Bringing straight-ahead, swinging jazz to the Jazz in June Festival in Norman is The Nichol Quintet. Jonathan Nichol speaks with me in this performer question and answer session. Here are five questions to get to know them.
1. For those unfamiliar, how would you describe yourself and your music?
Straight-ahead, swinging jazz. The Nichol Quintet performs a diverse repertoire ranging from jazz standards to compositions written by members of the band. The Jazz In June set will include some pieces written by a Michigan-based composer, Charles Ruggeiro who teaches composition at Michigan State University.
2. What song would you like a person who hasn’t heard your music listen to first?
Too hard to pick one song, but I’m influenced by John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Phil Woods, and Michael Brecker. A tune that is coming to mind is Delta City Blues by Michael Brecker.
3. What are your thoughts on the Jazz in June festival?
We are extremely fortunate to live in a community that so ardently supports the arts. JIJ helps new audiences come to love jazz music.
4. In general, what inspires you?
My father was my saxophone teacher–huge inspiration. The freedom of expression in jazz music and collaborations with other outstanding musicians are also quite inspiring.
5. Anything else you want people to know about you?
Yes! I am the Professor of Saxophone at the University of Oklahoma and am quite new to the state. Just finished my second year at OU. Boomer!
The free, three-day music festival, Jazz in June, now in its 32nd year, is scheduled for June 18-20, 2015.