September 16, 2023 @ 7:00 pm| $15 – $59
Orcas Center Presents on Center Stage
Barron Ryan – Classic Meets Cool
Saturday, September 16 at 7pm
Tiered Ticket Pricing: $59, $29, $15
There is an additional $2 ticketing fee
Barron Ryan’s love for music has always been divided. The son of two musicians, he grew up in a house filled with the sounds of artists ranging from Mozart to Motown. So when it comes to his own work, he’s not content drawing on just one influence. He combines them all into a musical adventure that’s vintage yet fresh, historical yet hip, classic yet cool.
After beginning piano lessons at age four with his father, Barron seemed destined for a career in music. He excelled in performing throughout his middle and high school years in Tulsa, OK, then continued to impress his peers and instructors as a piano performance major at The University of Oklahoma.
Everything did not come up roses, however, as Barron was then rejected from all the music conservatories you might be impressed by. Disheartened and a little annoyed, he briefly gave up on the piano in pursuit of a satirical hip-hop career. But due to a favorable result in a piano competition that sent its winner to perform internationally, that project was graciously short-lived.
Thanks to that concert tour, Barron found his artistic voice. He discovered the joy of jazz- and ragtime-inspired concert music (found on his debut album, Classical with Attitude), and learned from great jazz pianists by transcribing and replaying their solos (found on his second album, The Masters’ Apprentice).
In 2019, Barron noticed a shocking lack of funk-, pop-, and country-inspired classical music. Realizing he could fill that void, he composed his “Magic City” Sonata and a dance suite called Suite Thing. Those works are now published and recorded on his third solo record, First of Its Kind.
In 2021, Barron added ‘commissioned composer’ to his growing list of accolades. Requested by Chamber Music Tulsa to produce a work commemorating Tulsa’s 1921 massacre, he wrote a piece for piano trio entitled My Soul Is Full of Troubles. Smithsonian Magazine even took note, naming Barron one of Ten Innovators to Watch in 2021.
As of 2023, Barron can add ‘published author’ to his uncommon set of accolades. He published Honey, If It Wasn’t for You, an illustrated storybook about a song he co-wrote with a man who died six years before Barron was born. It’s even more intriguing than it sounds.
Barron is following in his favorite composers’ footsteps by publishing his original works in the public domain. He offers his work as a gift to the world, and as a chance to collaborate with artists from around the globe.
What’s next? You’ll have to wait to find out, but rest assured that in all Barron Ryan’s music, Classic Meets Cool.