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Perkinson Center for the Arts, Jimmy Dean Theater View map $19-$38
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The Perkinson Center for the Arts is proud to welcome back to the Jimmy Dean Theater stage Barron Ryan for his latest musical tour, Classic Meets Cool!

Classic Meets Cool
March 24, 2023

Adult - $35 + fees
Senior - $28 + fees
Military - $28 + fees
Students/Kids - $17 + fees

Learn more about Barron here and here!

“I highly recommend getting rejected from Graduate School. It’s one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. That’s because I had to face the reality that I couldn’t follow what I thought was the conventional career path for solo pianist. Instead I’d have to blaze my own trail. Along the way I learned that what really matters isn’t the sound a musician makes, it’s the story around the sound. Music is much more about struggle, discovery and triumph than it is about theory or technique. So I don’t just play great music for my performances, I talk about the inspiration behind it. So while my tag line doesn’t describe the genres that I play, it offers a glimpse at the story of my art. That story reveals that I draw upon multiple influences and deploy them in various ways. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing Beethoven or Jackson 5.

My name is Barron Ryan and in my music Classic Meets Cool.“

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 Michael Jackson. So when it comes to his own performing, 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 the “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.

As of 2021, Barron added ‘commissioned composer’ to his growing list of accolades. Commissioned by Chamber Music Tulsa to produce a work commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, he wrote a piece for piano trio entitled My Soul Is Full of Troubles. Smithsonian Magazine even took notice, and named Barron one of Ten Innovators to Watch in 2021.

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.

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