Boogie-woogie, ragtime pianist coming Friday

Considered to be the best ragtime/boogie-woogie pianist in the world, Bob Milne is coming to Fostoria for a 7 p.m. benefit concert Friday. The musician has an uncanny ability to hear a song and then duplicate it on the piano. His performances include traditional and patriotic songs, blues and player-piano music, as well as commentary and history about the early 1900s selections he plays.

In high school, Milne played French horn and was accepted into the Eastman School of Music. By age 19, he was playing with the Rochester Philharmonic. During his college days, Milne and fellow students frequented bars and clubs. On one occasion, the piano player did not come to work, so Milne offered to sit in for him. The establishment hired him that same night. After completing college, he became a full-time pianist in the Detroit area for 25 years. Every winter, he teaches lifelong learning classes in music and music history at Florida Atlantic University.

Having played in concert halls since 1991, Milne also travels extensively as an active “musical ambassador” for the U.S. State Department. He also is the founder and director of the Frankenmuth Ragtime Festival in Michigan. A recording artist and composer, Milne has recorded 15 CDs and three DVDs. His most recent project is writing a full-length opera based on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Proceeds from the May 2 concert at St. Wendelin Parish Life Center, 323 N. Wood St., Fostoria, are to be donated to the St. Vincent dePaul Society of Fostoria. Tickets are $20 per person. They can be purchased from a member of St. Vincent dePaul or by calling (419) 435-6692.

The St. Vincent dePaul Society of Fostoria provides residents with financial assistance for utility payments, prescription expenses, transportation, emergency housing, transportation and work clothing. The agency is in the lower level of First Presbyterian Church, 201 W. Fremont St., Fostoria. Regular client hours are 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday and Thursday.