The Brian Gorrell & Jazz Company will perform at the historic Santa Fe Depot in Norman, 200 South Jones Avenue, as part of the Performing Arts Studio’s Sunday Jazz at the Depot series on April 8, 2012. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. An admission fee of $7 will be charged; $5 for seniors/students and free for 18 and under. Refreshments will be provided.
In addition to Brian Gorrell on saxophone, the quintet features Dennis Borycki on keyboards, Harry Tonchev on guitar, Johnny Nelson on bass, and Mike Walker on drums.
Brian Gorrell serves as Head of the Jazz Studies Division for the University of Central Oklahoma School of Music. Mr. Gorrell, a former pianist for the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, also manages the operation of the Jazz Lab Recording Studio, serves as Graduate Advisor for the Master of Music in Jazz, and teaches Applied Saxophone, Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Theory & Analysis, Computer Music Technology, Advanced Recording Technology, and CD Album Production.
Equally proficient on both saxophone and keyboards, Mr. Gorrell has produced many album projects including In Some Other World (1995), Soulmates (1999), In The Swing of Christmas (2001), and The Jazz Company Live @ the UCO Jazz Lab (2008). In addition to the Welk Orchestra, he has performed with such notables as The Manhattan Transfer, Louie Bellson, Phil Woods, Bill Trujillo, Jay Migliori, Jay Daversa, Clark Terry, The Lennon Sisters, Ralna English, Patti Page, Slide Hampton, Kay Starr, Steve Allen, Jim Nabors, Ty England, Diane Schuur, Christopher Cross, The Temptations, The Drifters, and many others.
Mr. Gorrell has always been passionate about music education and has been aggressive in developing new programs at UCO, including the Minor in Jazz Studies and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies. His band, Brian Gorrell & Jazz Company, has been performing together regularly since 1995 and always delivers a first rate performance with a mixture of traditional and contemporary mainstream jazz.
Dennis Borycki is well known in Oklahoma as an inspiring teacher, recording artist, composer and arranger, and piano wizard. He earned degrees from San Jose State University and the University of Oklahoma in organ performance. After performing countless hours on the organ and piano in churches and recital halls and as many or more on the road with Nashville legend Jerry Reed, Billie Jo Spears, and 1995 Grammy jazz nominee Jeff Kirk and in the studio with national artists such as Barbara Bailey Hutchison, Connie Ellisor, and David Davidson, Mr. Borycki has been jamming and recording with many artists who call Oklahoma home, including Chris Hicks, Watermelon Slim, Byron Berline’s Western Swing Band, Beatrice Cole, among many others.
Harry Tonchev graduated with a degree Music Performance (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Central Oklahoma. A native of Bulgaria, he is influenced by many unique ethnic styles and the popular "Gypsy Jazz" movement that is prominent throughout his homeland. Mr. Tonchev brings a high degree of technical proficiency and artistry to the band.
Johnny Nelson plays the fretless electric bass guitar and is also an alumnus of UCO’s jazz program. One of the most in-demand bass players in OKC he has performed with many area musicians and groups across a wide range of genres.
Mike Walker is considered by anyone that has heard him play, or been fortunate enough to play with him, as simply the best drummer in Oklahoma. His level of musicality, sensitivity, and at the same time incredible strength and intuitive ability to take the music where the soloist wants to go is unmatched. In addition to working with my band, Mr. Walker regularly tours with the rock band Aranda all around the country.
Mark Mitchell, Chair of the PAS Jazz Committee, encourages music fans to come out and experience one of Oklahoma’s best jazz bands.” In addition to a great evening of music,” he said, “your ticket to get in gives you a chance to win a couple of Brian Gorrell’s CDs to be given away in a raffle that night, as well as some tickets for the upcoming Heartland Summit Jazz concert featuring the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio on April 25 at Meacham Auditorium.”
Sunday Jazz at the Depot concerts are made possible in part by grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Norman Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from generous individual and business sponsors, including Mark Williams and the Northeast Blanco Development Corporation, E. J. Harmony Fund, Nancy McClellan, Fred Overstreet, Fred Schneider, and Deborah Norris.
The Performing Arts Studio Gallery and office in the Norman Depot are open from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Phone 405-307-9320 for additional information about PAS programs.