Bison Jazz Orchestra Gives Concert May 5

Oklahoma Baptist University jazz musicians will have the chance to showcase their talents in a unique setting at a concert at Shawnee’s Ritz Theater.

The Bison Jazz Orchestra will perform its final concert of the 2005-06 academic year, Friday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the theatre located at 10 West Main Street, downtown Shawnee.

Under the direction of Kevin Pruiett, OBU assistant professor of music, the Bison Jazz Orchestra will perform a variety of music, including songs written for the Duke Elington Orchestra, the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Charles Mingus, Pat Metheny and Miles Davis.

Featured on an original transcription of the Duke Ellington classic Concerto for Cootie will be senior Aaron Jameson. The Yakima, Wash., native will perform the piece written for the great plunger mute specialist Cootie Williams.

“This piece showcases the gutsy, bluesy ‘jungle sound’ of the trumpet, complete with the plunger mute, and the smoother, more virtuosic side of the trumpet,” said Jameson.

Senior Elise Anderson from Tishomingo, Okla., will serve as both the baritone saxophonist and featured vocalist for the evening. Anderson will be highlighted on the standards Come Rain Or Come Shine and Orange Colored Sky.

“Interpreting how to sing the songs has been exciting,” said Anderson. “I have enjoyed the opportunity to display the contrast in technique and sound that they require.”

The evening will feature student soloists John Oxford, sophomore from Golden, Colo.; and Timothy Thompson, sophomore from Yukon, Okla.; as well as BJO alumni Derek Ferguson, Dusty Higgins, and Adam Ray.

Members of the BJO also will present an exact transcription of the Miles Davis and Gil Evans nine-piece work Boplicity, from Davis’ landmark recording Birth of the Cool.

“This was truly one of the great moments in jazz,” said Pruiett. “During the creation and recording of this album, from 1947-50, Davis and Evans reinvented the way in which small group jazz would be viewed by future generations.”

A vocal jazz quartet will perform during the show. Members include Danielle Tipton, sophomore from Norman, Okla.; Hillary Albright, junior from Springdale, Ark.; Dana Kringlen, senior from Choctaw, Okla.; and Brett Spaulding, freshman from Canyon, Texas.

Directed by Dr. David DeSeguirant, OBU associate professor of music and director of choral activities, the quartet will sing As Time Goes By and Don’t Get Around Much Anymore with the BJO.

“The jazz quartet will usher in a new dimension to the jazz scene at OBU,” said DeSeguirant. “This will enable other students with a desire to perform music other than Palestrina and Mozart to have a new performance ensemble option.”

The BJO is composed of students from the OBU Symphonic Band as well as many non-music majors. The 23-piece ensemble has releases two compact discs, “Bison Jazz Orchestra” in 1998 and most recently, “Final Cut” in 2000.

The jazz orchestra has appeared during Shawnee’s Jazz on Bell Street, in Shawnee, and OBU featured events including Live at the Black Box, Fine Arts Chapel and M&M’s concerts.

The downtown concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the OBU Fine Arts Department at 405-878-2305.