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General Information Performers Festival Report

About the Sutter Creek 2015 Ragtime Festival Performers

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 14 years old and a sophomore at Capuchino High School. She has been playing ragtime for just over three years with the help of her teacher, Virginia Tichenor. Her interest in ragtime began at age three or four, having been exposed to the addictive music by her father, Clint Baker, through recordings from the early 1900s of ragtime dance music. Ramona digs through cylinders and early disc recordings of ragtime to discover the nearly forgotten pianists behind all the great singers.

At this year's festival, Ramona will be presenting sets dedicated to the music and ragtime style of pianist and composer Frederick Hylands (1872-1913), who can be heard on hundreds of records made between 1897 and 1906.

Andrew Barrett

Growing up in a musical family, Andrew Barrett was exposed to a wide variety of music growing up. His dad is well-known trombonist Dan Barrett. At age four, Andrew began playing percussion instruments but it wasn't until age 11 that he began formal piano study. Although he enjoys many kinds of music, propelled by his discovery of automatic musical instruments and their music, Andrew latched onto ragtime and thus his musical path was set. Andrew not only plays but he is also of composer of rags and other pieces.

In addition to his ragtime and solo piano work, Andrew participates in many groups: The California Feetwarmers, City Country City, The Dough Rollers, Evans and Rogers, Fletcher's Castorians and more.

A recent graduate of Orange Coast College, Andrew is currently studying music at Cal State Fullerton. Future goals include a degree in musicology and library science to become an archivist.

Jack and Chris Bradshaw

Jack and Chris Bradshaw, ragtime piano duo artists from Gilroy, Calif., are bringing their unique sound to Sutter Creek again this year. Jack's four-hand arrangements of popular rags, cakewalks, marches and novelty numbers are played with a sparkle reminiscent of old-time piano rolls. This lively pair has also appeared at the West Coast, Scott Joplin, Blind Boone, RagFest, Shaniko, Cascade, and the Fresno Flats Ragtime Festivals, The Ragtime Corners of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, and Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo. The rollicking road to ragtime thus far has taken them to 11 states and Canada.

Jack also plays classic and new ragtime solos to round out their programs. Jack and Chris each hold advanced degrees in music and perform regularly at Sacramento Ragtime Society and South Valley Music Makers meetings.

Tom Brier

Tom Brier, affectionately dubbed "Hot Rod Tommy," used to be California's greatest ragtime secret until the summer of 2001, when he made his debut to tremendous applause (and much jaw-dropping) at the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, MO and the Blind Boone Festival in Columbia, MO. This composing genius and pianist extraordinaire hails from Oakdale, a Central Valley farming community south of Sacramento. He currently lives in Sacramento where he works as a programmer/analyst for the County of Sacramento. Tom caught the ragtime bug when his parents purchased a Schubert mechanical player. He was only 4, but when he started picking out tunes he heard on the piano rolls, his parents immediately found him a piano teacher. Soon Tom was notating his own music and by age 11, he had composed nearly a dozen rags. Today he has well over 160 ragtime compositions to his name (more than 200 if collaborations with other composers are counted), all remarkably original but clearly demonstrating his depth of understanding of early ragtime subtleties. In 1985, at age 14, Brier made his first appearance at the Sacramento Ragtime Society meeting, blowing everyone away with his signature rapid-fire left hand runs. Since that time, Brier has been a mainstay at the Ragtime Corner of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, the West Coast Ragtime Festival, and recently our Mother Lode Ragtime Society gatherings. He has recorded six CDs, has a vast ragtime sheet music collection, is noted for performing and popularizing extremely rare but wonderful rags, and for inspiring pianists to attempt to keep up with him.

Diego Bustamante

Diego Bustamante, age 16, has been playing piano for nine and a half years. He lives in Paradise, Calif., where he studies with Dr. Robert Bowman. Like so many others before him, Diego's interest in ragtime began when he heard The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. The ragtime world discovered him at the West Coast Youth Ragtime Competition six years ago. Since then, he has appeared at the Sutter Creek and West Coast ragtime festivals plus several youth concerts. His interests outside of ragtime include birding and skiing.

