Check here for information about West Coast Ragtime Society & related events.


Review by Jack Rummel of the new book by Larry Karp, Brun Campbell: The Orgianal Ragtime Kid, and related CD, Essays in Ragtime: The Music of Brun Campbell, David Refkin, Director, The American Ragtime Ensemble.


It is with sadness we mark the passing of Lynn Kuk, one of West Coast Ragtime Society's greatest supporters, volunteers, and member of the Board of Directors. Lynn died April 26, 2015. Click here for the Memoriam Page.


We have begun posting seminars presented at our annual Ragtime Festivals. Check out Jack Rummel's 2012 presentation, The Skeleton in Ragtime's Closet. We'll be periodically posting other seminars by distinguished individuals on various topics related to Ragtime and vintage American Music. Check back here for new postings.

In Memoriam, Russell Edward Burke

Many SRS and WCRS members have known Russell for a very long time. He and Allyn have been active in years past as volunteers at the WCRF and have been supportive and enthusiastic music lovers at SRS and other ragtime festivals. 
Click here to go to the memoriam page for Russell Burke.

Mimi Blais' New CD  - 'Interlude'

Mimi dedicated this CD to the memory of two very dear friends, Remi Arsenault and Marcel Gauthier.
The dedication, in part, reads:
Two men who loved music and photography.
Two men who loved women… Nature … Life …
Two men who have loved me and whom I have loved.
Two men who left this life with serenity and who inspired the creation of this album.
View the full dedication, CD cover and tray card, click here.
The CD is available online at and will be available on Mimi's Feb-May 2015 West Coast Concert Tour. See tour flyer, click here.

In Memoriam, Bill Schoening - By Petra Sullivan
Our long time Ragtime friend, music enthusiast, staunch supporter of the West Coast Ragtime Festival, and Wednesday nights Ragtime and Vintage Music at the Straw Hat - Bill Schoening - passed away November 17, 2014 at the age of 88. After an extended illness, he was hospitalized again in October. Private services were held. On December 17th there was a tribute to Bill at the Straw Hat Pizza. (Unfortunately this information did not reach us until the evening of December 16th.)
Bill's friend, Burt Wilson, spoke about how about 10 years ago Bill found himself no longer able to drive to hear his favorite musicians, so he decided to bring the musicians to him - thus Wednesday nights at the Straw Hat was born! Most of you have enjoyed this popular venue so you know it has been a veritable feast of outstanding Jazz and Ragtime musicians. These musicians have played with such heart and soul, most of all because Bill Schoening established the venue for the sake of providing a great performance place for their music - they loved it.
A "thank you" to Irma Keenan for alerting me to the tribute. And, a heartfelt appreciation to Burt Wilson, who provided the essential information about Bill. A fond farewell, Bill. Thanks for helping to make all that music happen. You've been an inspiration to us all.

88 Years — 88 Piano Keys 

Go to the memoriam page for Bill Schoening, click here.

West Coast Upgrades Big Time - By Chris Bradshaw
On a scale of one to ten, this year’s West Coast Ragtime Festival rates the highest of marks. The change of hotel to the Marriott Rancho Cordova was a huge improvement for performers as well as attendees. How inspiring it was to play or listen to great music in such elegant surroundings.

Having the venues all in close proximity was a boon, too with no parking lots to cross this year. With a schedule that was cleverly offset, the whole festival was not trying to get from one place to another all at once. The dancers had a well-lit venue where their exquisite costuming and fancy footwork could be readily enjoyed. It didn’t matter what the various ensembles threw at them–tangos, two-steps, waltzes, plus even animal dances–they kept the floor busy, never missing a beat.

Were there little hitches here and there? Of course, there are always little things that happen. This year was different though. Any little problems concerning the hotel in general were attended to within minutes. For the performers, the tenth floor lounge was spacious and made for a great place to relax, meet with other performers, grab a bite of something, and touch up those pesky, tricky spots that were upcoming in a next set.

If all those smiles are any indication of a great time, this festival was both classy and fun. From the various sets, seminars, big shows, to the after-glows each night, plus the mix of ragtime and all of her close cousins, there was something here for everyone.

Plans are already underway for next year’s festival so save the dates – November 20-22, 2015. More news to come in the spring. Thanks to all of you who attended and supported us in our new endeavor. You are greatly appreciated.  (Reprinted from the December 2014 issue of the Sacramento Ragtime Society newsletter.)

Overflow rooms are available at the nearby Hyatt House where most of the musicians are staying. It's an easy three- minute walk to Marriott. 25 sleeping rooms have been added for Friday, 11/21, and for Saturday, 11/22 (see note below).  Call the hotel - 916-638-4141 - and ask for the West Coast Ragtime Festival rate: $84 plus taxes, or click here to make reservations online.
Note: The festival rates apply only to Fri & Sat. If you need to add an additional day, make your reservation by phone.

Festival Performers, Late Additions
The following performers have recently been added to the 2014 festival lineup: Christoph Schmetterer, Jared DiBartolomeo, Rosemary Hallum, Steve Johnson, Joyce Grant, and Cleve Baker

9/25/2014 (moved from home page)
Bill Schoening is in a care home in Sacramento and would certainly welcome hearing from fellow ragtimers and jazz enthusiasts by card or by a visit. Bill has been a long-time supporter of ragtime and jazz and appreciates knowing we're thinking of him. You can mail or visit Bill at 1099 Stewart Rd, Sacramento, CA 95864. Address cards to Bill Schoening. Best hours to visit are between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm. 

Photo by Hal Krueger at the 25th SRS Anniversary Awards Ceremony 

Flash! Flash!

West Coast is proud to announce that Mimi Blais will also be performing at this November’s festival, November 21-23. Affectionately known by her fans as the Queen of Ragtime, Mimi glows, she sparkles and she plays like a champ on fire from the heart. Those of you who have already had the “Mimi experience” know what I am talking about. The rest of you are in for a real treat!

West Coast Youth Ragtime Piano Competition!
Due date for entries is approaching fast - October 1st. Those ragtime kids between the ages of 8 and 18 will be strutting their stuff on November 8th, at the United Methodist Church, 212 2nd Street, in Woodland, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and going on until the late afternoon. Everyone is invited. Ragtime performed by pint-sized future ragtime pros is not something you want to miss. They come. They conquer the piano and they will win your heart. It’s free admission. Bring yourself and friends.

Will Perkins
So many of you have asked for an update on Next Generation Performer Will Perkins so here it is. Will is serving a two-year mission in Montevideo, the capital and chief port of Uruguay. He is doing very well and has been able to get to a piano. In fact, there is one where he is living right now. He says he misses the ragtime world and can’t wait to be a participant again. He returns to the US on March 27th and will be appearing at the new Oakhurst Festival to be held April 10-12, 2015.