Guidelines for Performers at
the Valley Ragtime Stomp

1. In terms of performance, we focus on the period from 1900-1950, which is rich in ragtime, dance music, blues and songs. Ragtime was America's first popular music and gave rise to blues, boogie-woogie, the Tin Pan Alley era, show music and the birth of jazz. Some noteworthy composers from this era who made indelible contributions to American music include Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, James P. Johnson, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington, to name a few. This is the musical literature we focus on and, with half a century’s worth of world-famous music, there’s plenty to choose from. An exception might be an original song in a syncopated style that fits in with the proceedings.

2. Have two pieces prepared. If you know a little history behind them, by all means feel free to share. Time permitting, we also have a "lightning round" at the end where players can opt to perform one more selection, so if you have a third choice up your sleeve, all the better.

3. The mission of our club is to promote and feature music from this important period of American musical history. The Valley Ragtime Stomp is one of the precious few venues where listeners can experience it. Therefore, even though—as music lovers—we appreciate other styles, contemporary pop, rock, folk or jazz does not fit within our guidelines, nor does European-based classical music. If you've yet to study piano, instrumental or vocal music from the time frame we focus on, we encourage you to challenge yourself; dive in and come share your progress and expertise with us.

4. This is fun and we encourage new players to step up and join the proceedings. Now that you know what we are about, jump in to the mix and let’s have a good time. We look forward to hearing you play!

Meets 2nd Saturday, 2:00PM-5:00PM at:

Henri's Restaurant

21601 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA

(between Canoga Ave. & Topanga Canyon Bl.)