Musician and singer-songwriter Rozlyn Zora is outstanding in her field, literally. Here, she dons round-framed sunglasses as she poses in a cornfield.

ACM@UCO Musician and Singer-Songwriter Rozlyn Zora Leaves Fans ‘Speechless’ on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, Oklahoma singer-songwriter and musician Rozlyn Zora proves that love is indeed what you choose to make of it. On Feb. 14, she’ll release her new single, “Speechless,” as she embarks on a spring-fling string of shows she’s calling the Makeup//Breakup Mini-Tour.

Zora, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is a senior studying production and technology application at ACM@UCO in Oklahoma City. She said she’s long had the goal to release a new song every Valentine’s Day, and the Feb. 14 release of “Speechless” marks her first milestone in achieving it.

The acoustic guitar-driven, lyrically emotive ballad soars with support of ACM graduate Heather Becker on piano and Oklahoma State University student Demetri Tsaras on bass. Zora’s lyrical style on the tune has been compared to Sara Bareilles — a high compliment, to be sure, she said.

“The chorus came to me in a dream,” Zora said. “Charming love songs are my weakness. After I released ‘Love’ in January of 2017, I’ve longed to release a song on Valentine’s Day, and ‘Speechless’ is that dream child.”

“Speechless” was tracked and mixed by ACM@UCO music production and engineering student and student worker Stuart Adams in the school’s second floor-studio. It was mastered by ACM@UCO full-time lecturer and studio manager Kevin Lively (Rage Against the Machine, Pink, Elton John).

To celebrate the recording, Zora announced the quickie, three-date Makeup//Breakup Mini-Tour, in which she and participating bands fill their setlists with love/hate songs.

“The tour runs three days,” Zora said, then laughed. Zora and Mandias (Shawnee, Oklahoma, resident, ACM student and indie folk-rock musician Kate Carmichael) lead the lineup. Special guests round out the show at each show.

Zora’s first stop is a free concert 10 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Rabbit Hole, 116 S. Elgin Ave. in Tulsa, where she performs with Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Mandias and featured guest Lauryn Hardiman. The next night, she cruises through Norman for a 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 gig with Mandias and UCO-based rock act Useless Randy at Red Brick Bar, 311 E. Main St. in Norman.

On Feb. 16, Zora swings through Bentonville, Arkansas, to perform at the popular Bike Rack Brewing Co.’s Eighth Street Brewery and Tap Room, 801 SE Eighth St., Suite 61. There, she shares the stage with Mandias, Useless Randy and Fayetteville, Arkansas, indie-alternative act Makin Loaf starting at 8 p.m. Tickets for that show are $10 at the door and eventbrite.com.

For more information and music, contact Rozlyn Zora at facebook.com/rozlynzora.

Makeup//Breakup Mini-Tour:

10 p.m. Feb. 14
Rozlyn Zora, Mandias and featuring Lauryn Hardiman
Rabbit Hole Tulsa, 116 S. Elgin Ave. in Tulsa
no cover / 21+

6:30 p.m. Feb. 15
Rozlyn Zora, Mandias and Useless Randy
Red Brick Bar, 311 E. Main St. in Norman
no cover / 21+

8 p.m. Feb. 16
Rozlyn Zora, Mandias, Useless Randy and Makin Loaf
Bike Rack Brewing Co. (Eighth Street Brewery & Tap Room), 801 SE Eighth St., suite 61 in Bentonville, Arkansas
$10 at the door and eventbrite.com.

Editor’s note: Download art associated with this release here.

CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT: Parker Millsap Headlines May 1 Show at ACM Performance Lab in Bricktown

Oklahoma native Parker Millsap has quickly made a name for himself with his captivating live performances, soulful sound and character-driven songwriting. He performs 7 p.m. May 1 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City. 

The event is part of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s (ACM@UCO) continuing Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

Tickets are $10, and go on sale to the public 10 a.m. CT Friday, Jan. 18 at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

Millsap has had a string of highlights in recent years: A network television debut on “Conan,” a performance with Elton John at Apple Music Festival in London, an Austin City Limits taping and an Album of the Year nomination from the Americana Music Association. He has also received praise from The New York TimesThe Boston GlobeLA TimesThe Austin Chronicle and Rolling Stone to name a few.

He first picked up an acoustic guitar at age 9, then plugged in and went electric after getting into Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Millsap eventually started a cover band with classmate Michael Rose, who still plays bass with him today. Over the years, he recruited musicians Daniel Foulks (fiddle) and Andrew Bones (drums) to join his band.

Parker’s first three full-length releases — 2012’s “Palisade,” 2014’s self-titled LP and 2016’s “The Very Last Day” — showcased a primal mastery of acoustic folk rock, with their flourish for revelation and fiery dynamics all recorded with extreme precision, purpose and efficiency.

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works initiative.

