A style of cheerful piano music that first gained popularity a century ago will be celebrated this weekend in central Iowa. The 21st annual Ragtime in Randall Festival runs Saturday and Sunday in the Hamilton County town and it’ll bring music lovers in from all across the region.
While Ragtime first peaked in popularity between 1900 and 1920, it’s enjoyed many revivals, including in the 1970s when the movie "The Sting" came out, and new Ragtime music is still being composed today. Festival organizer Ellis Anderson says events Saturday will start in the morning with a series of seminars by Ragtime players including Nick Taylor of Des Moines and Brian Keenan from Minneapolis.
In the afternoon, there’s a concert of young Ragtime artists which Anderson says is "magnificent fun." He says Ragtime was the first truly American musical genre, as it predates jazz. A concert in the late afternoon will feature the music of Ragtime great Scott Joplin. Other musicians will be featured throughout the day.
At 6 P.M., the concerts by Taylor and Keenan will begin, followed by dance instruction and then more music and dancing into the night. Events will be held at the Randall Community Building and at Elim Lutheran Church. For more information, visit the event’s website .