Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

SWOSU Jazz Festival Planned February 9-10 in Weatherford

Bill Watrous
Legendary trombonist Bill Watrous will headline the SWOSU Jazz Festival February 9-10 on the Weatherford campus.

The Southwestern Oklahoma State University Music Department is in the final preparations for the 47th annual SWOSU Jazz Festival coming up February 9-10 on the Weatherford campus.

Special guests this year are legendary trombonist Bill Watrous and the Stockton Helbing Trio. 

Starting off the two-day festival on Thursday night is a free concert featuring the Stockton Helbing Trio at 7 p.m. in the Berrong Recital Hall.

These artists will also be on hand for Friday’s 1 and 8 p.m. concerts with the SWOSU Jazz Ensemble “A”. The Friday concerts are ticketed events in the Fine Arts Center. General admission is $10, senior adults $5 and students $3.  Tickets are available at the SWOSU Music Department, SWOSU Business Office and Midwest Music in Weatherford.

In addition to the concerts, a band competition will take place throughout the day. Confirmed bands include: Verdigris, Duncan, Del City, Midwest City, Bethany, Sulphur, Clinton, Cordell, Ardmore, Yukon, Guthrie and Oklahoma Christian University. The bands will perform for 30 minutes and concurrently receive comments from jazz clinicians SWOSU alum and retired Broken Arrow school district teacher Rob Reck, Kansas City freelance saxophonist Brett Jackson, and Dr. Nick Schroeder, former lead trumpeter of the Glenn Miller band.

Headline Watrous’ career blossomed in the 1960s. He played and recorded with many jazz luminaries including Maynard FergusonWoody HermanQuincy JonesJohnny Richards, and trombonist Kai Winding. He also played in the house band on the Merv Griffin Show from 1965–1968. Watrous has resided in the Los Angeles (CA) area since the late 1970s.

Helbing has been heard across the United States playing drums for American music icon and trumpet player extraordinaire Doc Severinsen. Since 2007, Helbing has owned and operated Armored Records, an independent jazz record label that focuses on releases by up and coming jazz artists. Stockton lives in Dallas (TX).

The SWOSU Jazz Festival was started by Dr. Terry Segress in 1971 and has featured some of the great jazz artists of all time including Clark Terry, Rich Matteson, Diane Reeves, Jamey Aebersold, and Wycliffe Gordon among others.  The festival is generously supported by grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council, SWOSU Foundation and the City of Weatherford.  For more information about the festival, please contact the SWOSU Music Department at (580) 774-3708 or festival director Dr. Richard Tirk at richard.tirk@swosu.edu.

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