Back in October 2016, I was lucky enough to catch a couple sets of Jeff Barnhart playing piano duets with British-born boogie woogie master Carl Sonny Leyland, at the Jazz Jubilee by the Sea, in Pismo Beach, Calif. I also enjoyed Jeff in a quartet featuring clarinetist Bob Draga, drummer Danny Coots and guitarist Larry Scala.
Regardless of the format or the sidemen, Barnhart blew the roof off each venue at which he performed. The Connecticut-based pianist is an emperor of the 88s, a remarkable master of ragtime!
Barnhart will showcase his talent at the annual Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Mo., from May 29 to June 1 this year; scottjoplin.org; 660-826-2271; along with many of the world’s best ragtime keyboardists including Tom McDermott, Bill McNally, Taslimah Bey, John Reed Torres, Neville Dickie, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Bryan Wright and Stephanie Trick.
But first, Barnhart and his lovely wife, Anne – known in tandem as Ivory &Gold – will play a rare house concert at 7 p.m. April 22, here in Central New York, at 20 Firtree Lane, in Jamesville; 315-422-1291. Admission costs $20; call for student rates.
The April 22 concert is hosted by local jazz fan and Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse (JASS) member Ed Mastin.