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.