2016-05-25 / Features

Father Of Ragtime Honored With Annual Live Concert

BY JASON D. ANTOS


Vince Giordano & His Night Hawks. 
Photos Jason D. Antos Vince Giordano & His Night Hawks. Photos Jason D. Antos More than 200 fans of jazz and ragtime came to St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst to enjoy the annual tribute to the man and legend who was the father of ragtime music, Scott Joplin.

The 11th annual celebration of the “King of Ragtime” was held on May 21 with live music by Vince Giordano & His Night Hawks, who played two hours of famous ragtime tunes, including Joplin’s “The Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” all just 100 yards away from Joplin’s grave. Other songs featured were “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” and some selections from the movie, “The Sting”.

“This is such an awesome event,” said Neal Siegal, a member of the Victrolian Vaudeville Barbershop Quartet. “It’s so important to preserve Joplin’s legacy and to support live music.”


Vince Giordano & His Night Hawks played two hours of famous ragtime tunes, including Scott Joplin’s “The Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” all just 100 yards away from Joplin’s grave. Other songs featured were “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” and some selections from the movie, “The Sting”. Vince Giordano & His Night Hawks played two hours of famous ragtime tunes, including Scott Joplin’s “The Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” all just 100 yards away from Joplin’s grave. Other songs featured were “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” and some selections from the movie, “The Sting”. St. Michael’s Cemetery Musical Director Ed Berlin, an authority on Joplin and author of the biography, “King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era,” gave a slideshow presentation and was on hand to answer any questions and share information about the history of ragtime.

The event, hosted by St. Michael’s Cemetery Chief Financial Officer Jeff Miller, also saw collaboration with Councilman Costa Constantinides, who held a canned food drive.

Guests at the event enjoyed a barbecue featuring hot dogs and burgers.


(L. to r.); Councilman Costa Constantinides, Queens Gazette publisher Tony Barsamian, Ed Horn, Director of Community Relations for St. Michael’s Cemetery and St. Michael’s Cemetery General Manager Dennis Werner. (L. to r.); Councilman Costa Constantinides, Queens Gazette publisher Tony Barsamian, Ed Horn, Director of Community Relations for St. Michael’s Cemetery and St. Michael’s Cemetery General Manager Dennis Werner. “St. Michael’s Cemetery is a celebration of life and this annual concert is one of the many ways we accomplish that,” said Ed Horn, Director of Community Relations, St. Michael’s Cemetery.

During his career, Joplin wrote 44 original ragtime pieces before dying at the age of 49 on Apr. 1, 1917, in Manhattan. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Tony Barsamian, publisher of the Queens Gazette was the concert MC.

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