Candelo ragtime pianist plays popular US festival

Leanne Suffern plays a piano duet with Brian Holland at the 2010 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival.

Leanne Suffern plays a piano duet with Brian Holland at the 2010 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival.

CANDELO local Leanne Suffern is performing at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival from June 4–7 in Sedalia, Missouri, in the USA.

More than 6000 people visit the festival and it will be the third time Ms Suffern has attended.

She will get to play in duets with famous ragtime musicians there.

Ragtime is a 100-year-old style of music, made famous by the man the festival is named after - Scott Joplin.

“There are not many ragtime players in Australia,” Ms Suffern said.

Ms Suffern often plays at the Merimbula Jazz Festival, but said there are “not many chances to play around here”.

“We need more venues with pianos,” she said.

Leanne Suffern plays with Bill Edwards at the 2010 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival.

Leanne Suffern plays with Bill Edwards at the 2010 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival.

Her daughter Abbee is going to the festival as well, who is a singer and they might perform together.

Ms Suffern lives on the main street of Candelo, and often during Candelo market days she opens the front door to her house and plays her piano for tips from passers-by who can hear her.

She remembers when she was a child she had a cassette with music by Scott Joplin played by Joshua Rifkin, which she played so much she wore it out.

When she was 15 she could already play some piano, and began to learn ragtime.

She said her family has had a bit of influence on her playing the style as her uncle Monty, who will also be performing at Sedalia, learnt from her great-aunt Merle.

She said she will be looking for somewhere to play when she gets back from the US.

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