West Coast Ragtime Society
Dedicated to the preservation and promtion of Ragtime and vintage American music.

This page updated 11/15/2008
Prior update 11/13/2008

2008 Festival XXII Information
November 21-23, 2008

Jump to Performers page, click here.

Jump to Festival Schedule, click here.

First A Little Fanfare The Society produces the world's premiere annual ragtime festival in Sacramento, California, the ragtime capital of the world! The Festival is the best and biggest ragtime festival in the world.  There's lots and lots of great music from the finest musicians and groups available spread over three days in convenient multiple venues, including dancing, at a very reasonable price.  It's well managed and financially sound. No other festival offers such a terrific program!

Expect A Great Time At The Festival Don't expect to wait around to hear ragtime! It begins Friday at noon and goes until 11 PM and continues Saturday from 8 AM to 11 PM and Sunday from 9 AM until 5 PM. And you can expect after-hours Ragtime Friday and Saturday nights from 11 PM to, well, let's say late.

You do have to make choices.  We have six venues all on the ground level with five of the venues in the same building. The fifth venue is less than a minute's walk from the main building. We run the venues at the same time. We rotate the closing of the venues for short periods to rest and tune the pianos. And open during the Festival is our Ragtime Store where you can purchase music and recordings of our performers.

Last Year's Festival For an idea of a West Coast Ragtime Festival, be sure to check information (e.g., performers, schedule, etc) on last year's Festival. Also check back and take a look at pictures from the Festival.

Pre Festival Warm-up We will again have a free no-host pre-festival warm-up beginning at 7:00 PM on Thursday evening November 20, 2008 in the Sierra Room. There will be no charge or badges required. Pianos will be provided.  It is open to all:  ragtime fans, the merely curious, musicians (of course),  and passers by.

This Year's Festival The 22nd annual West Coast Ragtime Festival will be  held November 21, 22, and 23, 2008 at the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento (formerly the Red Lion's Sacramento Inn) in Sacramento, California. The Festival begins at noon Friday November 21 and ends at 5 PM on Sunday November 23.  

Details On The Festival Click on the links below to obtain specific information.

Questions? Contact us, we respond!

General The Festival is held at the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento. The Festival has become one of the premiere ragtime festivals in the world. It began in the mid 1980's in Fresno, California and enjoyed 10 successful years there before moving to Sacramento in 1997 where it has been a  great success.

The 2008 Festival will feature six comfortable venues, all inside and on the ground level, for listening and dancing to ragtime music on all three days, as well as seminars on all facets of ragtime. Five of the venues are in the same building and the sixth venue is less than a minute's walk from the main building.

The music begins at noon on Friday and continues until 11 PM, followed by after-hours.  Saturday is a full day from 9 AM to 11 PM, then after-hours,  and Sunday is 9 AM to 5 PM.  After-hours jam sessions Friday and Saturday are always the norm at the Festival.

Volunteers are the backbone of the Society. We welcome volunteers to assist with the Festival. Volunteer services are needed prior to, during, and after the Festival. Volunteers who serve a minimum of 12 hours during the festival (or immediately before or after the Festival) will receive an All-Events pass to the festival. Those who cannot serve 12 hours may serve one 4 hour shift on any day of the Festival and receive free admission for that day.

To sign up to assist with the festival, click here to email a request to volunteer or receive more information, or drop us a note at P.O. Box 13346, Sacramento, California 95813. Include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. You will be contacted to determine your preference for the type of volunteer service you can do for the festival and to work out your schedule.

Admission & Badges Admission to the performance venues is by use of Festival Badges (your badge is your ticket). A badge entitles the bearer to attend any function. Badges are not required for the Ragtime Store. Festival badges may be purchased for individual days or for the entire three days.

