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General Information Performers

About the Sutter Creek 2018 Ragtime Festival Performers

This list will be updated as performers are confirmed. Check back again soon!

Elliott Adams

Elliott Adams has been playing ragtime since age 10 and is now known internationally as a ragtime player, collector, historian, writer, and composer.

His extensive collection of ragtime, blues, and early jazz sheet music is available to researchers, musicians, and publishers. He has several notable solo recordings on the Stomp Off and PianoMania labels.

Elliott is an intrepid golfer and a practicing dermatologist.

Patrick Aranda

Patrick Aranda is one of ragtime's most entertaining and talented performers. He plays a mean piano, sings, performs on trombone, tuba, and who knows what all (not necessarily all at once), and has a huge ragtime repertoire, including the most difficult and flashy novelty-style rags, plus classic rags, Harlem stride compositions, and favorite tunes from the Tin Pan Alley era.

Fans can currently see him perform at Disneyland as main Street's Ragtime pianist on Fridays and Saturdays. He also plays piano with various traditional jazz groups including Auntie Skinners Lucky Winners Jazz Band, and The Burgundy Street Jazz Band.

He is a Music Professor at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, where he directs the Jazz Band and Concert Band, as well as teaching classes ranging from theory and musicianship to History of Jazz. He also stays busy directing at least three musicals a year.

He made his Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival debut in 2002 and has been invited back by popular demand ever since. In 2003 he was among the modern ragtime composers we honored at our Festival, having created several of his own ragtime pieces, including one inspired by his Sutter Creek debut. Patrick is a favorite headliner at Orange County's annual RagFest and The Ragtime Corner of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. He has also been featured at the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento.

In his spare time, Patrick plays trombone in his brother's Salsa band; performs with several Southern California Dixieland groups, and, has recorded his own solo CD.

In addition to being chair of the music department at the college, he has also been performing steadily in a band with Amanda Castro throughout Southern California. Together, Patrick and Amanda played for the Seattle Seahawks' holiday party. They have also played with Delfayo Marsalis.

Nick Arteaga

Nick Arteaga was born and raised in Orangevale, a suburb of Sacramento. Since 2012, he has been a regular performer at the Sacramento Ragtime Society meetings and the Ragtime Corners of the Sacramento Music Festival. Nick's interest in ragtime began in his teens and was originally just a diversion from his formal classical studies. In his late 20s, Nick began composing piano rags and has since branched out to composing works in many other styles. To date Nick has written close to 200 compositions including many piano rags, Latin American compositions and teaching pieces for piano students.

Currently, Nick spends most of his time giving piano lessons, working as a freelance composer/arranger, and helping with his family's real estate business. Besides ragtime, Nick enjoys comedy, cooking and trying unusual foods.

Ramona Baker

Ramona Baker is 17 years old and has been playing ragtime for four years under Virginia Tichenor, but she has been interested in ragtime for many more years than that. She credits her father, noted jazz musician Clint Baker, as the one who first interested her in this addictive music. It started with a few records from the 1900s that had ragtime dance music on them, which Ramona recalls hearing when she was three to four years old.

Ramona hunts down the oldest examples of recorded Ragtime on cylinders and early disk records. She will be performing some of the rarest pieces at the festival. Besides Sutter Creek, Ramona has performed at the West Coast, Santa Cruz, and Scott Joplin Ragtime Festivals.

Jack and Chris Bradshaw

With 88 keys and 20 fingers at their disposal, classically trained ragtime piano duo artists Jack and Chris Bradshaw of Gilroy, California, righteously proclaim having the most piano keys held down at any one time — many of them right! Not going for speed, their quest is for clarity and classic ragtime charm as their fingers dance off the keyboard to Jack's four-hand arrangements of popular rags, cakewalks, marches and novelty numbers. Jack also performs solos during their sets. His first CD, A Minor Entertainer, will be available for sale at this festival.

Besides performing at Sutter Creek, this lively pair gets around and has appeared at the West Coast, Scott Joplin, Blind Boone, Shaniko, Santa Cruz, Fresno Flats, and Oakhurst Ragtime Festivals, and at Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo. The rollicking road to ragtime thus far has taken them to eleven states, Canada and Switzerland. They also play in the Ragnolia Ragtette with the Drivons.

