Peter Lundberg Receives the 2019 SJIRF Lifetime Achievement Award

During an especially poignant moment at this year’s Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, David Reffkin presented the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award to Swedish ragtime performer, composer, and researcher Peter Lundberg. The moment was so meaningful because the two men are old friends dating back to their first meeting at the 1974 Sedalia festival and their close relationship since. Reffkin has attended every ragtime festival held in Sedalia and Lundberg has appeared often through the years. Lundberg’s interest in ragtime music began when he was a boy. He researched everything he could find on American ragtime and its derivatives and in 1963 he and his mother made an extensive tour of America by bus, seeking out the notable performers, composers, and venues about which he had been reading. Peter turned 21 on the trip. He once said of his trip, “I think that whatever music you want to make your own, you will benefit from going there with your own body, to check out places, sniff the air, taking in the ambiance. This is what I wanted to do, before it was too late.” It is the great musical travelogue of our time. Peter was even more excited about his trip when he learned that Greyhound was the brainchild of a Swedish immigrant. Lundberg had written to many famous American musicians and so had established his identity before his trip. Peter met Bob Darch and began a long relationsh
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Larry Melton was a founder of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in 1974 and the Sedalia Ragtime Archive in 1976. He was a Sedalia Chamber of Commerce manager before moving on to Union, Missouri where he is currently helping to conserve the Ragtime collection of the Sedalia Heritage Foundation. Write him at [email protected]

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