Arts and Entertainment

'National Treasure' Bob Milne comes to Bainbridge

A roving ragtimist — Bob Milne. - Courtesy Photo
A roving ragtimist — Bob Milne.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Bob Milne has been tagged the country’s foremost purveyor of ragtime/boogie-woogie piano. He’s performed around the world as an active United States Department of State Musical Ambassador. He was designated a “National Treasure” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 2004.

And he learned piano from playing pool.

“I simply tried to make it look easy,” Milne explains his unusual, some say bizarre, technique — which he brings to Bainbridge Island Nov. 8.

“That was one of the first things I learned in playing pool,” he went on. “People ask me to this day who was my piano teacher, and I tell them Irving Crane.”

Irving Crane was one of mid-century America’s best on the billiards table. Milne met him in 1959, while playing French horn at the Eastman School of Music and moonlighting as a saloon pianist in New York.

“(Crane) taught me the control, he taught me how to make it look easy, he taught me to go for the roses, I saw him do it, and win, time after time,” the world renowned ragtimist recalled.

Bob Milne will perform at 4 p.m. Nov. 8 at Grace Episcopal Church, 8595 Day Road on Bainbridge. Tickets are $15/adults, $7/kids, available in advance at Winslow Drug. Info: www.bobmilne.com.

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