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Springtime is RAGTIME at Mississippi State University Libraries!

The Charles H. Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival delive rs spectacular rhythms, outstanding showmanship and much, much more. The 7th annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival at Mississippi State University Libraries, March 22 & 23, 2013, featured some of the world's most talented pianists in a setting that has come to be known for its warmth, hospitality and uniqueness.

Concerts, "living room" sessions and lectures centered around the unique Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Collection in MSU Libraries, home of more than 22,000 pieces of sheet music, 200 musical instruments and extensive memorabilia from the 1800s – 1930s. All document the distinctly American approach to the "business of music."

The 2013 Festival featured five artists, each returning to the Templeton Festival for encore performances.

  • Jeff Barnhart is a highly regarded pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer, pedagogue and entertainer who appears as a soloist and band pianist at parties, festivals, clubs and cruises in all corners of the globe. Due to his versatility, vast repertoire and vibrant energy, Jeff is in increasing demand as a participant in all-star jazz ensembles around the world and has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 75 full-length albums.
  • 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. Hodges holds a doctorate from Oxford University, and his repertoire includes the great European classical masters as well as the best ragtime, stride and novelty solo piano pieces.
  • Brian Holland has performed ragtime, jazz and stride piano for almost 30 years. Classically trained (and Grammy Award-nominated) but with a keen ear for improvisation, Holland has a dynamic, driving style that has been described as "clear as Waterford crystal." He has been named a World Old-Time Piano Playing Champion three times and, now a retired champion, serves as a judge for the competition. Most recently, Holland has gone international with performances in Rwanda and a subsequent recording project on the Mohawk Productions label.
  • Carl Sonny Leyland discovered boogie woogie at age 15 and was inspired to go to the piano and begin on a path that would become his life's purpose. Whether solo or with the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Leyland's playing displays an infectious spontaneity, providing plenty of surprises. While he possesses the necessary vocabulary to pay tribute to the greats of old, Leyland refuses to limit himself to this and prefers to let each performance be an opportunity to say something new.
  • David Jasen is one of the most highly regarded authorities on ragtime music. He is a collector of books, recordings, piano rolls, periodicals, catalogs and sheet music 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 history, enriching the Festival experience and providing a dimension rarely seen in other festivals.

Festival participants joined a host of loyal fans in Starkville for an event that is fast becoming known as one of the best of its type. Evening concerts were featured in MSU's McComas Hall Auditorium, while the daytime sessions and tours of the Templeton Collection were held in Mitchell Memorial Library.

Attendees were provided a special opportunity to see Frederick Hodges accompany silent films. Hodges performs throughout the country at a variety of silent film festivals demonstrating this unique art form.

During the festival, attendees also viewed a selection from Broadway: The American Musical, a documentary created by Michael Kantor and Laurence Maslon on the history of the American musical. Following the video, Dr. Michael Brown, MSU Department of Music Education, led a discussion with attendees about the humanities themes found in the video. Festival performers also provided their insights into Broadway musicals and played a variety of Broadway selections.

The 7th annual Charles H. Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival was sponsored by the Mississippi State University Libraries; the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum; the Starkville Area Arts Council; the Greater Starkville Development Partnership; and, in part, by grants from the Mississippi Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

To view the complete schedule of events, please visit

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