Amanda Castro

Amanda Castro is a young jazz 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.

Together, Amanda and Patrick played for the Seattle Seahawks' holiday party. They have also played with Delfayo Marsalis. Visit her web site,

Michael Chisholm

Michael Chisholm is from Houston, Texas, and has grown up in a musically appreciative family. His first music training was in middle school, where he learned to play the xylophone and marimba. Eventually, he graduated to piano. Michael's first exposure to ragtime was watching JoAnn Castle play on a rerun of the Lawrence Welk Show. From that moment, he knew ragtime was his style of music. Since then, he has composed over 50 rags and has started collecting the original prints of ragtime sheet music. Besides piano, Michael likes to rag out on the flute, piccolo, and clarinet.

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.

The Crown Syncopators

Featuring the virtuoso piano stylings of Frederick Hodges, with accompaniment by Marty Eggers on tuba and Virginia Tichenor on drums, The Crown Syncopators were formed to perform at San Francisco's Pier 23, where each of its members also plays solo piano monthly. Their repertoire is almost exclusively ragtime.

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 is currently planning a new ragtime festival to be held in Santa Cruz next February.

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 last 11 years with 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, CA 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, CA 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.

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.

Edward Maraga

Edward Maraga was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. He started playing piano when he was 16 but didn't play ragtime until 2010 after hearing and seeing various performers on YouTube. He first played Joplin pieces but now moves toward other composers and claims Brun Campbell and folk rags to be his ultimate favorite.

He has also written five classic ragtime pieces, and has self-published them for others to enjoy his style of technique. He regularly attends the Rose Leaf Club in Monrovia, Calif., to further expand his playing and other compositions that might not be played as much as they were a century ago.

Besides playing ragtime, Edward directs short films and strives to be a filmmaker like his idol, John Hughes. He graduated from the Art Institute of California, Hollywood, in December 2013 with a degree in filmmaking and screenwriting. In his spare time, Edward reads, plays piano, writes rags, spec scripts, and of course films.

Meredith & Rogers

Jonathan Meredith has been playing finger-style ragtime guitar for about 40 years. He plays both nylon- and steel-string guitars for both classical rags and parlor rags as well as ragtime arrangements of original, popular, jazz, and novelty tunes from the '30s and '40s. He plays in and around the foothill area of Nevada City and Grass Valley.

Allen Rogers, "Gut Bucket" player and innovator, plays his own gut-bucket design. Allen's "Boukay" adds a bottom to rags, novelty tunes, or jug-band-style songs. Allen can be seen sitting in with a number of different groups from the Sacramento Ragtime Society.

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 recently passed the California Bar Exam and has started her own firm specializing in patent law.

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.

Porcupine Ragtime Ensemble

The Porcupine Ragtime Ensemble consists of:

Elliott Adams - piano
Petra Sullivan - violin
Bub Sullivan - mandolin, cümbüş, vocals
Susan Desper - flute, piccolo
Robyn Drivon - tuba
Steve Drivon - trombone, percussion, vocals

The Porcupines were formed around 1983 when Elliott Adams and Petra — Bub Sullivan started playing together as a trio at the Sacramento Ragtime Society sessions to explore harmonies and Elliott's sheet music collection. Over the years, the group has expanded to its present size and instrumentation.

The Porcupine repertoire ranges from folk rags to tangos, cakewalks, classical rags, marches, waltzes, one- and two-steps, plus many songs. In addition to having performed on public radio, in community concerts (including several Stop and Smell the Roses, fairs and the California State Railroad Museum), they are regulars at the Sacramento Music Festival Ragtime Corner, the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, and the Sacramento Trad Jazz meetings. The group also has played at the West Coast Ragtime Festival every year since 1989. The Porcupines have entertained at the Sacramento City Library Galleria and the Stockton Cesar Chavez Library. In July 2007, The American Rag ran a featured interview, and April 2008 marked a first appearance at the Redding Jazz Festival.

