*Click on any picture to see full image. All photos by Clark Irwin, except R4 at the Detroit Institute of Arts (Rubber Rooster Photography)
America’s Premier Ragtime Ensemble
The River Raisin Ragtime Revue’s (R4) mission is to offer accessible education and entertainment of the highest level through the performance, preservation and restoration of significant American music. R4 is dedicated to meticulous research and collaborates with music and history scholars. We recreate our nation’s music heritage, utilizing the passion and talents of outstanding musicians and observing rigorous attention to period performance practices. R4 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization and is dependent upon community support for its success.
R4 transports the audience to the cultural and social conditions of turn-of-the-century America. Special emphasis is given to the contributions of African American composers and the obstacles they overcame in attempting to gain acceptance of this unique, original art form.The River Raisin Ragtime Revue is based in Tecumseh, situated on the River Raisin in Southeast Michigan.
R4 has partnered with historic Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, to present a major annual ragtime festival drawing thousands. R4 has also performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts and other quality venues throughout Michigan. R4 has collaborated with talented ensembles and artists including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, soprano Anita Johnson of the Metropolitan Opera, Bolcom and Morris, Grammy-winner Ian Whitcomb, James Dapogny, Louis Nagel and the Willis C. Patterson Our Own Thing Chorale. In April of 2012, R4 worked with the Henry Ford Museum to recreate the music of the Titanic for its 100th anniversary exhibit, The Artifact Exhibition. As part of its mission to bring music to underserved areas, R4 has participated in numerous school workshop programs throughout the state and has brought high-caliber entertainment to hospitals and assisted-living communities. R4′s music has been featured in films and on radio broadcasts around the world.
R4’s debut CD, “The Red Back Book: Standard High Class Rags,” was released in May 2005. This CD is the first-ever complete recording of this historic collection of fifteen classic rags published by Stark Music of St. Louis. The collection features some of ragtime’s greatest literature, including Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag,” “The Entertainer,” and “Easy Winners.” Also included are works by James Scott, Joseph Lamb, Arthur Marshall, J. Russel Robinson and Maurice Kirwin.R4 released its second CD, “Ragtime Detroit! Michigan’s Contribution to America’s Original Music,” on the Stomp Off Records ragtime and traditional jazz label in 2006. “Ragtime Detroit!” chronicles Michigan’s significant involvement in the development of syncopated popular music and includes major hits like “Creole Belles” and “Dill Pickles,” as well as never-before recorded ragtime gems.These recordings have received outstanding reviews in local, national and international publications and have been aired on radio stations around the world. George Chien, writing for Fanfare Magazine states, “…an eminently enjoyable disc…played with infectious enthusiasm…it is education, entertainment, and a sonic blast rolled into one.” Mike Durham of Just Jazz [London, England] writes, “The music on this CD [Ragtime Detroit!] has been meticulously researched and is performed to an equally meticulous high standard. This CD is packed with rare treasures, beautifully played.” R4′s third CD, “Raggin’ at Greenfield Village” was released July, 2011. This recording includes some of our nation’s most important early hits, including the first published jazz orchestration, the first published ragtime orchestration and never-before-recorded music. R4 is currently working on its fourth recording, incorporating animal-themed ragtime, blues and early jazz music into a children’s CD. The recording will include liner notes introducing children to the rich history of America’s original music, combined with beautiful artwork.
River Raisin Ragtime Revue
411 E. Logan St.
Tecumseh, MI 49286
Please visit the R4 store for more information about our three recordings.