Brian Holland and Paul Asaro are among the finest ragtime and early jazz pianists on the planet.
Asaro (pictured) is a fulltime musician in the Chicago area playing solo in restaurants, with jazz bands in clubs and periodically on tour with Leon Redbone as an accompanist. He has performed for more than 20 years, including several years aboard the steamboat Delta Queen, which plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. He was a Grammy nominee, and several years ago he received the Barrymore Award in Philadelphia for his exemplary piano performances in the touring show "Jelly Roll [Morton] The Man and His Music." He is a truly dynamic performer.
Holland was also a Grammy nominee (2007) and is best known for exciting performances of ragtime on piano and pipe organ. He won the World Old-time Ragtime Piano Competition three times (1997-1999) and has been invited back several times as a judge. He commonly teams with other performers on dual pianos ragtime and will be in his element in Tulsa.
Holland and Asaro are regular performers at the four-day Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, and the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento. Holland was recently a headliner at the International Stride Piano Summit in Zurich, Switzerland, and played with fellow ragtime pianist Jeff Barnhart in Rwanda, Africa. Holland and Asaro last appeared in Tulsa in 2006, and they received two standing ovations.