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The Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival returns to MSU’s campus on March 26 & 27, 2010.

Music will once again float through the air at Mississippi State University Libraries and Lee Hall Auditorium when the glorious sounds of ragtime return to MSU’s campus for the 4th Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival to be held March 26 & 27, 2010.

Fast becoming a one-of-a-kind musical celebration, this Mississippi State University-based festival – sponsored by MSU Libraries and the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum – features some of ragtime’s most accomplished performers.  Concerts, mini-concerts, and lectures center around the unique Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Collection housed in the MSU Libraries.  The Collection – comprised of 22,000 pieces of sheet music, 15,000 playable musical items, and almost 200 musical instruments ranging from the 1880s to the 1930s – documents a distinctly American approach to the “business of music.”  The Collection’s sheet music, Phonographs, Victrolas, memorabilia, and other artifacts will transport Festival attendees back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Participants in the 4th Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival will enjoy high-energy concerts in MSU’s historic Lee Hall Auditorium, and they will experience intimate artist performances and lectures in MSU Libraries’ John Grisham Room.  Complementing the music, the Festival also highlights the rollicking culture of the times through tours of the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum.  Noted collector and historian David A. Jasen, author of definitive reference works on ragtime, puts the music, the composers, and the culture into lively perspective.

Those who love music—and those who simply love a good time—will not want to miss this signature musical experience.  Join the Festival for a day’s events, for a single evening’s concert, or for the entire two-day Festival.  A gift shop will be open with plenty of the performer’s compact discs to purchase, and a full schedule of spirit-lifting musical performances will keep the Festival moving.

The 4th Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival is bringing to Starkville five outstanding artists of the ragtime genre.  Hailed by the press as one of the best ragtime pianists in the world, Frederick Hodges is sought after by today’s foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors, and collaborative musicians.  His artistry, virtuosity, and charisma have brought him to the world’s most renowned stages, leaving audiences around the globe captivated.  One of the most highly regarded authorities on ragtime music, David Jasen is also a collector of books, recordings, piano rolls, sheet music, periodicals, and catalogs that cover the gamut of American popular music.  An adviser to the Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival since its inception, Jasen brings an extraordinary knowledge of ragtime and its history, enriching the Festival experience and providing a dimension rarely seen in other festivals.  British-born Carl Sonny Leyland, returning in his second Templeton Festival appearance, is considered one of today’s great boogie-woogie pianists.  He has lectured widely on the history of the blues and boogie woogie piano and is known as one of the few pianists able to recreate the sounds of boogie-woogie giants such as Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, and Jimmy Yancey.  Eighteen-year-old Adam Swanson, from Shenandoah, Iowa, is quickly becoming known as one of the world’s foremost performers of American ragtime music.  In May of 2008, Swanson became the youngest-ever pianist to win Peoria, Illinois’ World-Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest.  Terry Waldo is considered one of America's premiere performers and presenters of ragtime and early jazz.  Known for his virtuoso ragtime and stride piano playing, charming vocals, and disarming wit, Waldo is the protégé of the legendary Eubie Blake, who called Waldo "an extension of my own musical self."   

For more information on the 4th Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival, please visit the Festival website at or contact Lyle Tate at 662-325-2559 or

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