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Biography Zez Confrey

Zez Confrey (1895-1971) was a popular composer and pianist whose work epitomized a style known as “novelty ragtime.” His multi-themed works sounded like conventional ragtime but made quick excursions into different tonal centers, sometimes giving the illusion of wrong notes. These pieces also contained ear-tricking eccentric rhythms designed to give the listener an off-center effect. His most famous compositions were “Kitten on the Keys” and “Stumbling.” Confrey made solo recordings for Edison and Brunswick. He also recorded with his dance orchestra for Victor.

Selected Works at the Library of Congress