The Four Piano Styles of Ragtime, Blues, Boogie-woogie and Stride with Mike Denham

Music Appreciation

Day course

Mike Denham

4 March 2023

9:00 am to 4:30 pm


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With plenty of illustration at the keyboard, plus audio recordings and rare film clips, Mike Denham compares the four piano styles of ragtime, blues, boogie-woogie and stride.

These ‘complete’ styles were developed for solo piano in the first half of the 20th century, before the arrival of the ubiquitous piano trio with bass and drums. They still captivate the listener today.

The primary exponents included Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, several Johnsons (for example Pete and James P), Willi ‘the Lion’ Smith,’ Teddy Wilson, Albert Ammons, Jay McShann and Art Tatum. Many of these magnificent, inventive keyboard masters were remarkable characters too, allowing for some entertaining diversions during the day.

Tutor information

Mike Denham is a fine solo pianist, with a tasteful and exciting repertoire of jazz from the early years of the 20th century.  He plays classic Joplin ragtime, the stomps of Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller, and popular songs by George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, as well as blues and boogie-woogie.  His concerts are seasoned with entertaining stories about these musicians and the colourful lives they led.

In a parallel career as a chemical engineer Mike led workshops on many different subjects – experience that has come in handy delivering successful courses at Dillington in recent years!

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