The Parlor. America’s “entertainment center” from 1880 to 1920. Before TV, before radio – when a piano and sheet music opened the world to new sounds and new composers.
Who were the heroes of Parlor Town? Men of color who defined musical culture for white America. Men who challenged racist stereotypes by creating some of the most sophisticated and eclectic music the world has ever heard.. White composers who valued and were influenced by these men.
Iowa native Brent Watkins traces the musical development of Ragtime. Featuring the music of Scott Joplin, obscure ragtime composers from Iowa, seldom heard classics from ragtimes twilight years, and composers who were instrumental in the transition to jazz: James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake and Jelly Roll Morton.
When our Heroes came….the music of America was forever changed.