The 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.