What To Expect at a Peabody Ragtime Ensemble Concert

A WALK THROUGH MUSICAL AMERICAN HISTORY

“Ragtime, Dixieland and All That Jazz!”

Peabody Ragtime Ensemble concerts are a quirky, joyous potpourri of American music ranging from about 1890 to 1950, spanning a variety of early jazz styles including ragtime, Dixieland, big band, swing and novelty tunes, usually interspersed with a few choice vocals in each set.

You may hear a tribute to Satchmo, complete with white hanky, or a scat scale a la Ella Fitzgerald. If you blink your eyes, you can imagine yourself in a Second Line on Bourbon Street or kicking back at the Cotton Club. For a brief suspension of time, legends like Scott Joplin and Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington and Count Basie— America’s musical heros— come to life on the concert stage.

The tunes are placed in their historical context, usually accompanied by fascinating anecdotes revealing little-known facts about the composer, the piece and the era. The selections feature various band members in solo and ensemble roles, offering a showcase for their individual talents and providing a variety of textures, genres and styles in the course of a single concert.

Music that is accessible, virtuoso technique, engaging personalities—

even as they satisfy the most serious jazz aficionado, a performance by Peabody Ragtime Ensemble remains a family-friendly experience that has multi-generational appeal.