They have four CDs ("Quills Up!", "Live!", "Quilling Me Softly", and "Pig Ankles") on the Miracle Records label.

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 three 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.

Julia Riley

Julia Riley has been interested in and has been playing ragtime for over 40 years. Coming from a family where every member played at least two instruments, she started piano lessons at age five and flute in the third grade. She has been instrumental in forming a number of music groups including a woodwind quintet, two flute quartets and the Raspberry Jam Band. Groups she has performed with include the Auburn Concert Band, the Nevada County Concert Band, the Rubber Chicken Flute Quartet, the Flutecakes, Attitude Adjustment, The Porcupine Ragtime Ensemble, The RJB Quartet, Tom Brier and His Saloon Sweeties, and the Raspberry Jam Band. She has performed Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio #1 with RJB band-mate Tom Brier and is currently preparing to perform the second suite by the same composer.

Tim Rotolo

Tim Rotolo first appeared as a 15-year-old walk-on at our 2008 festival. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, with a degree in International Relations. Tim speaks Chinese, and in 2013 he spent a semester in Taipei, Taiwan. He was also an Eagle Scout.

Tim began playing piano at age 5. His interest in ragtime was sparked during visits to Disneyland. During one visit, the audience was asked if anyone would like to play. He did, catching the attention of the afternoon's featured performer. Tim was soon introduced to Johnny Hodges, a long-time Main Street pianist. Tim was blessed to study with Johnny for three years. He has also studied with Patrick Aranda.

Tim plays an eclectic mix of time-worn tunes from Joplin to Jolson, Louis Armstrong to Glenn Miller, with ragtime, honky-tonk, boogie and blues all figured into his set lists. For the time being, Tim is focusing on music, performing in Southern California's Inland Empire. He has two CDs: Re-keyed and Dust & Ivory. He also now has his own web site for his musical endeavors:

Tom Brier & the Saloon Sweeties

Tom Brier (piano), Julia Riley (flute/piccolo) and Kitty Wilson (washboard) have been performing together for about 15 years, in various ensembles, and are all long-time veterans of this festival. This trio is a sub-set of the Raspberry Jam Band, and these three versatile performers also play with Elliott Adams (on 2nd piano) as The Hedgehogs.

Tom and the "Sweeties" play music from the ragtime era interwoven with a wide range of pieces from later periods (always including, of course, several of Tom's wonderful original compositions). Their joyful, exuberant performances demonstrate the pleasure they find in playing this music together.

Sean Sharp

Tenor Sean Sharp is an original member of 42nd St. Moon Productions. Some of his favorite roles with that company have been in The Good Companions, Darling of the Day and Three Sisters. Sean has been seen impersonating the songwriter/performer Henry Russell at the Dickens Christmas Faire and singing with the Great Nickelodeon Show at the Giornate del Cinema Muto, the Telluride Film Festival, the Niles Silent Film Festival and the Castro Theatre. His other credits include singing in the Grace Cathedral Men's Choir, performing with the Lamplighters, and performing down the coast with the Great American Melodrama.

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 (the Ray Skjelbred Quartet, the Great Excelsior Jazz Band, Berkeley Rhythm, the Yeti Chasers, Ray Skjelbred and his Cubs, the Monogram Boys, and the First Thursday Band) and has played and recorded with most of the leading traditional jazz musicians of the past few decades.

Ray has worked with Turk Murphy's Jazz Band, Bob Mielke's Bearcats, Hal Smith's Roadrunners and with a variety of other groups that included or were led by Dick Oxtot, Ev Farey, Jim Goodwin, Bob Helm, Bill Napier, Richard Hadlock, John Gill, Clint Baker, Chris Tyle, Monte Ballou, Kim Cusack, Simon Stribling and many others.

