Special Performance: Southern Syncopators Present: "When Ragtime Met Jazz in New Orleans"
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Born in New Orleans in 1954, Steve Pistorius remembers his father bringing home an old upright piano—purchased for twenty-five dollars—in the back of a pick-up truck. At the age of eighteen, Pistorius answered an advertisement for a “barrel house piano player” and landed his first professional gig at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. In the early 1980s, he lived around the corner from the Hall, which hired him to sit next to Sweet Emma Barrett in her later years. When she felt too ill to play, Pistorius would take over. While on tour with Kid Sheik in 1983, Sweet Emma passed away, and Steve took over her seat permanently.
In addition to taking the stage at Preservation Hall, Steve plays piano with Dr. Michael White and his Original Liberty Street Jazz Band as well as with his own bands, the Mahogany Hall Stompers and the Southern Syncopators. Pistorius has played on many steamboats, starting with the Delta Queen in 1975 and continuing with the Natchez today. He feels fortunate to have traveled the world playing music and meeting some of his heroes, like composer Eubie Blake and jazz and ragtime pianist Morten Gunnar Larsen.