October 2020
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Red Callender on bass

Red Callender: A Very Quiet Giant

The late music writer and producer, Stanley Dance, shared the opinion, common in the East, that “Los Angeles was a wasteland dominated by the bad

John Gill Vega

Pickin’ on the Plectrum (and the Tenor Too)!

A banjo-centric conversation with Hal Smith and John Gill Multi-instrumentalist and bandleader John Gill (“Traditional Jazz’s Stomper-in-Chief,” TST, April 2020) has an encyclopedic knowledge of,

Learning by Listening

Learning by Listening

I took up the clarinet at the age of nineteen. I am totally self taught and do not read music. In fact, I play the

Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra

Bennie Moten (1894-1935)

Pianist and bandleader, Bennie Moten (November 13, 1894 – April 2, 1935) helped to establish what is called the Kansas City Jazz style. In 1922

Dave Stuckey and the Hot House Gang at the Paseo, Pasadena, CA

Dave Stuckey: Pass the Swingin’ Music, Pappy!

Guitarist-drummer-vocalist Dave “Pappy” Stuckey is also a bandleader, and he is greatly admired by musicians, dancers and listeners across several genres. Dave is also—literally—an award-winning

Texas Shouts #17 & #18 Favorite Musicians

Texas Shouts #17 & #18 Favorite Musicians

Set forth below are the Seventeenth and Eighteenth “Texas Shout” columns. They first appeared in the May and June 1991 issues of the West Coast Rag,

Texas Shout #6 Hand-Held Live Tapes

Texas Shout #6 Hand-Held Live Tapes

A Note from the Editor: The past doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme and this column from 1990 is a stunning example of that.

Barry Martyn, Jim Robinson, Kid Sheik, Alcide Pavageau, John Handy, and George Guesnon

Texas Shout #37 Ensemble Skills

Set forth below is the thirty-seventh “Texas Shout” column. It first appeared in the March 1993 issue of the West Coast Rag now the Syncopated Times).

Paris Washboard

A Visit with Paris Washboard

The renowned French quartet Paris Washboard made a brief trip across the pond in February to play four concerts in my neck of the woods.

Matt Tolentino Mark Lenz Photo

A Visit with Matt Tolentino

At the West Coast Ragtime Festival in November I sat down for about half an hour for a wide-ranging conversation with multi-instrumentalist Matt Tolentino, who

Edmond Hall

Edmond Hall: Profiles in Jazz

Edmond Hall was one of a handful of jazz musicians who could be identified after one note. Playing on a famous filmed version of “St.

The Quiet Quarter

The Quiet Quarter

Live music venues are still not open in the French Quarter. Since May, the Jazz Museum on Esplanade is enjoying Tuesday afternoon “balcony concerts” outside

DUKES of Dixieland leader Kevin Clark with Jory Woodis

Jory Woodis: Timing Is Everything

In October of 2019, we saw Jory Woodis, a young clarinetist at Fritzel’s who had a captivating sound and personality. Later we saw him at

Justin Ring's family (late 1920's)

Justin Ring’s Family Life

For many decades, Justin Ring has been an elusive character in the world of early recording and ragtime. Researcher Jim Walsh spoke of him only

Songwriter Edgar Thornton Farran (illustration by the author)

Edgar T. Farran: The Third Man

Around the first half of 1905, Justin Ring and Fred Hager split up, and they spent nearly a decade apart from each other. With such

Hagers orchestra caricature(1902)

The Beaux of Bronx Park

In the 1890s and 1900s, military bands were all the rage. From Gilmore’s band to your village community band, they were loved by everyone. One

Randi Cee

Clichés in the COVID Cabaret

I am a bacon-wrapped cliché, an idiom in puffed pastry. And sometimes I am the wrong that proves the right. I have been absent from

Social Distance Line

Keep Your ?#@*&%! Distance!

My eyes are drilling into a Walgreens cashier as she chats up a small boy with his family. I look to the other person in

W.C. Handy Oval Portrait

W. C. Handy Remembers

The music, words and voice of William Christopher Handy (1873-1958) reveal his passion for Blues music and African American culture. He was one of the earliest gathering

Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

Jazz is a unique tradition, one that continues to evolve from its humble New Orleans roots. This noble American art form is unique within Western


Serendipity in Lisdoonvarna

Of all the adventures I’ve had in my worldly travels, one of my least memorable was a night in Lisdoonvarna. Now when I say least


The Saga of Brun Campbell Challenged

When I get a message from Ed Berlin, it gets my immediate attention. Last month I received a most fascinating document Ed was passing along,

Dick Kroeckel

Ragtimer Dick Kroeckel has died at 75

Ragtime pianist Richard Eugene Kroeckel died October 11th, he was 75. Though he was born in Indianapolis most of his career was centered in Colorado.

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