Diego Bustamante

Diego Bustamante, from Paradise, California, became interested in ragtime when, as a kid, he heard The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. The ragtime world first discovered him at the West Coast Youth Ragtime Competition in 2010. Since then he has appeared at Sutter Creek, Oakhurst, and West Coast festivals, the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, plus many youth concerts. As also a classical performer, Diego recently performed a Mozart Concerto movement with the North State Symphony Orchestra in Chico and Redding. Diego is attending the University of the Pacific studying piano performance. Diego enjoys birding and photography. You might want to pick up a copy of Diego's CD, Classical and Ragtime, Side-by-Side, available here at the festival.

Amanda Castro

Amanda Castro is a singer specializing in vintage jazz music from 1900 to 1940. Along with Patrick Aranda, she co-leads The Amanda Castro Band. They currently are the house band at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen located in Downtown Disney. They appear every weekend playing New Orleans and vintage jazz. They also perform a few times per month at the Beverly Hills Montage Hotel, as well as local jazz clubs, restaurants and private events.

Amanda and Patrick have appeared in concert with jazz trumpet player and 10-time Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval. They also had a television appearance on Good Day LA, Channel 11. Together, Amanda and Patrick played for the Seattle Seahawks' holiday party. They have also played with Delfayo Marsalis.

Danny Coots

It was 1964 in upstate New York when Danny Coots began playing drums at the tender age of 6 years old. Since then, he has studied with Nick Baffaro, Rich Holly, Alan Koffman and Jim Petercsak in percussion.

Danny attended The Crane School of Music and St. Lawrence University. He eventually served as adjunct faculty at St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University and Potsdam State University from the 1970s into the 1990s. He continued traveling and performing with David Amram, Ray Shiner, Daniel Pinkham, Herb Ellis, Will Alger, Jack Mayhue, Speigle Wilcox, Mimi Hines, Phil Ford, Bob Darch, Pearl Kaufman and Arthur Duncan.

In 1996 Danny moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and has lived there ever since. Danny has recorded extensively in Nashville, New York and L.A., and has appeared in over 100 countries. He has played on over 90 recordings, one of which won a Grammy in 2005.

After moving to Tennessee, Danny joined the Jack Daniel's Silver Cornet Band for five years and helped found the Titan Hot Seven. During this time, he played and recorded with Dick Hyman, Johnny Varro, Jeff Coffin, Tim Laughlin, Harry Allen, Dave Hungate, Jerry Krahn, Bill Allred, John Allred, Randy Reinhart, Ron Hockett, John Cocuzzi, John Sheridan, Dan Barrett, Vince Giordano, Rebecca Kilgore, Ken Peplowski, Duke Heitger, Neville Dickie, Bob Shultz, Nicki Parrott, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Yve Evans, Chuck Hedges, and Allen Vache, to name a few.

Kylan deGhetaldi

Kylan deGhetaldi is from Santa Cruz, California. Raised in a musical family, he discovered Scott Joplin at a young age and there was no turning back. Although he continued studying classical and jazz, eventually at both Oberlin and UC Santa Cruz, his passion remains playing the styles of ragtime, novelty, and stride piano.

Kylan also has developed a small following on the internet, most notably his YouTube channel which has amassed nearly 2 million views. He also has drawn a great deal of inspiration from the compositions and styles of Tom Brier, Vincent Johnson, Max Keenlyside, Larisa Migachyov, Carl Sonny Leyland.

Kylan hosted the Santa Cruz Ragtime Festival in 2016 and 2017. Recently he toured Europe, Asia and the West Coast of the U.S. playing with PostModern Jukebox, a music collective that performs modern popular songs in ragtime and traditional jazz styles.

A church organist, Kylan also enjoys composing choral music. His other nerdy passion is word games, inspiring him to become, of all things, a tournament Scrabble and Boggle player.

The Drivons
Robyn and Steve

The Drivons became part of the West Coast ragtime movement in 2003 when Robyn was approached by Petra and Bub Sullivan to begin performing with the Porcupine Ragtime Ensemble. Soon after, Steve joined in playing trombone, and their new love for ragtime was born. A couple of years ago, Steve started showing up with his snare drum, which fostered the Sullivans & Drivons quartet. The Drivons have since become known to many ragtime fans and musicians as familiar and welcomed performers in a number of festivals and concerts in California.

