Matthew Ball, a boogie-woogie pianist from the Detroit area, was invited to perform at the Hackley Public Library. Matthew performs an upbeat show of ragtime, boogie-woogie and blues piano favorites from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Some of his arrangements include American standards like "Swanee River," "Over the Rainbow," "The Entertainer," "In the Mood," "Sheik of Araby," "Chopsticks Boogie," "Bumble Boogie" and many more.
Planning for this program started after Matthew Ball contacted us in the late spring/early summer for a program in November. Ball is a pianist who specializes in boogie-woogie arrangements. (Boogie-woogie is an upbeat style of blues piano that was popular from the 1920s to early 1940s.) We checked him out on YouTube  and knew that another library in the area had booked him as well.
To promote the event, we advertised it in our newsletter, on our website, the local online calendars, the local TV station's calendars and on all our social media outlets.
The only cost associated with the program was the fee for the performer. As of 2015, Ball's fee ranges from $300 to $550. He sometimes offers a discount for multiple branch performances depending on travel, length of concert and number of shows.
Set-up for the event primarily involved preparing the room for the performance.
The program exceeded our expectations. Ball played exquisitely and explained the history behind most, if not all, of the songs. We had 90 people attend, which is the most we've ever had for a musical program!
The only unexpected challenge we had with the event was how popular it proved to be. Have plenty of chairs available and a stage or riser for the performer.
About This Library
Located in Muskegon, Mich., Hackley Public Library serves a diverse population of about 40,000 with five full-time librarians. The racial makeup of the city is more than 50 percent white and roughly one-third African-American. The library, originally built in 1889, was recently renovated.