To celebrate his 151st birthday on November 24th, Scott Joplin’s tuneful, rhythmic ragtime music will be featured in the annual organ and piano concert by Rudy Shackelford.

Opening with his breakout hit Maple Leaf Rag, the first ragtime composition to sell a million copies, we’ll enjoy such syncopated masterworks as The Easy Winners, Solace – A Mexican Serenade, Pine Apple Rag, and the lyrical waltz Bethena, all arranged for organ solo or piano-organ duet by Rudy Shackelford. Capping our concert’s first half is The Entertainer, made famous by the 1974 movie The Sting, which sparked the modern revival of Joplin and ragtime music.

After intermission, with an offering to benefit the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society, we will focus on the legacy of Scott Joplin and the evolution from ragtime to jazz.  Kicking off with Golliwogg’s Cake Walk, Claude Debussy’s clever parody of an American dance craze, we’ll trace the influence of French impressionist music on the “novelty rag.”  This style is reflected in Rialto Ripples, an unjustly neglected rag coauthored by the teenaged George Gershwin, and in Zez Confrey’s chart-topping Kitten on the Keys.  Both composers performed in the historic 1924 Paul Whiteman concert that debuted Rhapsody in Blue, the work that made Gershwin a household name.  As arranged by Jesse Crawford, king of silent-movie organists, it’s a grand trip back in time to the jazz age of the “roaring 20s.”  Don’t miss it!

Admission to the concert is free.  Donations are accepted.  Other concerts planned for the 2019-2020 season include:

Sunday, March 22, 2020 — Bagels & Fraylox Klezmer Band
Sunday, April 19, 2020 — Norfolk Street Choir

For more information on the George Nelson Memorial Concert Series, click HERE.  

To download the 2019-2020 brochure, click HERE.