Since the 2009 Sutter Creek Festival, the Drivons have played by themselves as a duo. With Robyn on tuba, Steve will sing some of their favorite ragtime era songs while adding rhythm and chords on tenor guitar. The Drivons can also be heard with Chris and Jack Bradshaw as the Ragnolia Ragtette.

Robyn Drivon has played the tuba since she was 10 years old, and has now oompahed with orchestras, symphonic bands, and brass ensembles in California and the Midwest, including several European tours. An accomplished tubist, Robyn relinquished her position with the Stockton Symphony in 1986 to begin law school. In 2006 she and hubby Steve moved to Woodland, Calif., where she is County Counsel for Yolo County. Since entering the Ragtime scene, Robyn has started studying the piano, and loves it! The grand kids call her "Nama".

Steve "Pops" Drivon has enjoyed a career's worth of traditional jazz, early American pop, and band music accomplishments. He now spends much of the year on the road singing and playing washboard and slidewhistle. Steve has toured since the 1970s with the Port City Jazz Band as well as the Washboard Wizardz. He also toured previously with his one-man show, Stevie the Musical Clown, and as crooner/lead trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Marty Eggers

Marty Eggers is well known on the West Coast as a top-notch ragtime pianist and bassist. Marty's music career began in Sacramento where as a teenager he helped found the Sacramento Ragtime Society in 1982. He has played with numerous San Francisco Bay Area jazz and ragtime groups, most notably John Gill's San Francisco JazzBand and the Black Diamond Jazz Band. His talent and versatility have led him into several varied and prestigious engagements, from recording with traditional jazz legend Bob Helm to touring Germany with Hal Smith's Rhythm Cats to playing in backup bands for both Leon Redbone and Butch Thompson. Marty, from Oakland, Calif., is also a skilled composer and arranger of ragtime and traditional jazz.

He also appears with the Tichenor Family Trio (Trebor Tichenor, Virginia Tichenor, and Marty) and performs as a soloist at least once a month on Tuesday evenings at Pier 23 in San Francisco and Wednesday evenings at the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor in Rancho Cordova, CA.

Terry Waldo describes Marty as having "an encyclopedic knowledge of the ragtime and early jazz repertoire."

Marty is married to ragtime pianist Virginia Tichenor (see below) and is a past president of the West Coast Ragtime Society.

Frederick Hodges

Frederick Hodges, of Berkeley, Calif., was groomed for a career as a concert pianist but was happily lured away from his path after he found a stack of turn-of-the-century sheet music in his grandmother's piano bench. Repeated exposure to the rollicking ragtime rhythms of player pianos and 78 rpm phonograph records sealed his fate and he set out to master the ragtime playing styles that had captivated him.

While still an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, he was hired as pianist for the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, for which he has played for 20 years. He also performs with the Peter Mintun Orchestra, with jazz ensembles, and as a soloist. He appears at least once a month on Tuesday evenings at Pier 23 in San Francisco and Wednesday evenings at the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and he is a much applauded featured performer at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee's Ragtime Corner and West Coast Ragtime Festival.

Brian Holland

Brian Holland is an internationally renowned pianist, composer, recording artist, and entertainer who has enjoyed a music career spanning more than 35 years. After spending his formative years playing in pizza parlors and clubs throughout Indiana, Brian's career flourished when he discovered the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. In 1999 he won his third title and was retired as "undefeated". He has since returned three times to serve on the judging panel, most recently in 2014. Brian has played with some of the hottest jazz bands in the U.S. — Titan Hot Seven, Wally's Warehouse Waifs, the Holland Rhythm Company, and others &mash; and has traveled all over the world performing his creative styles of jazz, ragtime, stride, boogie, and blues. Most recently, Brian and drummer Danny Coots have formed a musical partnership, and together they are quickly building a reputation as the fun and musical duo Holland & Coots. Brian has fourteen recordings (solo and ensemble) to his credit, and garnered a Grammy nomination for his work with Bud Dresser on their album, "Ragtime - Goodtime - Jazz".

Vincent Johnson

Vincent Johnson, a ragtime composer, pianist, researcher, and enthusiast, was first attracted to ragtime music at age 12, after hearing his friends play Scott Joplin rags. He began learning "The Entertainer" and "Maple Leaf Rag" by watching and listening to the pieces being played by others. He began attending Rose Leaf Ragtime Club gatherings in order to learn more about this musical genre and listen to live performers play rags. Piano lessons soon followed, and soon he was learning pieces of varying ragtime styles, from classic ragtime to novelty piano.

