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Matthews, Artie  

Leonard L. Brown

musician and school founder, was born in Braidwood, Illinois. His parents' names are unknown. He spent his childhood in Springfield, Illinois, where his family moved when he was a young child. Matthews early expressed an interest in music, and historical accounts credit his mother as his first piano teacher, although he later took lessons from local teachers. A trip to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904 exposed Matthews to the major African American performers of ragtime, the dominant popular music then. Upon returning to Springfield, Matthews learned ragtime from local performers.

Sometime in 1907 or 1908 Matthews settled in St Louis where he remained for the next seven or eight years with some excursions to Chicago While in St Louis he studied theory arranging composition and organ at the Keeton School of Music He developed into an excellent pianist composer and arranger and his reputation led to his being ...

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Matthews, Artie  

Trebor Jay Tichenor

(b Braidwood, IL, Nov 15, 1888; d Cincinnati, Oct 25, 1958). American ragtime composer and music educator. He grew up in Springfield, Illinois, where he learnt ragtime from two local pianists, Banty Morgan and Art Dillingham, and played professionally in the tenderloin district. After moving to St Louis about 1908 he studied the piano, the organ and theory, and composed and arranged for local theatres. He also transcribed rags by other composers for the music publisher John Stark, who issued Matthews’s five Pastime rags. Jelly Roll Morton, who visited St Louis at this time, recalled Matthews as ‘the best musician in town’. In 1915 Matthews took a position as church organist in Chicago and shortly thereafter one at the Berea Church in Cincinnati where he settled at the end of World War I There he earned a degree at the Metropolitan College of ...

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Perez, Manuel  

Barry Kernfeld

brass band and dance band cornetist, was born Emile Emanuel Perez in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Catholic and a Creole, he was the son of a Hispanic father and an African American mother, whose names are unknown. His parents ran a grocery on Touro Street, and his father was also a cigar maker. Manuel was educated in a French-speaking grammar school, and he was raised on European classical and popular music. He took up cornet at age twelve, after which he entered the emerging world of syncopated music that later became ragtime and jazz.

While working steadily as a cigar maker Perez played in brass bands and dance bands in New Orleans, and he recalled that he was already playing ragtime on cornet in 1898. He married Lena (maiden name unknown) in 1900 they had at least one child That same year he joined the Onward Brass ...