Jun 24, 2013 - Ryan Tedder’s Going-Away Extravaganza to Feature Four Bands

Ryan Tedder’s Going-Away Extravaganza to Feature Four Bands


            One of Tulsa’s leading young jazz players is relocating to Chicago, leaving the area scene significantly poorer.

            At least -- with apologies to T.S. Eliot -- saxophonist Ryan Tedder is going out with a bang and not a whimper.

            Friday’s farewell show takes place at the Jazz Depot, where Tedder has been a mainstay for the past few years. It’s billed as Ryan Tedder’s Going-Away Extravaganza, and with four bands and other entertainment on the docket, it looks as though it’ll live up to the billing. There’s a ten-dollar cover charge, with donations toward Tedder’s moving expenses also accepted – but certainly not mandatory, he says.

            “It’s a fundraiser event, but you’re not required to donate,” explains Tedder. “I don’t want people to think I’m just trying to milk them.” He laughs. “It’s kind of like a rent party. I’m going to be entertaining all night long. I’m going to be playing for six hours, with the intention of just trying to generate some income. Everybody in the bands [playing Friday night] have been gracious enough to donate their time for me, and I'm very thankful for that.”

            Those groups include Citizen Mundi, Mexican Cartel, Ghost Quartet, and Guardant. Not surprisingly, the busy sax man is a member of all but the latter.

            “All the guys in Guardant are good friends of mine,” he says. “I went to high school with them. They’re like electro-dance-rock, a lot of synthesizers, and really danceable, fact-paced pop music.”

            Citizen Mundi, which began nearly a decade ago in Tulsa, is a world-music group whose personnel has changed so much that the current members had taken the name Mundi Live. According to Tedder, that was because “we were unclear if we could use the name Citizen Mundi because of former members not being available.” That’s cleared up now, he says, so they’ve reverted to the original name. 

            Mexican Cartel, he adds, “is a real Oklahoma kind of Red Dirt groove, but with hip-hop beats; we have a rapper, Doctor Freeman. The instrumentation is either Rhodes piano or banjo, and then we have cello and saxophone. Jordan Hehl is on bass. Mason Remel is the singer and piano player; it’s his project.”

            Hehl is also bassist with the Ghost Quartet, an act that has played numerous shows at the Jazz Hall and elsewhere. It includes Steven Schrag on piano and Nicholas Foster on drums.  Friday, they’ll be joined by vocalist Annie Ellicott, who recently worked with the Quartet on the well-received live jazz adaptation of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

            “What we’re probably going to do is start with some Ghost Quartet material and play for about a half-hour,” he says. “Then, around eight or eight-thirty, we’ll do the Pink Floyd material. We’re just going to do our favorites from the show for about 45 minutes. So anybody who wants a chance to hear the original [Dark Side of the Moon] lineup before I skip town, this’ll be the last chance.”

            “In addition to the music,” he adds, “were going to have catering from Elote, some snack food, and representatives from Studio 7, which is a dancing studio. They’ll be there doing demonstrations, and if you’re interested in that kind of thing, you can come see it while we play and even try it yourself if you want to.”

            When all of this is over, of course, Tedder will be faced with moving from the town where he’s lived his entire life. He knows the transition won’t be easy, but it’ll be helped by the presence of his uncle, Chicago Symphony bassoonist  (and Grammy winner) David McGill, as well as some jazz-playing friends from the University of Tulsa. So he embarks on the trip with, he says, “a bit of a melancholy air” but a great deal of excitement as well.

            “Musicians enjoy playing with Tedder for the same reason his fans love listening to him-Because his love of music shines through with every note,” says Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO Jason McIntosh. Ryan will do well wherever he goes, because he always adds a great spirit and creativity to every performance. Ryan is a stellar musicians, solid composer and incredible producer.   He represents the best of our music scene in Oklahoma.  We all look forward to Ryan doing well in Chicago and retuning home with a few future Oklahoma musicians.”

            “I want to get to know some more musicians, broaden my horizons, and get an opportunity to work with some different people,” he says. “I’m grateful to Tulsa. I love the Oklahoma Jazz Hall. I’m going to miss a lot of people. But luckily, I have the support of a wonderful girlfriend. Wherever she is, it feels like home.”

            Ryan Tedder’s Going-Away Extravaganza is set to begin at 7 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St.  Cover charge is $10, with additional donations accepted.

            The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural and educational organization, with a mission to inspire creativity and improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans through preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.


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