MP3 Reginald R. Robinson - Man Out of Time
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BLUES: Piano Blues, JAZZ: Ragtime
MacArthur "genius" Award winner Reginald R. Robinson was born and raised in Chicago Illinois.
Reginald Robinson is a pianist/composer of Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, and Latin American styled music. He is also an educator on the history on the origins of Syncopation in America across the U.S.
His first musical experiences were listening to his mother and father play records at home of everything from Classical to R&B music. In 1984 he and his brothers Michael & Marlando started making music at home after his 2nd oldest brother Marlando picked up the guitar. Marlando would have his two brothers accompany him on home made instruments and later keyboards. Marlando opened Reginald's ears to Big Band Music of the late 1930's and 40's. The music of people like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman etc.
Reginald became interested in playing Ragtime as a 7th grader in the Autumn of 1986 while attending Robert Emmett Elementary School in Chicago. A city funded arts program visited his school. The musicians covered many different styles of music, from Beethoven to Miles Davis but Reginald gave close attention when the musicians talked about Ragtime and performed âThe Entertainerâ by Scott Joplin. He had heard this melody coming from the ice cream trucks in his neighborhood every summer but had never heard this song played as a serious piece of music before.
After this assembly Reginald went home and searched for any information that spoke about Ragtime in the encyclopedia. He soon found out about the great composer Scott Joplin. He then talked to his mother about getting a piano, and for Christmas, she purchased a small keyboard in which he began to teach himself how to play Ragtime.
In June of 1987, just before Reginald graduated from 8th grade and his family moved across town, his mother Janet purchased a real 88 note piano from a moving neighbor. Reginald then tried to get money for piano lessons but his parents couldn't afford piano lessons so he taught himself how to read and write music from studying out of school music books that were around his home and by comparing note for note ragtime transcriptions to faithful piano roll recordings of the same music. In 1988 he managed to get a job so he paid for a few lessons at The American Conservatory of Music.
In 1992 Reginald met McKinley Olsen while attending a GED program and he introduced Reginald to pianist Jon Weber who quickly payed for Reginald to record his first demo âThe Strongmanâ. Reginald Recorded 3 albums from 1993 to 1998.
In September 2004 Reginald received the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Grant" award.
Chicago Tribune Sunday, November 12, 2006
New Milestones of Chicago music scene
"By turns wistful and ebullient, the new CD from Chicago ragtime wizard Reginald Robinson helps explain why the visionary pianist won a MacArthur "genius" grant in 2004." -Howard Reich
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