WESTPORT — Ragtime music, and the influential role it played in the evolution of musical genres like jazz and swing, will be the subject of the next “Speaking of Music” program Dec. 9 at the Westport Library.

The “Ragtime Roots of Jazz and Swing” program, featuring musical performances and a panel discussion, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the library, 20 Jesup Road. (Doors open at 7 o’clock.)

Tickets, which cost $15, can be reserved in advance online by clicking here.

The program, through music and discussion, will explore how ragtime set the stage for the growth of jazz, while influencing other types of music, such as swing, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll.

Roger Kaufman

“A defining characteristic of ragtime is a specific type of syncopation in which melodic accents occur between metered or measured beats-resulting in shifting rhythmic emphasis … and metric denial, or looseness,” Roger Kaufman, organizer of the library’s “Speaking of Music” series, said in a publicity release.

The event will include performances by Miss Maybell & the Jazz Age Artistes (Lauren Sansaricq, Charlie Judkins, Brian Nalepka and Andy Schumm), ragtime pianist Jeff Barnhart, Delta bluesman Jerron Paxton and pianist Piotr Barcz. 

There also will be a panel discussion with Ed Berlin, the author of “King of Ragtime, and Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History,” joined by Barnhart and Judkins.

The discussion will be moderated by Kaufman, a musician and Westport resident, who has worked as a bandleader, musician (bassist/vocalist) and producer. He also runs the music event production company, Old School Music Productions.

For questions, call the Westport Library at 203-291-4800.