February 21, 2015 10:16:42 PM
The music -- and fashion -- of the Roaring '20s will be in the spotlight during the Charles H. Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival March 26-28 on the Mississippi State University campus.
The Gatsby Gala fashion show opens the ninth annual festival Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. Mitchell Memorial Library's second-floor lobby will be trans formed for the evening into the Gatsby mansion as MSU Fashion Board members present 1920s-inspired styles created by design students. Admission is free. Attendees are encouraged to dress in vintage fashion for an evening of fun inspired by "The Great Gatsby." A reception follows. Photos will be posted to social media; a photo booth will be available.
Top ragtime and jazz performers at this year's festival will be Richard Dowling, known for his elegant and exciting style, and Ivory & Gold, the team of Jeff Barnhart and his wife, Anne, who excel in American jazz, blues, ragtime, Broadway and hits from the Great American Songbook. Also performing are Scott Kirby, a specialist in American and Pan-American musical traditions spanning 150 years, and Dave Majchrzak, a featured player with the St. Louis Stompers Classic Jazz Band.
Previously an event exclusively featuring piano and concentrating mainly on ragtime, the Templeton Festival is "spreading its wings to include more instruments and styles," said Dean of Libraries Frances Coleman.
Coleman said audiences should "look forward to the sounds of stride, boogie, blues, novelty, swing, New Orleans jazz, some Gershwin and, of course, a healthy serving of ragtime.
Musicians will be showcased in evening concerts March 27-28 in McComas Hall on campus, as well as in daytime talks. The festival schedule also includes silent movies with Jeff Barnhart and a multimedia presentation by Scott Kirby.
The Charles H. Templeton Sr. Collection and Museum at Mitchell Memorial Library will be open for tours. The School of Human Sciences also will sponsor a historic exhibit of 1920s apparel and accessories in the John Grisham Room.
General admission fees range from $10 for feature concerts to $50 for an all-event pass, with lesser amounts for senior citizens and retired MSU faculty and staff members. University students with current ID cards attend free. Admission to the Gatsby Gala is free.
Find a complete schedule of events and other details at library.msstate.edu/ragtime/. Or contact MSU Libraries Special Projects Manager Lynda Graham at 662-325-6634 or [email protected]
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.