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Celebrating Ragtime: Reginald Robinson & the Taslimah Bey Trio

August 28 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Reginald Robinson’s love for traditional jazz styles started in 1984 with his older brother listening to Swing recordings at home. In 1986 while in 7th grade a city funded arts program gave an assembly at his school called “From Bach to Bebop” with a live jazz ensemble.

In 1992 with the help of pianist Jon Weber, Robinson’s professional music career began when he recorded a demo of 17 original tunes. Soon after his first album was released on Delmark Records in 1993 he received an invitation from pianist Marian McPartland to appear as a guest on her popular radio show “Piano Jazz.”

Robinson’s music has been used in theater and film; The Goodman Theater’s 1995 production of Each One As She May, Intimate Apparel – a play 2003, Compensation – an independent film 2000, and he served as a contributing historian for the 2010 documentary Chicago’s Black Metropolis.

In 2004, he was awarded the rare and distinguished John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Award for his innovative ragtime piano works and music research.

In June of 2017 Robinson worked with Illinois Humanities to present “An Evening at the Pekin Theater” the first owned and operated African American music theater in the world. In 2018 Robinson was commissioned by pianist Norman Malone and Kartemquin Films to compose a ragtime work for the left hand and premiered a suite of tunes in tribute to pioneer African American bandleader James Reese Europe commissioned by Symphony Center Presents on November 2nd at Symphony Center. In Dec 2018 Robinson gave a performance/ lecture on Scott Joplin’s music at The Schomburg in New York.

In 2019 Robinson teamed up with MacArthur fellows Susan Sygall (CEO of Mobility International USA and the Women’s Institute on Leadership & Disability) and flutist Claire Chase for a special music concert of disability activism and artistry. In early 2020 Reginald was a special guest performer at the majestic Lapham’s Quarterly Decades Ball – The 1890s.

In addition to concertizing, Robinson is internationally known for his lectures at colleges and universities, which has aided to preserve the legacy of African American history.

The Taslimah Bey Trio, featuring Taslimah Bey on piano, Djallo Djakate on drums, and Marion Hayden on bass, came together under the mentorship of Charlie Gabriel (Preservation Hall Jazz Band). Taslimah Bey is a renown ragtime pianist, who has performed at festivals throughout the United States. Marion Hayden and Djallo Djakate are award-winning musicians in the jazz world and lead their own ensembles. Because of their love of ragtime music and the New Orleans style, these musicians have come together to perform and develop this historical music for a 21st century audience. Their most recent performances include the Scott Joplin Foundation Syncopated Saturday Nights and the Michigan Jazz Festival.

Taslimah P. Bey – Piano
Taslimah began studying classical music at age 16, and switched to jazz in her senior year of high school. She initially presented the Ragtime Legacy, a lecture/concert on the compositions of early ragtime composers, including Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Artie Matthews, Eubie Blake and James P. Johnson. Later on, she formed Taslimah’s Ragtime Band, in an effort to expand upon previous ragtime presentations to include her band arrangements for ragtime compositions. For her efforts in performing the music and lecturing on the lives of these highly talented 20th century American composers, Taslimah received the award for the Preservation of African-American Music from the Societie for the Culturally Concerned in Detroit.

Djallo Djakate – Drums
Known as the “hardest working drummer in Detroit,” Djallo Djakate, a Detroit native, has been inspired by music since childhood. He is proficient in many different rhythm styles, including ragtime, be-bop, swing, blues, gospel, rhythm & blues, soul, funk, rock, fusion, reggae, avant-garde, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, New Orleans, and techno. A well-respected private teacher, Djakate has always challenged himself and his students to learn. His solid grasp of multiple rhythm styles has led him to work with leaders of several different genres in music, including Harold McKinney, Marcus Belgrave, Charlie Gabriel, Wendell Harrison, Kenny Cox, Faruq Z. Bey, Omawale African Dancers, Sun Drummers, Craig Taborn, Bob Hurst, and the Black Bottom Collective.

Marion Hayden – Bass
Born in Detroit, MI, Marion Hayden is one of the nation’s finest proponents of the acoustic bass. She creates a rich, dark tone and a very advanced rhythmic concept. Classically trained, she honed her skills in private studies at the prestigious University of Michigan and Michigan State University. An accomplished composer and educator, Hayden teaches at the University of Michigan. As well as leading her own jazz combo, Straight Ahead, she has performed or recorded with such luminaries as Marcus Belgrave, Roy Brooks, Kirk Lightsey, Ralph Peterson and James Carter.


August 28
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605 United States
(312) 291-0000