In 2007, Vincent began to compose ragtime music as a hobby and has turned out over a dozen compositions to date. While his pieces are composed in various ragtime era styles, including foxtrots, cakewalks, classic rags, and stride piano, most of his pieces are composed in the novelty style popular during the 1920s. These pieces are influenced by his favorite composers: Arthur Schutt, Zez Confrey, Roy Bargy, Charley Straight, Max Kortlander, Les Copeland, Billy Mayerl and Joseph Lamb.

Charlie Judkins

Charlie Judkins is a practitioner of Ragtime, Jazz and Blues piano, as well as a lifelong Brooklyn native. He began playing piano in 1997 at age six. In 2007 he was introduced to the music of Jelly Roll Morton and immediately began studying traditional ragtime and blues piano. Shortly thereafter he came under the tutelage of several highly regarded pianists such as Terry Waldo, Mike Lipskin, Ehud Asherie and the late George Mesterhauze. Currently he is studying classical piano technique and theory under Jeff Goldstein.

His piano playing has been in demand at various public and private events in the New York City area since he debuted as a professional bar-room pianist in the summer of 2010. In more recent years he has been freelancing with various small traditional jazz and swing groups in the city, and starting in the summer of 2017 joined the roster of regular players for Bryant Park's Piano in the Park series of outdoor concerts, billed as "Protégé of Terry Waldo". He also works as a silent-film accompanist at various theaters in the New York area, and also provides piano scores for silent animation archivist Tom Stathes' series of Blu-Ray releases.

Carl Sonny Leyland

Carl Sonny Leyland blew everyone's socks off at our 4th Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival (when he was lesser known) and has subsequently done the same at just about all the prestigious festivals in the country, including the Scott Joplin and Blind Boone Festivals in Missouri, the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, Orange County's RagFest, plus the Sacramento and San Diego Jazz Jubilees. We're lucky he loves us and agreed to thrill us with a return appearance this year. His ability to recreate obscure and primitive styles in the genre of barrelhouse, blues, and boogie woogie, combined with the originality and soulfulness of his own music, makes him one of today's most exciting pianists. Plus he sings!

Born in the south of England in 1965, Sonny took up piano at age 15. His inspiration was the boogie woogie music of Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson & Meade Lux Lewis. Fascinated by this style, Sonny traced it back to its Barrelhouse roots, incorporating the stylings of Jimmy Yancey, Cow Cow Davenport, Little Brother Montgomery and other notables into his own playing. In 1988, Sonny headed for New Orleans, where he lived for 10 years, appeared at the world-renowned New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and furthered his exploration of piano genres, including Blues, country, R&B, rockabilly, Rock and Roll, and, of course, traditional jazz and ragtime. He has toured in Europe and the United States as a solo act and with bands such as Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets and Big Sandy and His Flyrite Boys. Following a trip out west in 1995, Sonny relocated to California. He now resides with his wife in New Cuyama, CA. Sonny has several CDs to his name, solos and with the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, featuring Carl, Hal Smith on drums, and Marty Eggers on bass.

Larisa Migachyov

Larisa Migachyov has played the piano all her life and discovered ragtime in 2005, when she joined the San Antonio Ragtime Society. She has composed more than 20 rags and performed at various festivals around the country. Her latest CD, Oh, that Ragtime Chick!, features all her own compositions. She has her own law firm in California specializing in patent law.

Oliver Moore

Oliver Moore, 17 years old, has been playing piano since the age of 6. As a pianist, vocalist, upright bassist, accompanist, arranger, and entertainer, he has performed at various venues throughout northern California. Oliver’s interest in the piano stylings of the early 20th century range from the ragtime of Joplin and his contemporaries, to the intricate novelty piano of the '20s, to the jumpin’ stride piano of Harlem. He is also classically trained and enjoys playing most forms of jazz and the early rock and boogie music of the '30s, '40s and '50s.

Oliver is from Chico, Calif., and maintains a busy schedule playing gigs, accompanying various productions, singers, and instrumentalists, and playing the upright bass and piano in various orchestras throughout the north state.

