - A Scott Joplin Afternoon - with pianists Paul Orsi, John Reed-Torres, Gary Rametta, Eric Marchese, Bob Pinsker, Andrew Barrett, and Bill Mitchell
August 16, 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. Steamers Jazz Club

 For more information, see this page!
September 20 - 1 to 4:30 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club

October 18-19: RagFest from noon to 6:00 p.m. Steamers Jazz Club

November 15- 1 to 4:30 p.m., Steamers Jazz Club

There is no cover charge or admission price. Reservations are not required, but seating is first-come, first-serve. The format is 'open piano,' meaning that those with demonstrated ability performing ragtime (or ragtime-related music) are welcome to perform. See the OCRS page for further information.

2014 OCRS Flyer PDF

This website ©2013 by RagFest, created and administered by Paul O'Neil @ Aeromark