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RagFest Performers - A Million Dollars Worth of Talent Comes to Fullerton this October

Bob Pinsker photo
Bob Pinsker
C.J. Sans photo
C.J. Sams

Brad Kay & Vincent Johnson
Brad Kay & Vincent Johnson

RagFest 2014 presents some of the finest ragtime performers west of the Mississippi! This year’s festival introduces The White Star Line Ragtime Ensemble, solo pianist Paul Orsi, and solo pianist Tim Rotolo. Run by Frank Sano, founder and longtime member of the Albany Nightboat Ragtimers, the White Star Line Ragtimers first began performing in 2013.

Orsi is a veteran ragtime pianist with energy to spare and a resume that includes 10 years as a Disneyland pianist at Coke Corner. Recent college grad Rotolo plays an eclectic mix of selections from Joplin to Jolson, Louis Armstrong and Glenn Miller – multiple genres that include ragtime, honky-tonk, boogie, and blues.

Tom Marion and his Ragtime String Trio debuted at RagFest 2013, and the group returns to Fullerton by popular demand. Pianist Bill Mitchell, the only ragtime performer to anchor all 13 RagFests to date (aside, of course, from the event’s founder), is joined by banjo player par excellence Jimmy Green.

If you love vocal ragtime, you’ll be delighted by the vaudeville team of Evans & Rogers, featuring Sharon Evans and Rick Rogers. Ragtime vocalist Erika C. Miller has become a festival favorite and is back again for her 13th RagFest.This year’s roster has no shortage of solo pianists – and in addition to playing piano, Orsi, Andrew Barrett, Vincent Johnson, Brad Kay and Eric Marchese are also talented composers of contemporary ragtime piano music. After the first RagFest was a success, Kay was invited to appear at the second festival a year later (fall 2001) and has been at every RagFest ever since.

Gary Rametta, John Reed-Torres and Ryan Wishner – each of whom made his RagFest debut at last year’s festival – will each deliver a set of solo piano. And no RagFest would be complete without Doug Haise, who splits his time between the upper Midwest (his native Wisconsin as well as Indiana) and Southern California and has a sizable repertoire (800+ selections).

If you’ve been to RagFests past, you’ll want to be at Steamers on both days, each of which features a unique lineup (you’ll find the schedule on our home page). Here are the performers for RagFest 2014. Click on the links to see more information:


Andrew Barrett, piano, washboard, drums
Jimmy Green, banjo
Doug Haise, piano
Vincent Johnson, piano
Brad Kay, piano, cornet
Paul Orsi, piano
Eric Marchese, piano
Erika C. Miller, vocal
Bill Mitchell, piano
Gary Rametta, piano
Tim Rotolo, piano
John Reed-Torres, piano
Evans & Rogers, vaudevillians
Ryan Wishner, piano

Tom Marion and his Ragtime String Trio, ragtime band
The White Star Line Ragtime Ensemble, ragtime band

While not a ragtime musical performer, Storm Case often captures the moment with his visual artwork. See some examples here.

RagFest Remembers

We lost Nan Bostick recently and remember her with a special memorial page - We Remember

Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra
Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra

redhatters photo
Redhatters with Pat Aranda

ragfest youth photo
RagFest Youth Concert


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