Oliver is currently a volunteer in Enloe Hospital's Music for Healing program and attends the Inspire School of Arts and Sciences. Oliver has performed at the West Coast Ragtime Festival, the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, the VOCE chamber music competition in Los Angeles, and the World Old-Time Piano Playing Contest where last year he won second place in his division.

Paul Orsi

A ragtime aficionado since The Sting ragtime revival of the 1970s, Paul Orsi s a seasoned performer and composer. From a young age, he was a member of the old Maple Leaf Club and began professionally performing ragtime piano at age 13 in pizza parlors in and around Los Angeles. Paul has played his high-energy ragtime style in a variety of restaurants and venues throughout Southern California. In 1983, he joined the elite group of Coke Corner Pianists at Disneyland, where he performed for 10 years.

In addition to his active performance schedule throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Paul has composed his own piano rags, recorded piano rolls and produced two solo CDs. After two decades of putting his performing career on hold, Paul is making his comeback on the ragtime scene. He performs at venues all over Orange County and is an active participant in the Orange County Ragtime Society and the Rose Leaf Club. You will be sure to enjoy Paul's exciting style and uplifting performance.

Will Perkins

Will Perkins is a pianist originally from a small town in the Central Valley of California called Riverbank, but now living in Idaho. At age 11, Will began taking piano lessons. While he quickly started down the path of classical piano, his mother suggested learning The Entertainer. His piano teacher got a book with several ragtime pieces in it, and soon Will was learning a simplified version of Maple Leaf Rag. Full of ambition, he went to a local music store and picked up a book with several Scott Joplin pieces, and quickly learned the original version. And as they say, the rest is history.

Will also enjoys baseball, football, and was an avid Boy Scout. Will has played just about every instrument in the brass section, but decided to focus solely on the piano. His love of all types of piano music can be seen by the venues at which he chooses to share his talent — whether it be at church or as the pianist for a High School Drama production of "Alice in Wonderland".

In November of 2007, he placed 1st in the West Coast Ragtime Festival Youth Competition for his division playing Joseph F. Lamb's Cottontail Rag. Will placed 3rd in the 2012 World Championship of Old-Time Piano Playing in Peoria, Ill., on his first entry to the adult category.

Stevens Price

Stevens Price, former owner of the Sutter Creek Ice Cream Emporium for 13 years, is also the founder of the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival and the Mother Lode Ragtime Society. He is proud to be able to bring his love for ragtime music to the Mother Lode. He grew up around music — singing in church by age 8 and performing in choirs thereafter, all the way through his college career. He started picking out tunes on the piano after hearing his dad perform "boogie woogie" on the family piano. Soon, Stevens began picking out music, and by age 12 he was playing boogie and other styles as a self-taught artist. Then he went to college as a music and drama major, where he decided to take piano lessons. Needless to say, he had to unlearn certain techniques. When he discovered ragtime, Stevens became a regular at the Maple Leaf Club meetings in Los Angeles. He still remembers playing Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" with six other club members on six pianos. At the Ice Cream Emporium, Stevens still occasionally plays for the enjoyment of the customers, and due to the success of the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, the ice cream parlor has become the ragtime center of the Mother Lode and home of the Mother Lode Ragtime Society. Stevens has composed over a dozen ragtime compositions and has CDs and folios available for purchase. He also has composed dozens of praise and worship songs and is the Worship leader at his church in Pine Grove. He is currently the Music Director for the musical theater program at the Local High School. Stevens is active with the Sacramento Ragtime Society, and has performed at the Ragtime Corner during the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.

Ragnolia Ragtette

The Ragnolia Ragtette mixes the elegant to humorous gems of the ragtime era with some of the newer, favorite contemporary rags. Listen as this artful combination of 4-hand piano, tuba and percussion present parlor tunes that burst forth in high ragtime style. Playing the music that originated from the recreational houses on one side of the tracks and later made its way to the upstanding respectable, family homes on the other, Ragnolia brings the ragtime era to life. It's ragtime with enthusiasm. This ensemble made its debut at the 2008 Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival.

John Reed-Torres

John Reed-Torres was born and raised in Los Angeles. He first heard ragtime music during school recess in fifth grade. An ice cream wagon came creeping along, playing The Entertainer. Right then and there, ragtime bit him and simultaneously released multiple inner infatuations with antiquity, ranging from architecture to automobiles.

Shortly after that, John began to teach himself piano throughout his middle school and early high school days. He developed a short repertoire and began to play for friends and at church while simultaneously playing trombone in the high school marching band. He also marched and played trombone in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (2008-2012).

He worked up performances of a couple Scott Joplin rags as well as some classical pieces, winning first-place awards two years in a row in his school's talent show. He also played the soundtrack for a short, independent silent film that earned third place at a festival, and won a gold medal at the NAACP/ActSo competition in Los Angeles, which earned him a trip to perform in New York City. That same year (2009), John began music studies at Pasadena City College, where he began formal piano lessons and started to expand his repertoire. He has performed at various venues around Los Angeles and Pasadena, including the Rose Leaf Club, Old Town Music Hall, Xiem Clay Center, Holmans United Methodist Church, and Orange County ragtime societies, as well as the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Fullerton Ragfest.

John has written a few rags and some classical shorts as well. He aspires to become a professional musician, composer, conductor, and mechanical engineer/architect. Being of a diverse ethnic heritage, John aims to acknowledge the links that connect us all, especially those through music. He wants to expound the many aspects of history, especially the history of ragtime, to his generation, so everyone will recognize ragtime as a monumental form in the development of culture and music.

John Remmers

John Remmers, from Ann Arbor, Mich., is a retired professor of computer science with a serious addiction to playing ragtime piano. He is seen and heard frequently at ragtime festivals around the U.S., whether it be in open-piano after-hours sessions or as a billed performer. In addition, he dabbles in creative writing and has an interest in web design and programming.

Ray Skjelbred

Ray Skjelbred has been a featured piano soloist in concerts and festivals for many years. He has appeared at the West Coast Ragtime Festival, Breda Jazz Festival in Holland, the America's Finest City Festival in San Diego, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and many others. He has also led his own groups (Ray Skjelbred Quartet, the Great Excelsior Jazz Band, Berkeley Rhythm, the Yeti Chasers, and the Cubs) and has played and recorded with most of the leading traditional jazz musicians of the past few decades.

He currently works most often with the Yeti Chasers in Seattle, Ray Skjelbred and his Cubs, and the Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band. Ray has been a chosen accompanist for jazz and blues singers such as Barbara Dane, Barbara Lashley, Rebecca Kilgore, Claire Austin, Pat Yankee, Carol Leigh and the legendary Victoria Spivey.

His piano work appears on the Triangle/Rhythm Master, Solo Art, Arcola, Pianomania, Euphonic, Stomp Off, Jazzology, Berkeley Rhythm and Orangapoid labels. Ray usually performs an eclectic mix of early jazz standards, blues, barrelhouse, classic ragtime, unexpected pop tunes and original compositions.

Martin Spitznagel

Martin Spitznagel has been hailed as a remarkable, astonishing, and "face-melting" musical talent. His flying fingers and sparkling repertoire have left audiences across the country enthralled with America's first popular music, Ragtime. Whether performing the masterworks of Scott Joplin or the score to Star Wars, Martin is truly at home on the piano bench.

He found success early, winning a Yamaha Disklavier at the age of 14 in Calliope Media's nationwide Crazy for Ragtime competition. His entry, chosen from the hundreds of submissions by a panel of judges that included world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, coincided with the centennial of the birth of ragtime music in 1897.

Despite this early success, Martin was largely self-guided until 1998, when he met Eastman School of Music pianist and pedagogue Dr. Tony Caramia, who challenged him to "find the surprise" in every performance. Under Caramia's tutelage, Martin flourished, developing a keen ear for melody, a gift for improvisation, and a talent for composition.

In the years since, Martin has performed across the country at venues large and small, including featured performances at the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Mo., and the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento.

Awards for composition include "Best New Rag" in 2007 and 2011 at the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest (which he also has won), first place in the 2010 Scott Joplin Foundation's worldwide "Train Town Rag" composition contest, as well as a Bronze International Galaxy Award and a Platinum MarCom Award for "Best Original Score" for PerformTech Inc.'s holiday e-card. Also in 2011, Martin was selected as the Scott Joplin Foundation's Artist in Residence.

