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Reginald Robinson
25 year-old (in 1998) Chicago ragtime pianist became interested in ragtime when Urban Gateways brought a demonstration to his seventh grade class. He eventually persuaded his mother to get him a keyboard, on which he taught himself to play Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag." He saved money for three lessons at the American Conservatory of Music (his impressed teacher continued to teach him), and began getting lessons from other employees at a south side piano store where he did grunt labor.

One of his teachers recommended him to local pianist Jon Weber, who landed Robinson a gig at the Green Mill, and recorded a demo tape. Robinson gave the tape to Delmark owner Bob Koester, who signed him almost immediately. Since then, Robinson has gone on to record three albums for the label The Strongman (1993), Sounds in Silhouette (1994), and Euphonic Sounds (1998), as well as becoming one of the most important voices in contemporary ragtime, though he has generally been excluded from the conservative ragtime festivals which he played as a newcomer in 1993. Robinson has played on Marian McPartland's public radio program, Piano Jazz, and even discovered some unpublished Joplin ragtime which is recorded for this first time on his new record.

Recently, Robinson has been playing stride/swing jazz with Andrew Bird's Fire.html>Bowl of Fire in an long-running engagement at the Mercury Theater.

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