Mimi Blais
la nouvelle reine du ragtime
Montréal, Canada
Updated 10/23/05

January 2005 marks the 15th anniversary of the very first ragtime concert pianist Mimi Blais gave at "La Place des Arts" in Montreal, Qc. Canada (01-14-1990). Six months later she was on her way to the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. She felt that this music would change her life...and it did! She had fallen in love with ragtime and its story.

Many of Mimi's fans don't know that her "goal" with Ragtime had always been to write a show, a great show on ragtime music and play it around the world. In this way she could tell everybody that this music is the most important music in America. "RAGTIME IS THE TRUNK OF A BIG TREE!!"

Her recent union with pianist John Petley made her realize that, between them, they now had all the Branches of the ragtime tree, and "ONCE UPON A RAG TIME" was born (January 2005). This is the title of the show as well as Mimi's new CD. (The CD was in nomination at l'ADISQ in Quebec for best album of the year - category instrumental).

Composer, comedian, and even stage director, Mimi emceed a show last May at Le Spectrum in Montreal called "Ladies of Jazz" and performed beside the famous NY modern-jazz pianist, JoAnne Brackeen. She was featuring women composers of ragtime and her own compositions - even "aunt Georgette" showed up to play a medley of modern Jazz.

In April, Mimi received a grant of 10,000$ (CDN) from the Canadian Council of The Arts to research Canadian Ragtime. This project is her way to say thank you to the world of ragtime music for the great enjoyment it brings to her life!

More recently she signed a contract with a French Canadian publisher to have the music of Jean-Baptiste Lafrenière available in stores and for music schools.

Mimi Blais has eight recordings and they will be for sale during the 2005 West Coast Ragtime Festival.

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After completing her classical training at the Quebec Conservatory of Music and McGill University in Montreal, pianist Mimi Blais left the traditional path to discover Music with a capital “M”. Her career has been guided by passion and whim where classical, folk, jazz, modern, blues, tango, and ragtime all blend together. Mimi’s passion for ragtime music has led her to travel across the United States and Canada, and it has even taken her to Belgium and Hungary where she received one standing ovation after another.

Because of ragtime music, Mimi was invited to perform for the Olympic Celebration Arts Ashore ’96 in Savannah, Georgia and was acting and playing the piano in Heliotrope at “Le Théâtre du Rideau Vert” and in Le Diner Farfelu part I and II at the Cabaret of the Casino of Montreal.

Mimi Blais is in high demand because of her tremendous talent and joyful personality.

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Mimi is currently tackling possibly the toughest project of her life. She wants to compile a history of Canada’s part in the ragtime music craze that swept North America and Europe in the years between the late 1890s and the mid-1920s, which historians call the Ragtime Era. Click here for more information and how you might help.