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Paul Orsi - Mission Viejo, Ca

Paul Orsi

PAUL ORSI arrives at RagFest 2019 fresh from having captured the world championship of this year’s Old-Time Piano-Playing competition, held annually over Memorial Day Weekend in Oxford, Miss. He has participated for each of the last several years and had moved up from non-finalist to one of the top finalists and to a fifth-place finish in 2018. This year brought the crowning glory of first place following Paul’s stellar performances of great vintage numbers like “Charleston Rag,” “Tiger Rag” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon.” A ragtime aficionado since the 1970s revival sparked by “The Sting,” Paul became one of the youngest members of the Los Angeles-based Maple Leaf Club. He began performing professionally at age 13 at pizza parlors in the L.A. area and has been wowing audiences ever since with his high-energy ragtime style. He’s probably best known as a Disneyland Coke Corner pianist, a platform he enjoyed from 1983 to 1992. In addition to his active performance schedule, Paul has composed new piano rags (both solo and with his fellow ragtimers), recorded piano rolls and issued a solo CD. After a lengthy hiatus, Paul returned to the ragtime scene in 2015, bringing more pizzazz than ever. This is his fifth appearance at RagFest.

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