ACM@UCO Presents Literati Variety Show in February, Featuring Local Musicians, Writers, Poets

In a multi-act event promoting storytelling and its various forms, the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) presents Literati Variety Show, 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City. Admission is free.

Charles Martin, founder and creative director of Literati Press Comics & Novels, based in Oklahoma City, calls Literati Variety Show a “five-act variety talk program.”

“This is a celebration of storytelling as entertainment as well as a force to give meaning to life,” Martin said. “We are uniting artists from all mediums — music, poetry, comedy, anyone with a good story and the wherewithal to tell it well.”

The Feb. 9 event is presented by ACM@UCO as part of its Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

Martin hosts the show, where he’ll introduce a music and literary pairing by hip-hop act Original Flow and The Fervent Route; a conversation with George Lang, editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette; Heath Huffman, Public Access comedian of note; authors Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall with a performance reading of “The Most Wonderful Wonder”; and Molly O’Connor, founder of OKC StorySlam.

The show is co-organized by longtime local artist, Oklahoma City Arts Commissioner and Istvan Art owner and manager Stephen Kovash. Speaking recently to Oklahoma Gazette, Kovash said one of his goals with this show is to establish a new artistic family in the metro.

“Things are starting to coalesce in terms of Oklahoma writers,” he told the Gazette. “And so I think what Charles is doing here is perfect timing. … There’s hunger for ideas, and there’s pent-up demand, but there’s also a supply that’s pent-up. So maybe if we can get those people together, it’s going to explode.”

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works initiative.

About the Performers

Molly O’Connor:
O’Connor is an Oklahoma City-based multi-disciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her creative and artistic practices include visual art, creative writing, original solo performance work and storytelling. In 2005, O’Connor founded OKC StorySlam, a monthly, competitive open-mic storytelling event influenced by “The Moth Radio Hour” and podcast.

Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall:
Holly Samson Hall and Jeremy Hall write and perform dark folk music as Welcome Little Stranger. Creators of “The Most Wonderful Wonder” podcast, the Halls explore tragedy, folklore and strange, true tales from the back pages of American history.

Heath Huffman:
Huffman is a stand-up comic born and raised in Oklahoma City. He tells jokes that highlight the absurdity of working out, the quirkiness of his religious upbringing and the peculiar world of cheap Italian food. He also hosts two podcasts — Christian music review show “The Praisedown” with Heath and Alex, and comic book narration show “Paneled,” both of which some people (not him) think are very good.

George Lang:
Lang is a journalist who has worked for Oklahoma Gazette multiple times since 1994. He returned as its editor-in-chief in 2017. In the interim, he also wrote for The Oklahoman. While there, he became its assistant entertainment editor, interviewing about 95 percent of film industry’s A-listers and hosting an award-winning video series about local musicians, “Static.” He hosts “Spy 101” radio show 8 p.m. Saturdays on The Spy (KOSU) and he teaches at ACM@UCO.

Original Flow and The Fervent Route:
Oklahoma City-based music act Original Flow & The Fervent Route mixes high-octane lyrical content with live instrumentation and old-school hip-hop delivery. It also includes ACM@UCO alumni.

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Find more info about Metro Music Series events at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

For more information about ACM@UCO, visit acm.uco.edu.

NewsOK: Late musician’s friends honor Connor Hicks with ‘Legacy’ album

Oklahoma artists recently paid tribute to Connor Hicks, a local musician who died Dec. 18, 2017 in a car crash. Late last month, his friends — led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Jacob Mann — and family released “Legacy.”

The album includes previously unrecorded songs by Hicks, who had studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

In addition to his solo work, Hicks had performed with numerous Oklahoma-based acts, including Matt Stansberry, Shane Henry, Chase Kerby and Mallory Eagle.

The Oklahoman published a Dec. 28 feature about the album:

Hearing the completed album was a little overwhelming, said Hicks’ father, Ronnie Hicks.

“… It was probably the thing in my life that gave me the most joy, was seeing him perform and helping him share it,” he said. “So, it was important to me for as many people to have the opportunity to hear it as possible.”

Journalist Brandy McDonnell wrote of the 2017 wreck:

Connor Hicks, 20, and Jeremy Wallace, 42, died at the scene of an early morning crash Dec. 18, 2017, four miles south of Bowlegs on U.S. 377. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s report, which described foggy conditions, concluded the accident took place shortly after midnight, when Hicks’ vehicle, traveling southbound, crossed left of center and hit Wallace’s vehicle head-on.

Both drivers were Ada-based musicians and members of the Chickasaw Nation.

McDonnell added:

As Hicks’ family has been working with the UCO Foundation to establish a scholarship in his honor, Mann worked with about 20 engineers, producers and musicians to create the “Legacy” album.

“After the wreck, I got with all of our engineers and guys that he had recorded demos with,” Mann said. “His laptop was actually in the car with him, so that was kind of an ordeal getting the files off of that. … Once we were able to get those together, we were able to find six songs that we felt really excited about.”

