'James P. Johnson's Last Rent Party!'

The Harlem stride piano master lays in an unmarked grave in Maspeth, and his most dedicated followers—academics and musicians alike—are raising funds to see that insult negated. The all-day affair begins with a symposium about James P's accomplishments, complete with artifacts from Rutgers. The evening finds 10 pianists (everyone from Ted Rosenthal to Ethan Iverson to Dick Hyman) grabbing a half hour each to romp through Johnson's book. Watch those digits fly; "Carolina Shout" to "You've Got to Be Modernistic" ain't exactly easy on the wrists.
Sun., Oct. 4, 3:30 p.m., 2009
 
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