An associate professor of piano and the director of piano pedagogy studies at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, Tony Caramia continues to explore the full spectrum of the ragtime tradition. His debut album, Nimble Fingered Gentleman, released in 1996, paid homage to the intricate, syncopated, and novelty piano playing of British composer and pianist Billy Mayerl; while his second album, Brass Knuckles, released a year later, took a modern approach to ragtime playing. Zebra Stripes, released in 1998, examined the syncopated solo piano music of European and women composers. Caramia regularly performs piano rags composed by fellow faculty member Brian Dykstra. Playing piano from the age of seven, Caramia studied with Claudette Sorel and David Yeomans, and composition with Walter S. Hartley. The recipient of undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance from the State University of New York in Fredonia, he taught piano at the University of Illinois from 1975 until 1990. Caramia has accompanied such jazz artists as Urbie Green, Clark Terry, Dick Johnson, and Terry Gibbs, and has appeared in concert with pianists Bill Dobbins and Marian McPartland. He has served an artist residency at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, MO. A regular reviewer for American Music Teacher magazine, he is the co-author of the MTNA/IAJE Jazz Studies Guide.
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