Wednesday, June 24, 2009

July 5 - A Ragtime Piano Show in Portland

Mark Nuismer - founder of Portland Ragtime Society
Mark Nuismer - founder of Portland Ragtime Society
Picture from The Oregonian in article on the July
2, 2008 get together.

Every first Sunday of the month the Portland Ragtime Society puts on a "show" where members play ragtime pieces for the public at the "It's a Beautiful Pizza" place on 3342 SE Belmont, Portland from 2 to 6 PM. And it's open mic as well. There is a Behr Brothers upright from the 1890's and it's a little rickety but it can play a good tune. Members of PRS may bring their own musical instruments as well. Doesn't matter as long as it's ragtime.

There are about 130 members in Portland Ragtime Society. Last year on the 4th of July the pizza place was packed. They even ran out of chairs. With warm and dry weather during the month of July you can expect more people flocking to the pizza place just to hear the intoxicating tunes of ragtime. Who couldn't resist to take a spell and grab a tune or two?

But alas, I will not be there. I have plans to be up in Seattle with my in-laws and spend a couple of days with them on their new 44-foot long yacht. But I expect to show up in Portland for the ragtime montly get together on August 5, Sunday, and introduce myself to everybody during open mic and give ragtime a whirl on that old rickety piano.

The get together is on the first Sunday of each month from 2 to 6 PM located at the "It's a Beautiful Pizza" place on 3342 SE Belmont, Portland. Click here to get map directions.

Be there or be square. It'll be fun. I promise.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ragtime Era Clothing

Currently I am in the process of looking and buying ragtime era clothings in the hope that I'll have something to wear when I begin playing piano ragtime for the public. Today I went to a very nice Goodwill store and bought a used pair of black Allen Edmonds shoes for $7 bucks and a "paperboy" cap for $3 bucks. The Allen Edmonds shoes (Sanford) is a style that I think mimic the turn of the century type of shoe wear for the well established people. Saved a pretty buck since a brand new pair of Allen Edmonds shoe it'd cost me about $265. Got mine in very good shape for $7bucks.

I'll have to do some more research on the kind of clothes during the ragtime era (from 1890s to 1920s) in the hope to mimic as closely the clothes worn during those time. It'll be an interesting little research to undertake.


I continue to research some more on clothes worn during the turn of the century (1900s) or ragtime ear.

Next, the right pair of pants, shirts, and suspenders. And maybe a tie. I'll probably find what I need at the nearby Portland store called Ray's Ragtime. It holds a collection of turn of the century clothings. I'll see what I can find over there someday soon.

Meanwhile, keep on raggin'.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Portland Ragtime Society

Well, I finally found one close to my home in Battle Ground, Washington where there's a monthly ragtime get-together located in Portland. It's the Portland Ragtime Society.
The Portland Ragtime Socieity meets on the first Sunday of every month at It's a Beautiful Pizza Come and play and/or listen and LIVE!! All instruments welcome. We were established in Jan. 2006, with Mark as our founder and president. We have no dues, no newsletter, no website and no other officers YET.
The get together is on the first Sunday of each month from 2 to 6 PM at the It's a Beautiful Pizza place on 3342 SE Belmont, Portland. (Please note there has been a change in venue since last year. Visit my updated blog on the new monthly meeting location).

I came across this in a last year's Portland review article "Live Music Preview: Portland Ragtimie Society" about the founder, Mark Nuismer, on how he discovered ragtime as a teenager hearing Maple Leaf Rag for the first time. Ragtime, as you will discover, has an intoxicating effect.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Battle Ground Ragtime Update II

Greetings all. My family and I finally left on May 23 and arrived in Vancouver, Washington on May 27 after a long drive from New Mexico to Washington for a new life in that state. My wife and I grew up in Tacoma (which is about two hours drive to the north) and so we are happy to be back in a familiar place. Exactly one week later after May 27 we finally found a house to rent for one year while we remain on a very tight budget in the hope we'll sell our house within a year in New Mexico. Meanwhile, we'll make do with what we have until the movers retrieve our stored belongings and unload our stuff as well as my piano into that house so I can finally get back into playing ragtime once again.

It'll be interesting to see what's out here in Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon since Battle Ground, Washington is about 10 to 15 miles away to the north. Any ragtimers out there nearby? Or ragtime festivals? We'll see.