Just before the turn-of-the-20th century, a unique musical form emerged in the United States. As African, European and American cultures blended, the first truly American musical genre was born, predating jazz.
For the next 20 years, an improvised music popular in the red light districts and saloons of cities like St. Louis and New Orleans, gradually grew into a sophisticated, composed style - "ragtime." While the heyday of ragtime was short-lived, it is America's own music, and it could not have happened anywhere else at any other time in history.
Classically-trained pianist and ragtime enthusiast Jack Oliva, Dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Hixon-Lied College of Fine & Performing Arts, explores the origins of ragtime music through history and song. From the first ragtime tune published to rarely heard compositions by Scott Joplin, "Ragtime Cabaret" takes you on a musical and cultrural journey exploring the roots of ragtime music and the role of the music business itself.
Production of "Ragtime Cabaret" was made possible in part by a grant from the Nebraska Arts Council.