Max Morath: Records That Changed Ragtime History
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Trumpeter Roy Tate, Jr. has died.

Trumpeter Roy Tate, Jr. has died.

Jazz trumpeter Roy Tate, Jr., died on July 3d of this year, he was 84. He recorded his first album with the Queen City Jazz

The Potomac River Jazz Club at 50

The Potomac River Jazz Club at 50

In the beginning, it was about “fun and games”. At least that was what trombonist Al Webber is reliably reported to have said when he

Max Morath: Records That Changed Ragtime History

Max Morath: Records That Changed Ragtime History

Within the space of three years, ragtime pianist-composer Max Morath released four vinyl LPs on the prestigious Vanguard label: The Best of Scott Joplin (double

Risa Branch

Risa Branch: A Passion for Tradition

Singer Risa Branch is a fighter. As a self-proclaimed “former professional advocate,” she’s fought for civil rights, animal welfare, and gender equality around the United


Texas Shout #70 Melodic Improvisation

Set forth below is the seventieth “Texas Shout” column. It first appeared in the March 1996 issue of  The American Rag. The text has not

Bessie Smith

Texas Shout #38 Jazz Singers

Set forth below is the thirty-eighth “Texas Shout” column. It first appeared in the April 1993 issue of the  West Coast Rag now The Syncopated

Miss Jubilee Yas Yas Boys

From the 50th Bix Jazz Festival

The 50th anniversary Bix Beiderbecke jazz festival in Bix’s hometown of Davenport, Iowa, got underway in its usual fashion on Thursday afternoon, August 5, with

chefs of dixieland

Jazz in Buffalo and Rochester

I spent most of this summer in western New York instead of at my usual place, Potsdam in the St. Lawrence River valley, since my

Jimmie Noone (1895-1944)

Jimmie Noone: Profiles in Jazz

Jimmie Noone was one of the big three of New Orleans clarinetists to emerge on records in the 1920s, holding his own with Johnny Dodds

Jazz in the Mountains

Jazz in the Mountains

While Hurricane Ida was heading towards New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, we were up in the northern part of Arizona at the Prescott

Steve Pistorius Southern Syncopators at French Quarter Festival

NOLA Festivals Flip Flop

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival had been scheduled for the October 8-15 weekends since earlier this year with a “save the date” promotion,

spotted cat

Back in the Quarter Again!

What a wonderful time to be in the French Quarter after all restrictions were lifted on May 28th. Plans began for a visit two weeks

Felder #2

Live Jazz Returns to Tel Aviv

Considering that Israel is a country about the size of New Jersey with a population of about nine million, I would guess that per capita,

Hager beefsteak(1911) detail

Boston Brass and Beefsteak

In 1910, a new phonograph company emerged in Boston, it was founded upon a few generous donations from local elites. Their donations set the company

Frank Banta's Greatest Hit

Frank Banta’s Greatest Hit

A question that phonograph collectors and historians often get asked is, “what was the most popular song to be recorded in the 1890s?” This question

Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, and Mindi Abair at the Bowl. (Randi Cee photo)

The Tears of a Clown

My desire to lead my band and sing the old tunes hasn’t cooled, but my hustle has. My reality with an at-risk mother has devolved

Second Hand Rows

Second Hand Rows

4 years BC (Before Covid) my life hit a scary financial pothole. I had a small, yet vital secondary income and theoretically it would have

You Can't Kill Death

You Can’t Kill Death

I don’t know who first said it but it’s as true a statement as one can utter: Death is the great equalizer. On Monday, April

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part One

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part One

The year 2021 marks 110 years since the birth of jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton, best known for his role in the classic early Count Basie

An American Art Form

An American Art Form

Jazz has had quite an amazing journey this last hundred years. It is no longer the music of the downtrodden and uneducated lower classes. It

The World’s $#!%!est Gig?

The World’s $#!%!est Gig?

The other night, I sat down with my girlfriend for a romantic night in, and we watched Titanic, that classic ’90s James Cameron blockbuster. Its

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

A few years ago while on tour through Europe with my band, we found ourselves in Krakow, Poland. It’s a beautiful old walled city with

Sutter Creed

From the 2021 Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival

The emergence of music festivals in America during the last century contributed greatly to the preservation and appreciation of the nation’s musical heritage. I have

“Democratized Communication” by Nina Paley (

A Field Guide to Social Media Types

I came to the Internet’s social media late but have benefitted immensely from the discovery. It can be unnervingly controversial, or thought provoking, and informative

Ragtime Community

Our Ragtime Community

I have been thinking a lot about our ragtime community these past months in forced isolation. Not that I have been unaware of the other

Jazz Drummer Dottie Dodgion has passed

Jazz Drummer Dottie Dodgion has passed

It was with his band that she started taking drum lessons in the late 1940s. She began playing drums professionally in the early 1950s and

Trumpet player Phil Kirk has died

Trumpet player Phil Kirk has died

After being in failing health for the last couple of years, Phil Kirk died on Oct. 1, 2021.  Phil was the leader and trumpet player

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