With roots in the late 19th and early 20th century, Ragtime became a hit with audiences for its “ragged rhythms” and danceability, finding its first notoriety in the black communities of St. Louis and New Orleans where the polyrhythmic patterns were first fusing their way into popular American music. For pianist and musical director Ric’key Pageot and enticing songstress Dessy Di Lauro, this is exactly where they wanted to begin their journey in fusing the popular American music of today with something a little more substantial.
With years of work behind them on this project and even more experience in the music scene — Pageot is an alum of McGill University’s jazz program, performs and records as Madonna’s pianist, and has been touring with Cirque du Soleil recently; Di Lauro has made a name for herself with a unique vocal style, even penning a new genre: ”Feathered Frohawk Futuristic Art Deco Centric Harlem Renaissance Hep Music” — This is Neo-Ragtime will represent a very new take on a style of music that has been around since the early 1900s.
Integrating Pageot’s stride piano mentality of Fats Waller and Cab Calloway with the very modern vocal stylings of Di Lauro has proven to bring an incredible homage to the greats while still moving the music forward and bringing in new fans. The project is extremely accessible and downright funky at times with a live band that makes you want to get up and dance with them. It brings together elements of ragtime, funk, hip-hop, pop, soul, and more. The resulting sound is something that makes you shake and move, yet also has the history behind it to get you thinking.
We caught up with the Pageot and Di Lauro duo at NAMM where they were performing to get the lowdown on their musical careers, the birth of Neo-Ragtime, and more! Check it out:
You can peep “Jump ‘N’ Jivin” from the record for a taste of This Is Neo-Ragtime which drops 2/5/13!
Words by Eric Sandler (@ericsandler)