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Jazz in Queens: Scott Joplin | Around Queens

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Scott Joplin was a Jazz composer known as the "King of Ragtime," he is best remembered for his tune, "The Entertainer", which was popularized in the movie "The Sting" (1973), for which it won an Academy Award for Best Film Scoring. His opera "Treemonisha"(written in 1907), won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 when it was brought to Broadway.

Born near Linden, Texas, his family moved to Texarkana, Texas when he was age seven. Encouraged by his parents, he learned to play the banjo and piano, and in his late teens, began a career as a dance hall musician.

When Joplin died of syphilis in a New York City mental hospital in 1917, he was penniless and largely forgotten. In fact, his grave at St. Michael's Cemetery in East Elmhurst, Queens went unmarked for decades.