As I look for an expressive way to describe ragtime, sheer exuberant joy comes immediately to mind. That joy and excitement is no better illustrated than by the life and career of Glenn Jenks. This year’s annual Glenn Jenks Ragtime Revue is to be held at the Rockport Opera House in Rockport, Maine, on Sunday, October 23rd at 2:00 pm and will honor Glenn and the ragtime he so enthusiastically promoted.
Artistic Director Aaron Robinson informs us that the event was created in 2019 to celebrate Glenn’s life and works but it had to be suspended the past two years because of COVID-19. The first event was held at the old Camden Maine Opera House and featured Martin Spitznagel, John D. Adams, Joelle Morris, Gregorie Pierce, the Studio Red Dance Company, and Sean Fleming’s Ragtime Orchestra. Sue Keller was awarded the first Glenn Jenks Ragtime Emeritus Award.
The Revue Board decided to rotate the annual event among the historic venues of the Penobscot Bay area. After the two-year pandemic hiatus, the 2022 event will be held at the Rockport Opera House. The headliners will be Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi. The Halcyon Quartet will perform selection from Glenn’s “String Quartet in Ragtime” (1990). Three selections from Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha will be performed by soprano Erin Chenard, tenor David Myers, Jr., and the Ragtime Revue Choir.
The Revue Board has been anxious to recognize young talent as well and the “Glenn Jenks Future in Music Prize” recognized fiddler Owen Kennedy in 2019 and violinist Mavy Le in 2022.
This year’s Ragtime Emeritus Award honors Dr. Edward A. Berlin who will also give a lecture on the life of Scott Joplin, and Max Morath who received a lifetime achievement award earlier this year at his home in Duluth, MN.
Glenn Jenks was a long-time ragtime performer, historian, and enthusiast with a wealth of friends across the country. He died in 2016. Glenn produced the Harvest Ragtime Revue from 1989 to 2000 bringing ragtime performers and historians to Midcoast Maine. Glenn’s wife Faith serves on the Revue Board and is a valuable advisor to the group.
This year’s Revue will be dedicated to Glenn’s father, Ted Jenks who died earlier this year.
This information was provided by Aaron Robinson who leads the Maine production and has made enormous contributions to the field of ragtime including his important edit and digital publication of Glenn Jenks’ ragtime compositions (reviewed by Ed Berlin in the August 2020 issue of TST).