Letters To The Editor March 2019

– And the Issues Keep Rolling in! –

To the Editor:
I have grown tired of the way people use the word “issue” to mean a problem; there is nothing wrong with “problem!”

However, I am delighted with the consistency of the issues—particularly in newsprint—of The Syncopated Times.
Thank you for your diligent and heart-felt work.

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David Sager
Laurel, Maryland

Thank you so much for your kind praise! And I feel the same way about the word “baggage.” “Baggage” can be a very useful thing. For instance, you can hide all your “issues” in your “baggage” when company comes over. Problem solved! – Ed.

– Is Ragtime Unknown? –

To the Editor:
I’m constantly saying to myself, “I should make sure I’m up on my Syncopated Times subscription.” I suspect I am but enclose a renewal anyway.

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The title of my program From Rags to Wishes has been retired. New World Roots in its place often sounds a lot like FRTW, but I’ve made it somewhat more multicultural and usually sprinkle in music from the Caribbean. Frequently I’ll play something from Trinidad instead of ragtime.

Ragtime had a great run in the 20th century but is largely unknown in the 21st. Few people know anything about it. Although I still play it and go to festivals, I don’t think it makes much of a difference.
I won’t ramble on. Thanks for all you do.

Mike Schmitz
Carmel Valley, California

Thanks for your note—and your renewal! Just when you think ragtime is dead and you’re ready to start digging its grave, it always comes back and finds a new audience. There are so many young listeners—and performers and composers —out there today who weren’t anywhere near being born when The Sting came out. Ragtime is the ultimate crossover music. For the Classical crowd, it’s written down, like Chopin, and can be approached by an amateur pianist though it really shines when played by a virtuoso. And on the pop side, it’s fun—because it’s syncopated.

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I deeply appreciate that you’re playing Caribbean music, though. I truly love classic 1930s Calypso and no one much airs that. But it may make you feel better that one of our stories this month is about Kristen Mosca, who has something like six million views on YouTube —playing ragtime.
Okay, now I’m rambling! Thanks for all you do. – Ed.

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