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Ragtime pianist Ethan Uslan in concert July 8

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By Nita Brown

 

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Popular ragtime pianist Ethan Uslan returns to Lancaster this weekend to wrap up our July 4th week of celebrations with his second Vivian Major Robinson Summer Pops Concert.

Uslan’s Lancaster concert last year drew a standing-room-only crowd, with enthusiastic feedback from the audience, both during and after the performance.

The concert is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the Cultural Arts Center, 307 W. Gay St., Lancaster. As with last year, thanks to air conditioning, the only thing hot at the concert will be the tunes coming from the piano.

Uslan has chosen a wide variety of music for the program.

“I will present a program of what I consider to be great and important milestones of American music,” he said. “So that will include songs from the following genres: African-American spirituals, Sousa marches, ragtime, New Orleans jazz, Harlem-style jazz and more.” 

Concert coordinator John Craig said Uslan has a way of connecting with his audience and is looking forward to another good crowd. People who heard last year’s performance would agree that Uslan kept them entertained with his comments, as well as his musical selections.

This year, admission is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Since there was a large crowd last year, Craig recommends reserving tickets quickly, to be assured of a seat. Proceeds will help with restoration and improvement costs at the CAC.

At age 9, Uslan started as a classical piano student in his hometown of South Orange, N.J. As a teen, his interest changed and he switched to jazz piano. Then, at Indiana University, he returned to classical piano. However, while there, he was attracted to ragtime and early jazz music. It became his passion, and he developed a deep love for America's rich musical past. Since then, he’s followed his passion and believes he’s found his niche in the musical world, keeping that past alive.

“Ragtime and jazz of the ’20s and ’30s was the Golden Age of the piano,” he said. “It’s part of our musical heritage, [but] early jazz isn’t performed that frequently anymore, and you don’t hear it on jazz stations.”

Uslan is a three-time winner (2007, 2012 and 2014) of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, held every Memorial Day weekend in Oxford, Miss., and focusing on piano music written prior to 1940.

He has performed all over the United States and Europe. He’s even accompanied an old silent movie or two. In cyberspace, you can find his music and storytelling on his podcast – The Carolina Shout. You can learn more online at uslanmusic.com.

 

 

Want to go?

Who: Ethan Uslan's Summer Pops Concert

When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8

Where: Cultural Arts Center, 307 W. Gay St., Lancaster

Cost: Will-call tickets $15 advance, $20 at the door

Reservations: Call the Lancaster County Council of the Arts at (803) 285-7451, or reserve online at www.lccarts.net/tickets

 

Want to go?

Who: Ethan Uslan, July 4th Summer Pops Concert

When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8.

Where: Cultural Arts Center, 307 W. Gay Street, Lancaster.

Cost: Will-call tickets $15 advance, $20 at the door.

Reservations: Call the Lancaster County Council of the Arts at (803) 285-7451, or reserve online at www.lccarts.net/tickets.