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Meredith Axelrod and Craig Ventresco
Saturday January 17th at 8pm
Multi-instrumentalists offer Ragtime, Early Jazz and pre-1930's American Roots Music
- Meredith Axelrod is a versatile singer of early jazz and pre-1930s American pop music who enjoys delivering performances in
many different contexts. She plays guitar, ukulele, cello, and other instruments. As a guitarist, her playing explodes with energy
and vintage rhythms. She has performed with Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, Jeff Muldaur, Ramblin' Jack Eliot, Cindy
Cashdollar, David Grisman, Bill Keith, Terry Zwigoff, Robert Crumb, the Cheap Suit Serenaders, and Craig Ventresco, and at venues
around the United States and internationally, including The Great American Music Hall, the Freight and Salvage, and Jazz at Pearl's,
the San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins, as well as at the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early
- The common thread throughout Meredith's repertoire is that, whatever the genre, blues, country, jazz, or pop, these are songs
she learns from 78 records which were issued between the 1890s and the 1930s.
- Meredith will perform with string virtuoso Craig Ventresco; they perform at venues and festivals which include the Freight &
Salvage, the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival.
- Quote: "Craig Ventresco learns most of his repertoire by ear and his raucous yet sensitive playing style (developed by playing on
the streets of San Francisco) is a welcome alternative to the scholarly, delicate approach that usually characterizes ragtime guitar
recordings" Liner Notes, about CD "The Past is Yet to Come" by Barry Hansen, aka Dr. Demento
- Guitarist Craig Ventresco may be one of the best ragtime pickers alive today. Ventresco's ability to perform rags by Big Bill
Broonzy, Eubie Blake, and Scott Joplin is awe-inspiring; his dense arrangements sound impossibly difficult to play, but they are a
sheer pleasure to hear. It may be sacrilegious to admit, but Ventresco's technical ability is right up there with Blind Lemon
Jefferson and Blind Blake--the only things missing are the pops and hisses of the 78s."
--Jason Verlinde : Amazon.com's Best of 2001
- "It takes more than passion to do what Meredith does. It takes guts; conviction. She is unflinchingly committed to authentic
recreation of the tunes in her repertoire--swampy blues and early American roots. [Upon listening] What I found was
ear-opening. First, my instinct that she had faithfully reproduced the vocal qualities and string performances of this era was
confirmed, and second, it compelled me to add to my library a whole new collection of rich, undeniably American, music." Gary Rametta
Audio of Meredith Axelrod
For a taste of Craig's guitar picking, click on the song "Scalding Hot Coffee Rag" on:
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