Justin Echolsbuy ticketsThe final Jazz in June and Winter Wind collaborative American Musical Heritage Concert of this season features the Justin Echols Quartet on Sunday, April 10 at The Depot, 200 S. Jones. Tickets are $15 for the 7:00 pm concert.

With his powerful rich voice, Oklahoma City based jazz musician Justin Echols had built an international resume over the past few years. His smooth vocal renditions and amazing piano skills, together with his quartet, make for a delightful evening of jazz standard rearrangements with original jazz compositions added in. Ever expanding his repertoire, Justin has recently added guitar to his performances as well, inspired by a blues player on Beale Street.

Justin's story is one of tragedy to triumph. After a head-on collision while activated for the US Army reserves left him severely injured, he was discharged from the military. With his physical abilities changed and his dreams of being a decorated officer vanishing, Echols sought refuge in tinkering on the piano. Tinkering became performing a year later.

Three years into performing Echols had earned quite a reputation and was put in contact with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis who directed Echols to study and be mentored by pianist Antonio Ciacca, Director of Programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center and a Juilliard professor -- a stunning tribute to Justin's talent.

Justin also studied at Tuscia Jazz festival in Soriano, Italy in 2010 and was asked to close out the festival. In January 2012, the Justin Echols Quartet did a three week long European tour throughout The Czech Republic and Slovakia. That was followed by Echols joining Antonio Ciacca for a week long feature at the Setai Hotel in New York City. After his NYC debut was a success, Echols was featured by Forbes Travel in an article entitled Jazz Clubs are the Newest Trend for Luxe Hotel.

The association with Caicca also led to the 2012 release of Just in Time, the Antonio Ciacco Quintet introducing Justin Echols (with the title a play on “Justin Time”.) The CD is a marvelous collection of songs that represent a creative contribution to the Great American Songbook continuum, featuring Justin Echols on vocals, Antonio Caicca on piano, Andy Farber on saxophonist, Pete Van Nostrund, on drums, and Joe Cohn, on guitar.

Justin and his trio performed at Jazz in June in Andrews Park in 2013 to an enthusiastic audience. He has returned to NYC for several week long performance engagements and has become the artist in residence at Hefner Grill, bringing jazz to Oklahoma City five days a week.

Managing his dueling careers as an Oklahoma City police officer by day and jazz musician by night, has become no small task, but Justin manages it well. To hear his amazing voice and learn more, visit www.justinechols.com

To purchase concert tickets click the Buy Tickets link above, or for additional information on programs at The Depot, phone (405) 307-9320. For information on Jazz in June programs, visit www.jazzinjune.org.

Winter Wind Concerts are a program of The Depot Performing Arts Studio made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council, the Oklahoma Arts Council and by sponsors Tom McAuliffe of Don Cies Real Estate and Cindy Merrick of Therapy in Motion. Additional support comes from contributors Skye Diers, Gingerbread Nursery School and Tom & Mary Cay Woodfin; Friends include Nancy McClellan; Danna Primm; and The Grider Family. In-kind support comes from the City of Norman, The Montford Inn and Norman Music Institute.

Jazz in June is supported, in major part, by grants and donations from: Festival Underwriters – Oklahoma Arts Council, The Chickasaw Nation, Norman Arts Council; Festival Funders – The Friends of Jazz in June, Brookhaven Village, Republic Bank & Trust; Major Funders – Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Arnall Family Foundation, KGOU Public Radio, MidFirst Bank, Allied Arts, Embassy Suites of Norman and Chuck & Gina Thompson.

Jazz and June and The Depot

The Depot and Jazz In June, Inc. pool their respective expertise in folk, jazz and roots music genres to expand the Winter Wind Concert series to include four concerts highlighting America’s rich musical traditions. This year’s jointly-produced shows offer audiences a fun-filled romp featuring The Sisters of Swing, the “antique pop” of Victor and Penny, Watermelon Slim with the blues, and the Justin Echols Quartet interpreting the ‘Great American Songbook’.

The Sisters of Swing kick off this new collaboration with a holiday-flavored showcase that harkens back to a harmonized singing style that features music arranged by members Mary Reynolds and Mary Freeh who are joined by Louise Goldberg, Elyse Angelo, Joanne Trombley, Christine Freeh and, Rosalind Cravens. The Sisters of Swing musical collective concentrate on giving their audience a fun time with numbers from the swing era, the rock and roll years, and ancient times. They perform Sunday, December 13th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Victor & Penny lead their Loose Change Orchestra on a musical journey that reflects a hot jazz-meets-hokum, plus buoyant Tin Pan Alley era songs. With tight vocal harmonies, fearless feats of guitar daring, red-hot reeds and a fiery ukulele, the group brings a modern voice to original tunes and prohibition-era Jazz. This corset-tight quartet will make your heart pump and your feet jump! Celebrating a time when style mattered and class was king, Victor &Penny and their Loose Change Orchestra impress and delight with style, charm and hot licks -- they are, "...an absolute rollicking blast." Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra perform Sunday, January 10th at 7p.m. Tickets are $15.

Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans is an Okie-expat who currently resides in Clarksdale, Mississippi where he continues to hone his blues harmonica and unique bottleneck slide guitar techniques. His lyrical style and voice are just as unique -- combining hints of red dirt and Mississippi delta inspiration. HARP Magazine described the multiple Blues Music Award winning former truck driver’s music as, “a workingman’s blues with both hands on the wheel of life, a bottle of hooch in his pocket, and the Bible on the passenger seat.” (EPK) Homans will offer a solo showcase Sunday, February 28th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Justin Echols is championed (and rightly so) by none other than Wynton Marsalis for his smooth vocal interpretations of material from “The Great American Songbook.” Brought to the attention of Marsalis and then mentored by pianist Antonio Ciacca, director of programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Echols has since built an inspiring international resume, even while managing his dueling careers as Oklahoma City police officer by day and jazz musician by night (including as artist in residence at Hefner Grill.) Recently adding guitar to his powerful voice and amazing piano skills, Echols and his quartet will dazzle the audience, performing jazz standards at The Depot April 10th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.

The Depot, located in the historic Santa Fe Train Depot, produces Summer Breeze, Winter Wind and Whistle Stop Concerts, Gallery Exhibitions, Second Sunday Poetry Readings, and manages the rental of the Norman Depot for weddings, meetings, parties and other events. The Depot, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to creating and presenting excellent and innovative fine arts programming for the enrichment and education of the community.

Jazz In June Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of jazz and related musical forms. Jazz In June was founded in 1984 by the Norman Arts and Humanities Council and Cimarron Opera. The festival has since developed into a much-anticipated annual event, featuring three evenings of outdoor concerts, related artist clinics, public radio programs and public jazz and blues jam sessions attended by a total of some 50,000 people per year. Past performers include David Sanborn, Chuck Mangione, the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and Duke Ellington Small Band.

Winter Wind Concerts are a program of The Depot Performing Arts Studio made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council, the Oklahoma Arts Council and by sponsors Tom McAuliffe of Don Cies Real Estate and Cindy Merrick of Therapy in Motion. Additional support comes from contributors Skye Diers, Gingerbread Nursery School and Tom & Mary Cay Woodfin; Friends include Nancy McClellan; Danna Primm; and The Grider Family. In-kind support comes from the City of Norman, The Montford Inn and Norman Music Institute.

Jazz in June is supported, in major part, by grants and donations from: Festival Underwriters – Oklahoma Arts Council, The Chickasaw Nation, Norman Arts Council; Festival Funders – The Friends of Jazz in June, Brookhaven Village, Republic Bank & Trust; Major Funders – Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Arnall Family Foundation, KGOU Public Radio, MidFirst Bank, Allied Arts, Embassy Suites of Norman and Chuck & Gina Thompson.

The Depot will soon move our concerts inside to the intimate setting of our Depot home at 200 S. Jones.  Winter Wind and Whistle Stop Concerts will follow close on the heels of Summer Breeze beginning in September and continuing into March.  The Concert Schedule is as follows: 

Sept. 9,  Whistle Stop Concert, The Honey Dewdrops, 7:00 pm, $15
Oct. 4, Winter Wind, Jimmy LaFave, 7:00 pm, $20
Oct. 25, Winter Wind, Rebecca Loebe, 7:00 pm, $15
Nov. 1, Whistle Stop Concert, Annie Oakley, 7:00 pm, $10
Nov. 8, Winter Wind, MilkDrive, 7:00 pm, $20
Nov. 10, Whistle Stop Concert, Heather Maloney, 7:00 pm, $15
Nov. 22, Winter Wind, Peter Bradley Adams, 7:00 pm, $20
Dec. 6, Winter Wind, Michael Fracasso, 7:00 pm, $20
Dec. 13, Winter Wind & Jazz in June, Sisters of Swing, 7:00 pm, $15
Dec. 20, Winter Wind, Claudia Schmidt, 7:00 pm, $20  (Member’s Choice)
Jan. 10, Winter Wind, Victor & Penny, 7:00 pm, $15
Jan 17, Winter Wind, Horseshoe Road, 7:00 pm, $20     
Jan 31, Winter Wind, Carrie Newcomer, 7:00 pm, $20
Feb. 14, Winter Wind, Eliza Gilkyson, 7:00 pm, $20
Feb. 28, Winter Wind & Jazz in June, Watermelon Slim, 7:00 pm, $20
Mar. 6, Winter Wind, Ellis Paul, 7:00 pm, $20
Mar. 20. Whistle Stop Concert, The Soorleys, 7:00 pm, $20
Apr. 10, Winter Wind & Jazz in June, Justin Echols, 7:00 pm, $15
May 1, Whistle Stop Concert, Griffin House, 7:00 pm, $15

The Depot accommodates audiences of 100, allowing a more personal interaction between audience and artist.  The concerts feature outstanding established artists, excellent sound and complimentary refreshments in a lovely, gallery setting.  

Tickets for individual concerts may be purchased on-line by visiting www.normandepot.org/events, by visiting The Depot at 200 S. Jones, or by phoning 405 307-9320.    

Concerts and other events at The Depot are made possible in part by grants from Norman Arts Council and Oklahoma Arts Council, and by generous donors and businesses in the community.