Pianist Terry Waldo: Wit and Wizardry

The Fungus Five plus Two (“our music grows on you,”) the Gutbucket Syncopators, Waldo’s Ragtime Orchestra, and The Gotham City Jazz Band are only a few of the unique ensembles Terry Waldo has gathered to play the music he has always fronted: ragtime, stride, and traditional jazz. For 60 years Ralph Emerson “Terry” Waldo III has brought “America’s music,” to audiences across the country. He began his career in Columbus, Ohio in the early 1960s and helped usher in the ragtime revival of the next decade. Early TV appearances and time on the West Coast, gained him associations with ragtime and jazz greats like Dick Wellstood and Turk Murphy. At the 5th National Ragtime Festival in St. Louis in 1969 Terry met Eubie Blake who became his mentor. By 1974 Terry produced his famous 26-part NPR series, “This is Ragtime,” and he became a celebrity in his own right. His book by the same name followed and Terry settled into a rapidly emerging career with his base back in Columbus. For over a decade he often performed with Susan LaMarche. Then in the late eighties, Waldo moved to New York and has been playing in popular clubs and venues since while maintaining his connections back in Ohio. It would be impossible to enumerate of all of Terry Waldo’s achievements
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Neal Siegal is a Manhattan Bon Vivant and a Barber Shop Quartet Singer.

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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