ODESSA, Texas (FOX 24) – When it comes to music, people associate West Texas with country music. But there’s much more than that here, there’s also a jazz scene that keeps growing. We spoke with three local musicians to get a perspective.
Ethan Wills is also the Executive Director of the Midland/Odessa Symphony and Chorale.
“Actually, my grandfather had played trombone,” said Wills.
He had his trombone with him and said, “This is actually his trombone that he played in the Phillipines during World War II.”
Eric Baker is the President of the West Texas Jazz Society.
“Our geographical area is a mix of all kinds of different people and so with that, comes a lot of different musical styles,” said Baker.
Ibrahim Martinez is also active in the jazz scene.
“As a musician, you can wear many hats,” said Martinez. “I can do a country gig on Friday night, a jazz gig with the jazz society on Saturday night and do a church gig on Sunday morning and Sunday night.”
“The thing I like most about jazz music is, of course, it’s based in improvisation,” said Baker.
“What you see is literally just people coming up with stuff on the spot,” said Wills.
Their hope is that people realize jazz is alive in our area.
“There’s a rich, cultural life that’s here and developing. It’s way more exciting to be part of this legacy that’s being built and I hope just people come out and support that,” said Wills.
The West Texas Jazz Society is having a big event this Friday.
“A night with the L.A. All-Stars” takes place at 7-30 pm at the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center.