Music is raging like a wildfire this week in NWA, with the rock/jam fest Wakarusa at Mulberry Mountain and Blues Weekend in Eureka Springs. So what’s one to do once this shot-in-the-arm is over? How ’bout some classical … with a twist? If you’re thinking about a day trip next weekend, Bartlesville, Okla., is a good option. About a three- hour drive away, the 26th annual OK Mozart Festival is happening June 11-19 and features a wide variety of artists. In addition to the internationally-acclaimed classical and chamber music concert series, OK Mozart presents a variety of performing arts, including dance, jazz, pops and Broadway show tunes, as well as a full program of related cultural events.
Things will begin with a bang on Saturday, June 12, when Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey will premiere “Ludwig” with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra. JFJO of Tulsa, Okla. — Brian Haas on piano, Josh Raymer on drums, Chris Combs on tap steel and Jeff Harshbarge
r on double bass — is known around the world. “Ludwig” consists of innovative reinterpretations of Beethoven’s 3rd and 6th symphonies into modern music.
On Sunday, June 13, Celtic Spring will play a matinee, followed by an evening presentation of a one-act play, “Time Changes Everything.” The play ponders what would have happened if Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie had met and stars Brad Piccolo and John Cooper of the Red Dirt Rangers. After the play there will be a mini-concert by the Red Dirt Rangers.
Other performances during the week include: Time for Three, two violins and a
double bass, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy, and jazz; the Spencer Prentiss Classic All-Stars with David Shifrin, Kathleen Nester and Alexander Sitkovetsky, hosted by Fred Ch
ild; Amici New York Orchestra with guest conductor JoAnn Falletta; a trio composed of Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain; Concert of Concerti with the Amici New York Orchestra with guest conductor Andrew Sewell and artists Robin Sutherland, David Shifrin, and Paul Neubauer; and an evening of Gershwin.
For tickets and information, go to www.okmozart.com or call 918-336-9800.
Bartlesville is also home to Woolarc Ranch Museum and Wildlife Preserve,
and a number of architectural attractions ranging from Victorian homes to mid-century modern structures such as Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only built skyscraper and the Bartlesville Community Center, designed by Wesley Peters of Wright’s Taliesin West. All are worth a visit.