|2010 WCRF Seminar Lineup
November 19, 20, and 21
Updated 11/8/2010. Previous Update 11/8/2010.
Click on presenter's name for biographical information.
Click on the buttons to view the show's location on the schedule.
|Frisco 1910: Entertainers in the Paris of America
Bruce Vermazen - Sat, 11:00 a.m. - Camellia
The year 1910 was a high point in ragtime-era San Francisco, according to cornetist/author Bruce Vermazen (of the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra). Rag composers/pianists like Jay Roberts, George Gould, and Mike Bernard and singers such as Blossom Seeley and the Hedges Brothers and Jacobson could be heard for the price of a drink. Meanwhile, the city’s theatres showcased such top-liners as Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, and Ben Harney. With the help of the sporting-life magazine The Referee and of historical recordings, Vermazen will sketch Frisco cabaret life and some of the social forces (drinking, dancing, prostitution, and law enforcement) that shaped it.
|You Tell ‘Em Ivories! – The Novelty Pianists
Vince Johnson - Sat, Noon. - Camellia
Most ragtime aficionados have heard of Zez Confrey and his toe-tapping novelties, such as “Kitten on the Keys,” that he composed in the early 1920s. However, time has buried many of Confrey’s American and international counterparts in relative obscurity. Vincent Johnson, this year’s youth scholar, will explore the novelty styles of Arthur Schutt, Billy Mayerl, and Fred Elizalde presenting biographical details, original recordings, published scores, and photographs.
|Erasing Myths About Stride Piano
Mike Lipskin - Sat, 1:00 p.m. - Camellia
Over the 90-plus years since the great James P. Johnson recorded his first amazing stride piano gems, confusion has developed over what this vibrant, seminal piano style really is. We’ve recruited stride pianist and record producer Mike Lipskin to clear up misconceptions by performing examples of this style and presenting rare videos and recordings by Johnson, Willie the Lion Smith (Johnson’s mentor and friend), Donald Lambert, and Fats Waller, probably the most popular jazz pianist of the 1930s.
|From Coon Tunes to Broadway Hits - The Ragtime Song
Frederick Hodges - Sun, 11:00 a.m. - Camellia
During the original ragtime era, people were far more likely to recognize ragtime songs than rag instrumentals so we’ve turned to the expert, pianist/vocalist Frederick Hodges, to celebrate the ragtime song: from the coon tunes of the minstrel days to the ragtime hits of vaudeville and Broadway. He might even slide into some of the fun ragtime parodies and discuss how publishers often issued a song version of a popular rag instrumental to squeeze out a little more profit. You’ll be amazed at the incredible lyrics songsmiths created to fit a rag (a definite challenge) and you may be surprised by some ragtime songs that we still sing today.
|Recent Chicago Ragtime Revelations
Dick Zimmerman - Sun, Noon a.m. - Camellia
Veteran ragtime scholar and performer Dick Zimmerman will reveal how Chicago became one of America’s earliest ragtime centers. He will present newly unearthed facts about Chicago ragtime composers, musicians, and crooners. In passing he will discuss where Chicago’s red-light district was really located, and, of course, will perform some rare Chicago rags that few of us have ever heard.
|This is Ragtime
Terry Waldo - Sun, 1:00 p.m. - Camellia
New York showman, pianist, and historian Terry Waldo will present highlights and themes from his classic book on ragtime. This Is Ragtime has just been updated and reprinted in a luxurious new color edition by Jazz At Lincoln Center with a new introduction by Wynton Marsalis. Waldo will explain and illustrate musically the roots of ragtime music and show how it became the foundation of all American popular music including jazz, blues and rock and roll. As Wynton Marsalis has said: ”When I want to know about ragtime I go to Terry Waldo.”