performer and promoter of ragtime music, Eric Marchese had always
dreamed of seeing an annual ragtime festival in Orange County.
He saw that dream realized in early 2000 when he co-founded RagFest
2000 with the Fullerton-based non-profit organization Friends
of Jazz. Together, he and FOJ have produced the event in downtown
Fullerton in October every year since. Spurred on by the demand
for live ragtime music performance more than once a year, Eric
founded the Orange County Ragtime Society in November, 2001. The
group meets several times a year in downtown Fullerton, offering
free musicales of vintage and contemporary ragtime as well as
As a pianist, Eric performs a wide variety of ragtime styles,
from Scott Joplin and his fellow Classic ragtimers to early ragtime
pieces, Tin Pan Alley, folk, Novelty and some of the more advanced
rags that emerged in the 1910s. As a composer, he has written
more than 70 pieces for piano, many of which he has published
and which he includes in his repertoire along with piano pieces
composed by his ragtime peers.
Eric has taken his act to numerous libraries, retirement communities,
civic organizations and private residences all over Southern California
and has appeared at such venues as Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo,
the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in Oceanside and the Shannon Performing
Arts Center in Whittier. He has performed at annual ragtime music
events like the West Coast Ragtime Festival, the Ragtime Pianorama
of San Clemente’s annual Dixieland by the Sea festival and
the “Ragtime Corner” of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee
and is an occasional guest of the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club and the
Valley Ragtime Stomp. You can hear of some of his performances
and compositions at Noisy Planet’s website and see/hear
them on YouTube.
As festival coordinator, Eric will accompany vocalist ERIKA
C. MILLER, offer a variety of solo selections, and emcee portions
of RagFest weekend’s many programs.