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Sedalia’s Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival Kicks Off This Week

Sedalia is known for having a lot of music with the Pepsi Grandstand and Bud Tent at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, events like the Lions Club Blues, BBQ, and Cruise last weekend, plus the music at various venues during the year.  This week one of the more unique festivals of Sedalia takes place with the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. For those unaware, Scott Joplin was from Sedalia and wrote numerous pieces of music while playing at the Maple Leaf and Block 400 clubs.

Each year, many artists make a return to the roots of Scott Joplin’s music and keep ragtime alive. Stacy Purvis, the executive director of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival said, “Each year we select a Joplin piece that was written about 100 years, ago and it’s getting harder to do, but this year’s theme is Scott Joplin’s ‘New Rag.’”

The New Rag may not be one of his more notable pieces of work, but here is a rendition of it.

Purivs says she hopes more people come out with the great weather forecast for the free outdoor venues.  Music can be heard at State Fair Community College on Wednesday and then throughout Ohio Street on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I know I enjoy heading out to the Scott Joplin Festival each year, and have done so since about 1998. Whether you know it or not, ragtime music is still in a lot of music today, and even some of today’s ragtime players bring contemporary pieces to life with the ragtime. Such as what Martin Spitznagel plays. Who knew you could take classic Nintendo games and make them ragtime?

Regardless of whether you like the traditional or contemporary version of ragtime,  I hope you find yourself at the Festival.   For complete information, visit the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival website.

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