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Demo tracks

On this page is a variety of music samples from David Reffkin’s archive of performances featuring various instrumental combinations and styles. Enjoy the recordings, and please continue onto the other drop-down pages from the Music tab to learn how to have live music for your events.

A fine selection of excerpts from concerts and recordings of The American Ragtime Ensemble (with guest appearances by the St. Paul Ragtime Orchestra, also formed and directed by Mr. Reffkin, with Mr. Butch Thompson on piano) with a variety of instrumentations and styles…

  • Des Negers Geburtstag (1903) – German cakewalk

  • Ophelia Rag (1907) – classic rag (no known connection to Shakespeare) 

  • I Love You Truly (1907) – in its day, you weren’t legally married unless it was sung

  • Maple Leaf Rag (1899) – the rag to end all rags, yet from the beginning of the era

  • Slippery Elm Rag (1912) – for fans of neat harmonic progressions

  • Gen. Mixup, USA (1906) – one of the first condensed patriotic medleys

  • Cheops (1912) – composer: Mexico-Syracuse-Boston, yet an “Egyptian Intermezzo!”

  • Neome (1903) – one of the few legitimate ragtime waltzes

  • Madre! (1925) – tango milonga

  • The Passing Caravan (1928) – subtitled “A Desert Episode” (you invent the story)

  • Russian Rag (1918) – via Rachmaninoff, great example of desecration of the classics

  • The Minstrel Man (1911) – one of the other rags in The Red Back Book

  • Gladiolus Rag (1907) – there’s nothing like a flat sixth to brighten the day

  • Humorous Drinking Character (1918) – example of live music for silent films

The last addition to the repertoire of The New England Ragtime Ensemble in their 25-year career was composed by Mr. Reffkin, their first violinist for the last four years of tours. From a concert recording…

Two excerpts of original works by the esteemed American composer, Judith Lang Zaimont, as orchestrated by Mr. Reffkin and performed by The American Ragtime Ensemble for their recording, Prestidigitations (MSR Classics 1238) and editions published by Jeanné, Inc….

A fine selection of dance rhythms and exotica for solo violin…

Selections from live concerts with David Reffkin, violin and Dave Majchrzak, piano (known as “David and Dave”)…

  • Shreveport Stom– Jelly Roll Morton, transcription of a recording by Joe Venuti (“mistakes” are actually my re-creation of his)

From an album called Hearts Half Broken, featuring local musicians with Mr. Reffkin on violin, three original ballads… 

For those who appreciate the simplicity of music, a very short (four-measure) excerpt from one of Mr. Reffkin’s earliest releases as a studio background musician (called a sweetener in the trade), demonstrating his refined ability to perform whole-notes on demand…

For those who appreciate the complexity of music, an excerpt from one of Mr. Reffkin’s early recitals demonstrates his refined ability to perform all kinds of notes on demand…

NOTE: More audio and video tracks are parked on the Oddities page (for good reason). 


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