Crown Syncopators Ragtime Trio

Berkeley, California
Added 9/13/2009

Formed in 2007, The Crown Syncopators Ragtime Trio consists of Virginia Tichenor on drums, Marty Eggers on tuba, and Frederick Hodges on piano. The trio plays regularly to enthusiastic crowds of music lovers at legendary waterfront restaurant Pier 23 in San Francisco and is expanding its territory to include ragtime and jazz festivals around the country.

The trio derives its name from the brand name of the piano at Pier 23, which happens to be a rare 1909 art-case, four-pedal upright piano manufactured by the Crown Piano Company. This very instrument has the added distinction of having belonged at different times to Bay Area jazz piano greats Burt Bales and Ray Skjelbred. In 2007, Skjelbred sold the piano to Marty Eggers, who arranged to house it at Pier 23, where Bales played for over a decade in the 1950s and '60s.

Virginia Tichenor has been consumed by ragtime her entire life, as the daughter of Trebor Tichenor, the noted ragtime scholar, pianist, collector and founder of the St. Louis Ragtimers. She studied music at the St. Louis Community Association for the Arts and took advanced training from concert pianist, John Philips. Always at the crossroads of the ragtime revival, her parental home houses the world's largest library of ragtime sheet music and piano rolls. Virginia grew up with legends like Eubie Blake, Max Morath and Butch Thompson chatting in her own living room. Her father is advisor-confidant for most of the ragtime community, so Virginia often heard new rags when they were forming in the minds of their composers. Since 2001, Virginia has performed regularly as the pianist in the Devil Mountain Jazz Band of Oakley, California. Virginia's ragtime piano experience has prepared her well to play the drums, which she has been doing since 2005.

Marty Eggers is a California native with deep roots in the ragtime community. In a career spanning several decades, Marty has earned a world-wide reputation as a master of ragtime and classic jazz piano. Marty has played with numerous Bay Area jazz and ragtime groups, including the Black Diamond Jazz Band and Bo Grumpus. Marty is the principal bass and tuba player for Don Neely's Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. He also appears at ragtime festivals with the Tichenor Family Trio (Trebor Tichenor, Virginia Tichenor, and Marty), and performs around the country with the Butch Thompson Trio and the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio.

Frederick Hodges specializes in the piano music and popular songs of the ragtime era, the 1920s, and the 1930s. While still in college, he was hired by Don Neely to serve as pianist and singer with the famed Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. Soon, Frederick was playing solo piano for society parties and holding down steady engagements at legendary Nob Hill establishments such as L'Etoile in the Huntington Hotel, Masons in the Fairmont Hotel, and the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Frederick also plays piano with the Peter Mintun Orchestra, the Jesters vocal trio, and with various jazz ensembles. In addition to these musical outlets, Frederick enjoys a career as a silent film accompanist, in which capacity he is heard monthly at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, the Redding Silent Film Festival, and other silent film festivals around the world. As a solo pianist, he is a favorite at jazz and ragtime festivals around the country. For more information, please visit Frederick's website: