140 Richmond St.
El Segundo, CA 90245
Region: South Bay
It's that time of year again: The 37th Annual Ragtime Festival, with pianists Alex Hassan, Cathy Craig, Frederick Hodges and John Reed-Torres, has since 1975 (!) turned people on to that jauntiest of all possible piano music. While you might think it's a polite and corny kind of music to sit down and listen to, it has its basis in the phenomenon of marginalized African-American music finding its way into mainstream acceptance not the easiest of all possible things to openly welcome then. This isn't to say that the strides made by ragtime composers such as Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin whose ragtime smash "The Entertainer" is the one most people know were always easy. Working in the same cultural marketplace as Ernest Hogan's hit "All Coons Look Alike to Me" must have been extortionately galling. The modern-day revival, from 1973 to 1981 between the years that movies The Sting and Ragtime were released were completely insane years for the genre, a weird but welcome relief from disco and punk. Stomps, cakewalks and rags: They're all here tonight but for how much longer, as ragtime's fans pass away, one never knows. Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; Sat., July 7, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; Sun., July 8, 2:30 p.m.; $20. (310) 322-2592, oldtownmusichall.wordpress.com/upcoming-schedules.
Sat., July 7, 2:30 & 8:15 p.m.; Sun., July 8, 2:30 p.m., 2012