Fall jazz ensemble featured guest artists

Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

Oklahoma Baptist University’s Bison Jazz Orchestra performed on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

“It is a seventeen-piece jazz ensemble, featuring saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, guitar, bass, and drums,” Justin Pierce, assistant professor of instrumental music, said.

The concert also featured a guest artist, who joined the Bison Jazz Orchestra on several pieces, including an arrangement of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

“We’ll have a guest artist that night who will play a few songs with us, named Paul Stephens,” Pierce said before the concert. “And he’s retired from the US Army jazz ambassadors and also teaches trumpet here at OBU.”

The concert was more formally a concert than the Bison Jazz Orchestra’s performance at Night of Jazz earlier this fall.

“It’s a little different than the night of jazz in that it’s more of a formal concert,” Pierce said. “As people will not be eating food and drink at it, all of the attention will be on the music. And this allows us to play a little bit more repertoire that might be suitable for a concert then as opposed to something that might be for dancing or a more casual event.”

This repertoire included some longer pieces and more pieces of music than Night of Jazz did.

“We’ll do a little bit more repertoire for this and we’ll play songs with a little bit more soloing and the musicians can stretch out a little bit more, cause, I mean, if you think about the length of an average pop song it’s about three to four minutes,” Pierce said. “And we try to keep our arrangements at the night of Jazz a little bit more moderate and while these, you know, some of these songs are maybe five, six, seven minutes. Also, a few more improvised solos.”

The concert was subtitled “It Might As Well Be Swing” and music selections for the concert included: “What About Me,” by Snarky Puppies and “Not in the Mood,” which is a musical parody of the popular jazz tune “In the Mood” by Joe Garland.

The Bison Jazz Orchestra includes Alex Benito, Matthew Anderson and Shianne Wolfe on saxophone; Konnor Robertson, Jonny Dean and Allie Frank on trumpet; Sam Quick, Jarret Corbin, Isaac Reel and Jonathan Deichman on trombone; Demarcus Baysmore and Nathan King on guitar; Graham Griffin on piano; Trevor Schlosser on bass; and Tyler Smothers on drumset.


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