Badge Prices

All-Event Badge (Until 10/31/2008*) $85.00
All-Event Badge (11/1/2008 & after*) $90.00
Friday Only  Badge $35.00
Saturday Only  Badge $45.00
Sunday Only  Badge $25.00
Saturday & Sunday  Badge $60.00
Late arrivals after 5 PM, badge prices are 1/2- price. Available at the registration table only. 
Children 16 and under may attend free (no badge required) when accompanied by a paying adult.
Day badges for adults bringing children under 16 are half price.  The half-price discount is available at the registration table only, and the child must be present at the time of purchase.

* Cutoff dates are by postmark.

Badges may be purchase any of four ways.

By Mail with personal check or money order

Click here for printable order form.

Online using PayPal
What is PayPal? To find out, click here.
Click here to order 2008 badges now with PayPal.
Don't have PayPal? Sign up during checkout.
By phone using your credit card Call 9 AM to 9 PM (PDT) 415-924-6834 or toll-free 1-866-724-9277
At the festival. Purchase your badge at the door. Cash or credit card accepted.

Red LionLodging The Red Lion Hotel Sacramento (formerly the Sacramento Inn), 1401 Arden Way, is the official festival hotel for the 2008 Festival. They are offering a block of rooms at special rates if reserved prior to October 18, 2008: 

Room Size

Nightly Rate

Single or double occupancy


Triple or quadruple occupancy


Oversize deluxe rooms

$15 additional

Remember to ensure the special rates you need to make your reservations before October 24, 2008 and mention that you are making them for the "West Coast Ragtime Festival" block.

It's best to make your reservations with the hotel using the Red Lion central reservation number 1-800-733-5466 (RED-LION). Make sure you identify your reservations as being for the "West Coast Ragtime Festival" in order to get the special festival rate.

Doubletree Hotel: Lodging is also available at special festival rates at the Doubletree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way (across the street from the Red Lion Hotel). The festival rate for single through quadruple occupancy in $99 per night. Remember to ensure the special rates you need to make your reservations before October 24, 2008 and mention that you are making them for the "West Coast Ragtime Festival" block.  Reservations: 1-800-222-8733 (TREE).

Food Service

Garden Coffee Cafe 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Bar service from 3:00 PM to 2:00 AM
A buffet will be located next to the restaurant. Open for breakfast 7-10, lunch 11- 3, and dinner 5-9.
A "Ragtime Cafe" will be located near the festival venues and will feature ready-made hot and cold items for cash sale.
A variety of restaurants is nearby, including several in the shopping mall adjacent to the hotel.

RV Parking Parking for recreational vehicles are available within the vicinity of the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento. Below are some of the available options which were available for the 2007 Festival. 

Red Lion Hotel Sacramento: On site dry parking only  for RV's is available at the east end of the parking lot. The fee is $25 for the Festival. You must register with the hotel (916) 922-8041.

Cal Expo RV Park: RV parking is available on the grounds of the California State Exposition which is located about a five minute drive from the Festival. The nightly cost for a full hookup is $26 for a 30 amp hookup and $28 for a 50 amp hookup. To reach the park from the hotel, go east on Arden way to Ethan Way. (domed cinemas). Turn right to end of Ethan Way. Entrance is on the right. To contact the park, write to Cal Expo RV Park, PO Box 15649, 1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95852. Or call (916) 263-3187 or toll free (877) 225-3976. Reservations are recommended. You may also visit their website at: http://www.calexpo.com/html/rv_park.asp

Elks Lodge - Carmichael: RV facilities are available for  Elks members at the Carmichael Elks Lodge located about 20 minutes from the hotel. Contact Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Ave., Carmichael, CA (916) 428-8296.

TTN/NACO Members: RV facilities are available at  Lake Minden which is about a 30 minute drive from the festival. Contact them at Thousand Trails, 1256 Marcum Rd., Nicolaus, CA; 95659 (530) 656-2700 or (800) 656-5006; or visit their website.

Travel To The Festival

By Air: Several major air carriers serve the Sacramento International Airport and shuttle service (Supershuttle - the blue vans) to and from the hotel is available.

