DURANGO, COLORADO – The historic Strater Hotel is proud to announce the fifth annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival set for March 24 – 26, 2017. For three days, the Strater will be filled with the sounds of ragtime and early jazz music entertainment by some of the best ragtime and early jazz musicians in the world including Morten Gunnar Larsen of Norway and the Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet with members from the Titan Hot Seven. Strater Hotel General Manager Michelle Martinez said she is extremely pleased with the depth of talent performing this year.

“Every year we are so fortunate to have unique talent from around the world perform at our Festival” said Ms. Martinez. “This year in particular, we are looking forward to hosting Morten Gunnar Larsen, known as one of the best ragtime and early jazz performers in the world and the Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet with members from the Titan Hot Seven – it’s simply amazing we get to have them perform here in Durango!”

Festival activities include live music, symposiums, silent movies, after hour parties in the Diamond Belle Saloon, and more. For the full schedule of events please visit DurangoRagtime.com.

There are a variety of ways to enjoy the Festival, from single day tickets to full festival passes. Guests may purchase tickets at HenryStraterTheatre.com or call the Henry Strater Theatre Box Office at 970.375.7160.

ENTERTAINERS: Adam Swanson (Festival Music Director), Evan Arntzen, Marc Caparone, Danny Coots, Brian Holland, Morten Gunnar Larsen, Sonny Leyland, Steve Pikal, Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet

DURANGO, COLORADO
Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains,
Durango, Colorado is a beautiful small historic town with a vast array of indoor and outdoor activities. Durango is one hour east of Mesa Verde National Park and home to the world famous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.


STRATER HOTEL

Built in 1887, the historic Strater Hotel has received numerous accolades over the years from entities such as True West Magazine, TripAdvisor, and Lonely Planet, to name a few. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Durango and two blocks north of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

 

FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, March 24

Pullman Room

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., RAGTIME IN HOLLYWOOD!

Symposium with Adam Swanson

Festival music director Adam Swanson starts the weekend with a bang—a first-of-its-kind symposium about the Golden Age of Hollywood’s fascination with the ragtime era. Musical stars like Mae West, Alice Faye, Judy Garland, Doris Day, and more sang numerous ragtime songs in their movies—and audiences loved it for decades! Experience once more the uplifting songs and beautiful stars of the past you thought had been forgotten, many in glorious Technicolor, illuminated by Adam’s historical commentary.

Pullman Sessions

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., Adam Swanson (Special Set with Slide Show!)

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Brian Holland
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., Carl Sonny Leyland

Lunch Break: 12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., “Ragtime Roots” Concert

Danny Coots, Brian Holland, Morten Gunnar Larsen, Carl Sonny Leyland, Adam Swanson

This year’s opening concert is another tribute to the classic and traditional ragtime of the first two decades of the twentieth century. Thrill to the sounds of authentic ragtime played by such talented artists as Brian Holland and Sonny Leyland, including many different regional styles and subgenres. We are also excited to present Oslo, Norway’s fabulous Morten Gunnar Larsen in his first Durango appearance.

Dinner Break: 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., “Dixieland in Durango” Concert

Act I: Morten Gunnar Larsen, Carl Sonny Leyland, and Adam Swanson

Act II: Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet

Each of the evening concerts includes all the festival headliners. The first half of Friday night’s concert will include pianists Sonny Leyland, Morten Larsen, and Adam Swanson. The second half will feature a special new group, the Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet. Top early jazz musicians from around the country come together to perform not only dixieland-style jazz but many standards for your listening pleasure. The individual musicians from the band will make multiple appearances during the festival, including the after-hours parties in the Diamond Belle.

After-Hours Party in the Diamond Belle Saloon: 9:00 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.

Saturday, March 25

Pullman Room

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Memories of Eubie Blake

Symposium with Morten Gunnar Larsen

Morten was very fortunate in getting to meet and to study with the ninety-year old master when he came to Oslo to perform in 1977. Larsen was then a young student of classical piano.

Blake became a profound inspiration to him in continuing his growing interest in ragtime and early jazz music, and the seminar includes pictures and letters from Eubie to Morten, as well as a few private recordings from his visit to Norway. Later he also visited him in his home in Brooklyn not long before he died.

Pullman Sessions

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., Morten Gunnar Larsen

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Carl Sonny Leyland and Marc Caperone, trumpet
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., Brian Holland

Lunch Break: 12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., “American Standards” Concert

Act I: Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet

Act II: Morten Gunnar Larsen and Adam Swanson

Saturday afternoon’s concert showcases the American standards of the 1920s and ‘30s that have become what is now called the “Great American Songbook.” In the first half, the Jazz Quintet will perform many standards, and, in the second half, Morten and Adam will play more American standards as piano solos or duets. Much of the early jazz repertoire is simply ragtime in another form—the influence of this music on the twentieth century is indelible.

Dinner Break: 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., “Rag-a-Jazz” Concert

Act I: Morten Gunnar Larsen, Carl Sonny Leyland, and Adam Swanson

Act II: Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet

Saturday night’s big show is another concert with all the festival headliners. The first part will feature pianists—Morten, Sonny, and Adam—and the second half will star the Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet. Expect a wide variety of music from the ragtime / early jazz era and beyond (or, as some have called it, “Rag-a-Jazz”).

After Hours Party in the Diamond Belle Saloon: 9:00 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.

Sunday, March 26

Henry Strater Theatre

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Silent Film Comedies

with Adam Swanson, piano

Out West (Starring “Fatty” Arbuckle and Buster Keaton, 1918)

His Wooden Wedding (Starring Charley Chase, 1925)

The Dome Doctor (Starring Larry Semon, 1925)

Pullman Sessions

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Brian Holland

12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., Carl Sonny Leyland

Lunch Break: 12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., “Morten Gunnar Larsen in Concert”

Because he is traveling all the way from Norway for our festival, we want to take advantage of Morten’s presence by devoting an entire concert to his talents. Morten is a pianist nonpareil and leader of the Ophelia Ragtime Orchestra, one of only two or three truly professional ragtime orchestras in the world. Morten’s specialties include Louis M. Gottschalk, classic ragtime, Eubie Blake, Jelly Roll Morton, and much more.

Dinner Break: 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Henry Strater Theatre

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., “Show Stoppers” Concert

Act I: Morten Gunnar Larsen, Carl Sonny Leyland, and Adam Swanson

Act II: Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet

The grand festival finale once again includes all festival headliners. It is likely to include many duets and much collaboration among the musicians, in addition to real “show stopping” material. How many musicians can we fit in the Henry Strater Theatre? Come to the festival finale to find out!!

After Hours Party in the Diamond Belle Saloon: 9:00 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.