Taslimah P. Bey

Detroit, Michigan
Added 8/2/2009

Taslimah P. Bey began studying classical music at age 16, and switched to jazz in her senior year of high school. In 1985, Taslimah presented the Ragtime Legacy, a lecture/concert on the compositions of early ragtime composers, including Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Artie Matthews, Eubie Blake and James P. Johnson. In 1986, she formed Taslimah’s Ragtime Band, in an effort to expand upon previous ragtime presentations to include her band arrangements for ragtime compositions. The band includes a rotating roster of jazz greats Marcus Belgrave, Charlie Gabriel, Marion Hayden, Greg Patrick, Tony Holland, Raycee Biggs and James Carter. Taslimah has a long list of performances in several jazz and ragtime festivals throughout the United States. She recently has performed at Preservation Hall with the jazz legends of New Orleans, including drummer, Shannon Powell, and at the Bluenote Jazz Café in New York City, also with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. In May, 2001, Taslimah received the award for the Preservation of African-American Music from the Societie for the Culturally Concerned in Detroit. Taslimah has performed at Greenfield Village for the past 15 years, and is a headline artist at Greenfield Village’s Ragtime Street Fair. Taslimah has also performed at the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri and the Music on the Plaza Jazz Series in Grosse Pointe. In addition to performing ragtime, Taslimah has Bachelor’s of Music and teaches at Law Academy in Detroit. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Music Education from Oakland University.

Nan Bostick described her experience hearing the quartet as follows:

Taslimah Bey and her Ragtime Outlaws inspired cake-walkers, conga line dancing, and a tap dancer (who came in off the street) with their exhilarating arrangements of Harry P. Guy's Cleaning Up in Georgia, Walkin' and Talkin' and Heebie Jeebie Blues not to mention some really wonderful Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin pieces. This was the first I'd ever heard an all-Black ensemble play ragtime and it cooked. … Folks, we have just got to get this band out to California. They're truly special and a delight to know.

Taslimah can be heard on the CD, Taslimah Bey, Live! which is available on ITunes and CDBaby.com.