By Car: The festival site (Red Lion Hotel Sacramento) is located on Arden Way adjacent to the "Capital City Freeway" (business I-80). Use the "Arden Way" exit either from the north or south and go east. The Red Lion Hotel Sacramento is located on the north side of Arden Way next to the Arden Fair Shopping Mall. Click here for driving instructions.

Official Travel Agency: Miyamoto Travel Service. Contact them at: (916) 441-1020 Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM PDT. Ask for Judy or Raymonde.
Email: raymonde@miyamototravel.com.

Venues The five performance venues and a general layout of the hotel are shown in the Venue Map below. The various venues are described below with a color code relating back to the map.

(1) The Martinique Room is the largest venue of the festival. Headline performances and special concerts are presented in this venue.

(2) The Yosemite Room is another fine venue for featured players & groups and has a small dance floor.

(3) The Sierra Room is another fine venue for featured players.

(4) The Comstock 3 Room is not as large as the other venues,  but some of the fine music and entertainment presented there in the past made it feel like a grand concert hall and often made it SRO. Sets are 30 minutes in this venue compared to the 45 minute to one  hour sets in the other venues. The room is also used for Open Piano Sessions.

(5) The Camellia Room is another large concert venue for music and special events.  Seminars will be presented Saturday and Sunday in this venue.

(6) The J.B.'s Lounge (remodeled Savanna's Lounge) is a cafe-bar setting with a new permanent wood dance floor. It's a relaxed, intimate setting. After-hours jam sessions happen here.

(7) Comstock 1 & 2 Rooms. During the Festival the Ragtime Store is open in the Comstock 1 & 2 Rooms. This is where you can purchase the recordings and music folios of the Festival performers.

Dining The hotel has a very nice Coffee Garden Cafe open from 6 AM to 10 PM daily, offering a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner items plus a convenient buffet during all three mealtimes. Additionally, a "Ragtime Cafe" will be located near the festival venues and will feature ready made hot and cold items for cash sale.  Also, there are many restaurants from "Fast Food" to "Fine Dining" within walking distance of the hotel.

Performers Check the 2008 Festival Performer Pictures Page, which has small pictures of the performers.  The page also provides links to biographies for the performers.  New performers will be announced throughout the year. The current list of performers that will appear at the Festival are below.  indicates that the entry has been added with this update.

Individual Performers

Mimi Blais Tom Bopp Nan Bostick Chris and Jack Bradshaw
Tom Brier Shirley Case Yvonne Cloutier Marty Eggers
Frank French Ann Gibson Rosemary Hallum Frederick Hodges
Molly Kaufman Scott Kirby Morton Gunnar Larsen Carl Sonny Leyland
Dennis Pash Jim Radloff Bob Ringwald David Thomas Roberts
Jack Rummel Hal Smith Martin Spitznagel Butch Thompson
Trebor Tichenor Virginia Tichenor Sarah Roth Vanegas
Craig Ventresco  & Meredith Axelrod Dick Zimmerman

Youth Performers

Andrew Barrett Vincent Johnson Max Keenlyside Will Perkins
Wesley Reznicek Tim Rotolo Adam Swanson Stephanie Trick
Crown Syncopators Fresno High School Band Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra
Plucking Wonders Porcupine Ragtime Ensemble Raspberry Jam Band
Ragtime Skedaddlers Smalltimers St. Louis Ragtimers
  Sullivans and Drivons  

Seminar Leaders & Topics
(Check back later for seminar topics.)

Andrew Barrett Ed Berlin Stephen Kent Goodman
Virginia Hawthorne Frederick Hodges Richard Zimmerman
Youth Master Class
Frederick Hodges
Silent Movies
Nick Langdon
Dance Instructors
Bruce Mitchell Richard Duree & Ruth Levin Stanly Stern & Nancy Piver

Schedule Of Events  Click here for the Schedule of Events.  Remember that we have a pre-festival warm-up on Thursday evening.

