Andrew Barrett
Costa Mesa, California

Andrew Barrett was born in New York City in 1987 to a musical family.  As a toddler, frequent trips to the Central Park Carousel led to an interest in band organs and later orchestrions and other automatic musical instruments and a taste for the turn of the century tunes they played.

Like many toddlers, Andrew began playing on pots and pans at home until his parents mercifully bought him his first drum set.  He discovered the washboard as a musical instrument soon after this.

His family moved to Costa Mesa California in 1996.  At the age of 11, Andrew began weekly piano lessons with a local instructor, Anita Gillett.  During his first year of study he began to play the ragtime music that he enjoys so much.  This led to an interest in novelty, stride, and rhythm piano and works by such composers and performers as

Paul Pratt, Harry C. Thompson, Albert Gumble, Jean Schwartz, Les Copeland, Charley Straight, Roy Bargy, Eastwood Lane, Clarence Johnson, and Donald Lambert.

Andrew continues to play the drums and washboard with his mentor, soprano saxophonist George Probert.  He attends Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. He has composed several pieces, among which Frequent Flyer Rag, Cantering Along, and Flying Rhino are particularly notable.

Andrew began attending the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club in Pasadena a couple of years ago, and is now a regular performer/attendee. He also attends the Orange County Ragtime Society in Fullerton. He says that he enjoys going to the clubs because “…I can try out pieces I’ve been working on in front of an audience, I get to hear other performers, I have fun, and mostly, I can hear my favorite music!”

In addition to all of this, Andrew has also been featured the past several years as a performer in such annual California events as the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, Ragfest in Fullerton, and the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival in Sutter Creek.

He recently competed in the 2008 World Championship Old-Time Piano-Playing Contest in Peoria, Illinois, where he placed sixth in the Adult Division. In their “new rag” contest, he got second place (by one point!) for “Humanitaur Rag” (a remarkable drag).