After walking from the Democrat down to the Sedalia Senior Center to interview Tami Hesseltine for a story about the upcoming Legacy Ride, I figured I was halfway to Maple Leaf Park already so I walked the few blocks over to check out some of the free entertainment provided as part of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. My timing could not have been more perfect, as I was able to catch the tail end of the performance by Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi.
The crowd was pretty good for 11:30 a.m., and the weather was perfect (although the Smith-Cotton marching band students who are selling water to raise funds to perform in Memphis would have preferred it be about 10 degrees warmer). Trick and Alderighi put on a masterful, highly entertaining show. After playing W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues,” the Italian Alderighi told the crowd, “It is like a dream to be here playing this music” because so few people in his native country are familiar with it.
The amount of world-class musical talent on display daily throughout the festival is astounding. The fact that most of the performances are free makes it all the more disappointing that more local residents don’t make the time to attend and appreciate what the festival offers. If you have not made it down to the ragtime festival recently, do yourself a favor and check it out. To those who contend that “all that music sounds the same,” I challenge you to find matching interpretations of the same song. What you will find all around downtown Sedalia this weekend is an amazing array of musicianship and a heck of a lot of fun.