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ragtime festival

The 2nd Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Music Festival was held on the Mississippi State University (MSU) campus on March 28-30, 2008, in the John Grisham Room and the Charles Templeton, Sr. Music Museum of Mitchell Memorial Library and in the newly renovated Lee Hall Auditorium.  Featuring the talents of eight brilliant artists, informative guided tours of MSU Libraries' Templeton Museum, fun and educational major and mini concerts, seminars and interviews, the Festival was as successful and as exciting as the premiere event in 2007.

The Festival revolves around and was inspired by the Charles H. Templeton Music Museum and Collection housed at Mitchell Memorial Library.  By bringing ragtime and jazz musicians, scholars and enthusiasts to see the Museum and Collection, the Festival coordinators anticipate bringing more attention to and use of these exquisite primary resources.

Earlier this semester, world-renowned musicologist and Ragtime expert David A. Jasen met with Festival planning chairs to work on scheduling, booking, and all ins and outs of the upcoming Festival.

"We are thrilled to bring such wonderful musicians and friends to the MSU and Starkville communities for the Festival," said co-chair Stephen Cunetto.  "The magic and excitement that these talented performers bring to our Festival, Museum, and campus is unlike that of any other event we host throughout the year.  Having the help and direction of our friend David Jasen is simply invaluable.  We cannot wait to celebrate this music again."

Artists performing and speaking at the 2nd Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Music Festival included: the new Queen of Ragtime, Montreal’s Mimi Blais;  a veritable walking encyclopedia of Ragtime and early jazz, Marty Eggers;  the stride piano genius, Brian Holland;  classic Ragtime specialist, Norway’s Morten Gunnar Larsen;  the man hailed as America’s greatest living boogie woogie pianist, Bob Seeley;  West Coast Ragtime music scene mainstay, Virginia Tichenor;  and serving as our master of ceremonies again this year, musicologist, collector, author and authority on all areas of American popular music, David Jasen. 

David Jasen guided tours of the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum, which features the most complete collection of Victor Talking Machines from the beginning in 1897 to 1930, a sheet music collection of close to 22,000 pieces, and over 15,000 playable items (paper rolls, wax cylinders, records, Regina music box discs, and so much more).

"The concept of having artifacts illustrate the 'business of music in the United States' is unique and is not only important for serious students of popular music, but for history buffs, sociologists and everybody interested in knowing how music influenced this country during the entire 20th century and continuing into the 21st," said Jasen.

To find out more on the 2nd Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Music Festival, please contact MSU Libraries’ Lyle Tate at 662-325-2559 or Visit to read more about the artists and to see photos of the amazing 2007 Festival.

About MSU Libraries:

Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit .

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