A native of Southern California, Bill Edwards discovered ragtime when he was six years old, and hasn’t been able to leave it alone since. He started his professional career in California in the late 1970s then resided in Durango, CO, through the first half of the 1980s, where he took up residence at the famous Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel. Bill has lived and worked in Northern Virginia since 1986, applying his vibrant personality and passion for ragtime and history to his stage performances.
For many years Mr. Edwards was a featured entertainer at the Fish Market in Alexandria. Since 1996, Bill has been applying his particular penchant for the music on his website, which includes biographies of over 350 ragtime era figures. He has attended all of the major US and Canadian ragtime festivals and competitions, particularly the World Championship of Old-Time Piano, for which he holds the 1991 title, having been there every year since 1987. Bill was a featured performer in the 2012 multi-award winning documentary about the competition, The Entertainers, and the Artist in Residence for the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in 2014. He frequently accompanies silent films at events where he plays, and has presented seminars on over 25 ragtime-related topics. Mr. Edwards has 44 different CD titles and over 20 published compositions available for your enjoyment, a detailed book on the life of composer and publisher E.T. Paull, and an upcoming encyclopedia on over 530 female composers of popular music from the ragtime era. In 2016 he was awarded the lifetime achievement award in the field of Ragtime Research and Performance by the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival, an event for which he is the director of symposiums. That veteran ragtime performer Max Morath handed him this honor made it all that much more special. He continues to play at the Diamond Belle each summer, a connection to his ragtime roots.