Ragtime returning to Mitchell Memorial Library

Internationally renowned musicians will bring the sights and sounds of another age to Mississippi State Friday and Saturday when the Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival returns to Mitchell Memorial Library for the fifth consecutive year.

Advanced tickets may be purchased at http://library.msstate.edu/ragtime/festival/tkts/index.html. Admission includes single-day events, a single evening's concert or the entire two-day festival.

"We're looking forward to our best festival yet," said Stephen Cunetto, University Libraries' administrator of systems and Templeton festival coordinator. "Having such outstanding artists has everyone involved excited about the weekend.

"We welcome people each year from all across the country, and we hope this year will bring even more ragtime enthusiasts to town," he added.

The two-day festival celebrates what is considered by many to be America's first uniquely original style of music and will feature four artists. For more, visit http://library.msstate.edu/ragtime/festival/.

Concerts, "living room" sessions and lectures will be centered around the collection of more than 20,000 pieces of sheet music, 200 musical instruments and extensive memorabilia from the 1880s--1930s. All are housed in the Mitchell Memorial Library's Charles H. Templeton Sr. Music Museum.

Performers this year include:

--Jim Hession, a leading American pianist for more than four decades in the solo styles of early jazz, ragtime, stride, Harlem shout, boogie-woogie, and swing. He and his wife, Martha, are Mississippi Gulf Coast residents and perform frequently in New Orleans.

--Frederick Hodges, considered among the best ragtime pianists and authorities on the genre, with artistry, virtuosity and charisma that have taken him to performance stages around the world.

--Brian Holland, a three-time World Old-Time Piano Playing Champion whose repertoire includes ragtime, stride and jazz. Also classically trained, he is making his second MSU appearance.

--Sue Keller, recognized among the top women ragtime pianists. Her appearances include the grand opening of Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston Harbor and the fabled Mikado nightclub in Tokyo.

David Jansen, serves as the emcee for the event, having been an advisor to the festival since its inception. A well-known New York City musicologist and the author of a new ragtime encyclopedia, he also has produced dozens of earlier books on the subject.

In addition to the MSU Libraries and Templeton Museum, the event is co-sponsored by the Starkville Area Arts Council, Rotary Club of Starkville, Greater Starkville Development Partnership, and grants from the Mississippi Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For additional information, contact festival planning committee member Lyle Tate at ltate@library.msstate.edu or (662) 325-2559.

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