Ragtime has the distinction of being America's first homegrown popular music style. Even though its popularity peaked and waned a century ago, ragtime has had a profound influence on subsequent popular music genres. Today, ragtime is rewarding to listen to and fun to play, with an engaging freshness and complexity that has aged well. I've selected a few of my favorite ragtime compositions to share with you on this disc, ranging from well-known works by Scott Joplin to obscure gems by composers such as David Guion, Harry P. Guy, and William Christopher O'Hare.
The album title "Hand-Played Rags" is terminology borrowed from the paper piano rolls that operated the player pianos popular during the ragtime era. A "hand-played" roll was created by a live pianist, in contrast to "arranged" rolls produced by cutting holes in the paper using a knife and a ruler. The pieces on this album were all hand-played by myself on the Yamaha C1 grand piano in my living room and are presented here without artificial additions or corrections.
As to myself - I'm a retiree living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I've been playing the piano since childhood and ragtime from the early 1970s and am a frequent featured performer at ragtime festivals around the United States.