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

This page updated 11/29/2009
Prior update 11/11/2009

2009 Festival XXIII Information
November 20-22, 2009

Jump to Performers page, click here.

Jump to Festival Schedule, click here.

Dancing Returns to Martinique, 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!

Take a peak at the official festival flyer.
Click here
(PDF format). As in years past, our flyer is the masterful work of Lewis Motisher.

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 19, 2009 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 23rd annual West Coast Ragtime Festival will be  held November 20, 21, and 22, 2009 at the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento (formerly the Red Lion's Sacramento Inn) in Sacramento, California. The Festival begins at noon Friday November 20 and ends at 5 PM on Sunday November 22.  

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

Questions? Click here to email a request for Festival Information, 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 2009 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.


Festival Volunteers

  We still need a few more volunteers for checking badges at venues.

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. Volunteer activities include Door Monitoring, Musician Hospitality, and Other. 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.
The Volunteer Coordinators are Bub & Petra Sullivan. To volunteer contact them by clicking here to email a request for Volunteering  Information., sign up at the Registration Table, or drop us a note at WCRS – Attention: Volunteer Coordinator, P.O. Box 13346, Sacramento, California 95813. Include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Also, indicate the volunteer activity you prefer. You will be contacted to confirm 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 10/31/2009*) $85.00
All-Event Badge (11/1/2009 & 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 2009 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 2009 Festival. They are offering a block of rooms at special rates if reserved prior to October 18, 2009: 

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 November 1, 2009 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 21, 2009 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 DAY 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 (Super shuttle - 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 six performance venues and a general layout of the hotel are shown in the Venue Map below. The various venues are described to the below. Click on the map to open a larger, printable version..

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

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

The Sierra Room is another fine venue for featured players.

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.

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

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.

Comstock 1 & 2 – Ragtime Store 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. For a complete listing of vendor and store hours, click here.

Dining The hotel has a very nice Garden Coffee 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 2009 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

Meredith Axelrod Andrew Barrett Taslimah P. Bey Tom Bopp
Nan Bostick Chris and Jack Bradshaw Tom Brier Shirley Case
Neville Dickie Richard Dowling Marty Eggers Frank French
Ann Gibson John Gill Rosemary Hallum Frederick Hodges
Morton Gunnar Larsen Carl Sonny Leyland Larisa Migachyov Terry Parish
Nancy Piver David Thomas Roberts Jack Rummel Christoph Schmetterer
Sean Sharp Ray Skjelbred Hal Smith Squeek Steele
Stanley Stern Trebor Tichenor Virginia Tichenor Stephanie Trick
Craig Ventresco Sam Williams    
Youth Performers
Vincent Johnson Max Keenlyside Will Perkins Tim Rotolo
Sergey Smirnov Adam Swanson Luke Vandermyde
Crown Syncopators Fresno High School Band Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra
Porcupine Ragtime Ensemble Ragtime Skedaddlers Ragnolia Ragette
Raspberry Jam Band

Sullivans and Drivons

Seminar Leaders & Topics
Click here for a printable Seminar Listing

Gershwin Rediscovered
By Richard Dowling
Generations in Ragtime: Style and 
Interpretation Over the Decades
By Max Keenlyside
Memories of Eubie Blake
By Morten Gunnar Larsen
The Dolceola – A Lovely, Rare, Miniature 
Piano of 1904
By Ray Skjelbred
Les Copeland – A Ragtime Odyssey
By Trebor Tichenor
From Vaudeville to the Nickelodeon: The Forgotten Sensation of the Illustrated Song
by Galen Wilkes
Youth Master Class
Frederick Hodges
Silent Movies
Frederick Hodges
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

Special Shows Click on show title for description, date and time.
“Ragtime That is Different”: A John Stark Sampler Festival Sampler
Silent Movies Stride Summit
Ziegfield Follies Revue Youth Concert
Festival Finale Post-Festival Party

Theme Sets Click on theme set title for description, date and time
Tribute to Ragtime Piano legend Charley Straight Brier Plays Brier
European Popular Music From the Ragtime Era Remembering Wally Rose and Pete Clute
Hot Piano from Chicago Tango Dance Set
The Forgotten Verse The Dolceola: A Miniature Piano 
Rhapsody in Blue Charles L. Johnson String Band Music
Meet the Modern Player Piano: Yamaha’s Disklavier Scott Joplin’s “Elite Syncopations”
The Great Illustrated Songs Show!: Song Slides from the Nickelodeon Theatres
Trio Plus One (Leyland) Celebrating the Women of Ragtime
“Modern” Rags from the Ragtime Revival Vintage Songs of Yosemite

Annual Meeting  The Annual Meeting of the Society will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2009 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 Martinique room

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. For a complete listing of vendor and store hours, click here.

Friday Noon to 9:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM to 3:00 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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