Thursday evening – Volunteer party 6:00 pm, Sierra Room
Thursday evening – Pre-festival party 7:00 pm, Sierra Room

Stephen Kent Goodman
Ragtime and the Popular Concert Band
Sat, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Camellia Room
Virginia Hawthorn
The Sounds and Stories behind
West Coast Ragtime and Rags

at, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM - Camilla Room
Ed Berlin: The Scott Joplin Bio - Recent
 Discoveries and Stories I Was Afraid to Tell

Sat, 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM - Camilla Room
Richard Zimmerman
How Was Ragtime Really Played?
Sun, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Camilla Room
Frederick Hodges
Three Giants of American Novelty Ragtime
Sun, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM - Camilla Room
Andrew Barrett
The Life and Music of Nat Johnson
Sun, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM - Camilla Room

Special Shows
Short History of Ragtime
Fri, 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM, Martinique
Festival Sampler
Fri, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Martinique
Youth Master Class
Sat, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Camellia
Ragtime 1908!
Sat, 3:15 PM to 4:45 PM, Martinique
Ragtime, Then and Now
Sat, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, Martinique
Fresno High School Warrior Band
Sat, 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, J.B''s Lounge
Mimi Blais: Music Hall and Comedy Show
Sat, 9:30 PM to 11:00 PM, Martinique
Youth Concert
Sun 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM, Martinique
Silent Movies
Sun, 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, Martinique
Festival Finale
Sun, 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM, Martinique

Theme Sets
Scott Kirby
Main Street Souvenirs
Fri, 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM, Martinique
Return to Bucktown
Special Set
Fri, 10:15 PM to 11:00 PM, Martinique
Frederick Hodges
Tribute to Phil Ohman
Fri, 3:45 PM to 4:30 PM, Martinique
Frederick Hodges & Ann Gibson
The Great Prohibition Follies
Fri, 9:30 PM to 10:15 PM, Martinique
Trio Plus One
Special Set
Sat, 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM, Yosemite
Frank French & Sarah Roth Vanegas
Latin American Piano Traditions
Sat, 11:30 AM to 12:15 PM, Yosemite
Stanley Stern & Nancy Piver
All Sorts of Tangos and Animal Dances
Sat, 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM, J.B''s Lounge
Ragtime Skedaddlers
Ragtime on String Instruments
Sat, 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Camellia
Scott Kirby
Scott Joplin Set
Sat, 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM, Martinique
Jack Rummel
Folk Ragtime of Yesterday and Today
Sat, 5:30 PM to 6:15 PM, Sierra
Frederick Hodges
Tribute to Roy Bargy
Sat, 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM, Camellia
Jim Radloff
Sat, 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM, Comstock 3

Annual Meeting  The Annual Meeting of the Society will be held on Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 8:30 AM in the Yosemite Room. There will be an election of individual 2009 Directorships. Voting is by WCRS members only.

Dance Instruction Dance instruction is held on all three days of the Festival in the J.B.'s Lounge.

Open Piano Open piano will be held throughout the Festival. Open Piano is a chance for ANYONE to get up and play--even if you only know one number!  To sign up, see the MC, who will take your name, tell you when it's your turn to play, and introduce you. The schedule will be announced later.

 After Hours  After hour sessions, another festival tradition,  are held Friday and Saturday from 11 PM till the wee hours in the J.B.'s Lounge. All are welcome to play and socialize, with the only "rule" being to yield the stage after a reasonable time if someone else is waiting for a chance to play.

Ragtime Store Visit the Ragtime Store in Comstock 1 & 2 for all your ragtime music needs.  Performers’ recordings, folios and more are available will be available. 

Friday 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Post-Festival Party and Dinner  A perfect way to wind-down with friends and performers is the post-festival party and dinner beginning 5:30 PM Sunday in the Coffee Garden Restaurant. 

More Information If you haven't found the festival information you were looking for, click here to email a request for festival information. You contact us by phone; the Sacramento area number is (916) 457-3324 or you may call toll-free at 1-866-724-9273. To contact us by postal mail, click here for the address on the Contact Us page.

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