In addition to his musical pursuits, Martin holds a B.A. in Creative Writing, a Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and an A.S. in Filmmaking. This diverse skill set has enabled him to work on everything from a documentary film about polio with "St. Elmo's Fire" screenwriter Carl Kurlander to composing award-winning orchestral scores for short films and animations.

Martin currently works as a multimedia designer, writer, and filmmaker in Alexandria, Va., where he lives with his wife, Jessica, and their two young sons. He looks forward each day to the opportunity to reach new audiences with the music that has given him so much joy.

Squeek Steele

Born and raised in eastern Kentucky, Squeek Steele began playing the piano by ear at the age of 3. Other than piano recitals, her first real public playing came at age 12 when she played gospel songs for an old-time revival. Squeek has an Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and holds a Master's Degree in Music from Catholic University of America.

As pianist, organist, composer and teacher, Squeek has performed internationally in Europe and Southeast Asia as well as across the United States. She holds a Guinness World Record for most pieces of music played on piano from memory. She plays all styles and genres of music, and during the summer/fall season performs at the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. Two of her covers of Old West songs were used in a film with Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor, Jane Got a Gun, released in 2016.

Monty Suffern

Monty Suffern has played in many parts of the U.S. at various ragtime festivals over the past 10 years after having “stumbled upon” the Scott Joplin ragtime festival in Sedalia, Missouri. Originally from Australia, he now resides in Texas with his wife Suzi and their five dogs. Since retiring from a 40-year career in academia where he taught Chemical Engineering and Aviation Sciences, these days he has time to concentrate more on his love of old-time piano playing. Although taking a back seat to the need to earn a living, music has always played an important role in Monty's life with piano lessons starting at the age of 7, and hardly a day has passed since then without him seated at the piano. His playing style is best described as “rollicking” as he tries to use as many of the notes as he can fit into two hands, and ranges over the entire keyboard. He mainly plays ragtime and stride piano, although he may just surprise audiences with a song or two from other genres, or perhaps one or two of his own ragtime compositions.

Monty's other major interest is in aviation and he has held a private pilot license for 26 years. He recently finished building an airplane which he took on its maiden flight earlier last year. Who knows — in future years he may be able to combine his two main interests by flying himself to festivals around the country in an aircraft he constructed himself.

The Sullivans and Drivons

The Sullivans offer an array of contemporary and classic rags, including Latin tangos and waltzes, plus ragtime and novelty songs. Among the pillars of the Sacramento and West Coast Ragtime Societies, the Sullivans have been part of the ragtime scene for many years. They have enjoyed performing at various festivals, concerts, and special events — from Santa Nella to China for Shanghai television.

A Sacramento native, Petra Sullivan has a degree in Music and teaches violin and piano. Bub Sullivan studied classical piano as a child, then later took up string instruments before discovering ragtime as a student in St. Louis.

The Sullivans are pictured here with the Drivons with whom they often play together.

Virginia Tichenor

Virginia Tichenor has been consumed by ragtime her entire life. She is the daughter of the late Trebor Tichenor, the noted ragtime scholar, pianist, collector and founder of the St. Louis Ragtimers. She studied music at the St. Louis Community Association for the Arts and took advanced training from concert pianist, John Phillips. Always at the crossroads of the ragtime revival, her parental home houses the world's largest library of ragtime sheet music and piano rolls. Virginia grew up with legends like Eubie Blake, Max Morath and Butch Thompson chatting in her own living room. Her father is advisor-confidant for most of the ragtime community, so Virginia often heard new rags when they were forming in the minds of their composers. The topic of her college research project? The ragtime revival, of course! In 1998, Virginia released her first solo recording, a CD entitled "Virginia's Favorites". It included four two-piano duets with her father, Trebor. It was so popular, the family released two other CDs, "The Tichenor Trio" which included Virginia's father and her multi-talented husband, Marty Eggers, and "Ragtime Reunion - Tichenor Family Five" which featured Virginia, her dad, her husband, her brother, and her sister-in-law. She is the Vice President, and past President, of the West Coast Ragtime Society.

Ryan Wishner

Ryan Wishner began playing piano at the age of 10, and was immediately drawn toward ragtime. He now plays a wider variety of music ranging from the mid-1800s through the 1930s. Ryan also collects sheet music, piano rolls, records and other antiques from the era. His playing style is based on these records and rolls, which often have added "tricks" not printed in the original sheet music. He is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Riverside.

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