He currently works most often with Bob Schulz and the Frisco Jazz Band, Simon Stribling's New Orleans Ale Stars, Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators, and his own First Thursday Band (which plays regularly at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Seattle's Pioneer Square). Ray has also 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.

Squeek Steele

Born and raised in eastern Kentucky, Squeek Steele began playing the piano by ear at the age of 3, with her formal music training beginning when she was 8. Squeek holds a Master's Degree in music. A pianist, organist, composer and teacher, Squeek has performed internationally from Singapore to Germany, New Zealand and Nepal, and on the east and west coasts of the United States.

Hailed as "a lightning bolt in a black dress" (Philadelphia Inquirer), Squeek played her way into the Guinness Book of World Records for most songs performed on piano from memory (1990 book, p.18, under "Squeek" Moore). She performed 1,852 songs in a three-week period. The record remains unbroken.

Though Squeek is classically trained, she plays all styles and genres of music. Specializing in ragtime and early 20th Century American popular music, she has recorded 15 CDs.

Squeek now makes her home in the old mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, where you can sometimes find her playing at the Bucket of Blood Saloon or down at the Gold Hill Hotel.

Monty Suffern

Monty Suffern is an Australian who currently resides in Texas where he leads a retired life, walking his dogs, building an airplane and practicing his piano whenever possible. He has been playing piano more than 60 years, having started on his seventh birthday, and concentrates mainly on ragtime and stride styles.

Monty attended the 2008 Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival on his way from Texas to Melbourne, Australia, to visit family (everyone knows that Sutter Creek is en route between Texas and Australia). He intended simply to enjoy the festival as an audience member, but due to the illness of one of the featured artists, Monty was co-opted onto the program. His very unique rollicking style (which uses handfuls of notes) was quite a hit, and he enjoyed this role so much that he has agreed to return each year since.

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.

Galen Wilkes

Galen Wilkes has contributed much to the ragtime scene over the last few decades. Many know and play his popular rags, written in all styles from cakewalk to stride. But his talents extend far beyond that of composer. Besides several volumes of his own published piano rags, he has produced two radio series on ragtime (in New York and California), has done extensive research into various topics of its history, published articles, liner notes and booklets, taught courses, and given seminars. He ran the Palm Leaf Ragtime Orchestra and revived dancing to ragtime by creating the Ragtime Ball and having lessons taught. Such dancing is commonplace at ragtime events today through his efforts. He also has produced concerts, and The New England Ragtime Festival. One of his most cherished accomplishments is traveling through regions of the country to record people's memories and histories for preservation and future generations. Galen loves the era and sharing it with others.

Kitty Wilson

This will be the 13th enthusiastic year for Kitty Wilson at the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival. Wearing her ragtime-era costumes, "Washboard Kitty" plays her specially embellished washboard and hand-crafted woodboard with thimble-tipped fingers, adding brushes, cymbals, bells and castanets as needed. She has provided versatile percussion accents to top ragtime pianists and ensembles for several years at festivals and concerts in California, Nevada, Washington and Missouri.

In addition to her ragtime activities, Kitty plays annually in the big washboard concert at the Monterey Dixieland Festival, and has been a repeat guest artist with a bluegrass band from Ashville, North Carolina, as well as playing with the Peninsula Banjo Band in San Jose.

This weekend, she will join various festival pianists and ensembles.

Ryan Wishner

Ryan Wishner began playing piano at the age of 10, and was immediately drawn toward ragtime. Although he first focused on playing Joplin rags, he now plays multiple types of music popular from around the 1890s on through the 1930s. After purchasing a player piano and a Victrola, he began studying how these old pieces were played on piano rolls and records at the time when these pieces were first popular. Ryan often tries to replicate the style of these old recordings, rather than playing a piece exactly how it is printed on the sheet music. He also has a collection of old sheet music as well as other antiques from the ragtime era.

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