Stream the album on Spotify:

Last Call: Spring 2019 OKF+MO Internship Applications Due Jan. 11

The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) is now accepting applications for the 2019 Spring Internship Program. OF+MO seeks to provide selected interns with an understanding of the film and music industries in a professional state agency setting by involving them in diverse projects throughout the spring semester.

OF+MO supports our state’s thriving film and music industries by administering the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program and connecting filmmakers and musicians with jobs, local businesses and diverse locations. Located on Film Row in Oklahoma City, OF+MO is a division of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, which includes Oklahoma Today, Discover Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Parks and Travel.

We are particularly interested in candidates with experience in or enthusiasm for film, music, public relations or marketing for specialized projects. Interns will be selected based on previous experience, professionalism and university level. Priority will be given to those in their junior or senior year. Previous office experience is a plus.

Position details

Intern responsibilities will include researching and compiling film and music events throughout Oklahoma for our website and our monthly newsletter, Now Playing. Chosen candidates will gain valuable experience in the development of OF+MO’s Production Directory, Locations Directory and Music Directory by assisting in research and data input. Interns will also support the office by locating and archiving press articles, conducting research, assisting with marketing inventory and/or other various special projects. Interns may be given the opportunity to participate in locations scouting and set visits, experience special events sponsored by OF+MO and will be exposed to other divisions within tourism. Assistance with general office opening and closing duties is required and expected on a daily basis. Internships are not production-based.

All internships are unpaid and open to those seeking college credit toward graduation. It is the responsibility of the intern and the student’s advisor to track their hours and complete all enrollment and coursework requirements in accordance to their college or university.

This internship will last nine weeks, beginning the week of Feb. 4. If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter to Jeanette Stanton at jeanette.stanton@travelok.com. Deadline for submission is Friday, Jan. 11. Please include, “OF+MO Intern Application – Your Name” in the subject line of your email.

About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office

Created in 1979, The Oklahoma Film + Music Office strives to share all that Oklahoma has to offer by welcoming filmmakers and music professionals to the state and by creating a network of support to develop Oklahoma’s film and music industries. For more information about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program or the Oklahoma Film + Music Office please visit okfilmmusic.org.

Photos: JD McPherson Masterclass with Scott Booker

 

Longtime Oklahoma musician JD McPherson hosted a masterclass Oct. 26, 2018, to a capacity audience at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The third-annual Music Networking and Mentoring Event was made possible by a partnership with The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Metro Music Series and the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Check out upcoming ACM@UCO Metro Music Series shows at acm-uco.eventbrite.com!

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

For more information about the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, visit acm.uco.edu.

Spotlight: Hear New Music From ACM-Tied Act Love Seats

Love Seats, "These Days" album cover

Love Seats, “These Days” album cover

Love Seats is musical project created by Ashton Gary and Ethan Wilcox, based out of Oklahoma City. The indie-rock duo specializes in writing melancholic guitar pop songs with lush orchestration and recording them to tape.

After listening to bands like Ultimate Painting, Whitney and Andy Shauf, the duo wanted to create music in the likes of those artists. Gary and Wilcox bought an 8-track tape machine and started recording demos of their songs while dissecting and studying the production of their favorite records.

Eight months later, the group recorded its debut record, “These Days,” which was released in October.

Hear it now:

Fall 2018 Rewind: Indie musician Mac DeMarco performed Nov. 1, 2018, to a sold-out audience at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ACM@UCO-tied singer-songwriter Leotie, aka Caleb Starr (pictured), opened the Metro Music Series event.

Photos: Mac DeMarco and Leotie at ACM@UCO Performance Lab

Indie musician Mac DeMarco performed Nov. 1, 2018, to a sold-out audience at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ACM@UCO-tied act Leotie, aka singer-songwriter Caleb Starr, opened the ACM@UCO Metro Music Series event.

Photos by Tanner Laws | University of Central Oklahoma

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Check out upcoming ACM@UCO Metro Music Series shows at acm-uco.eventbrite.com!

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

For more information about the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, visit acm.uco.edu.

Oklahoma City experimental funk-rock quartet Magic Munchbox opens for national touring act Maps & Atlases, Nov. 1, 2018 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City. Photo by Tanner Laws

Photos: Maps & Atlases and Magic Munchbox at ACM@UCO Performance Lab

Maps & Atlases performed Nov. 1, 2018 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ACM@UCO-tied band Magic Munchbox opened the ACM@UCO Metro Music Series event.

“Now a trio, Maps & Atlases connect the roller-coaster guitar fretting and weighted timbres of their earlier albums with frenetic synth touches,” Pitchfork reviewer Amanda Wicks said of the album “Lightnessness is Nothing New,” released July 1. “The polished result is their most accessible album to date, touching on Peter Gabriel’s fizzy pop proclivities and reaching for TV on the Radio’s early grandness.”

In the brooding-yet-playful vein of Talking Heads or Peter Gabriel, Maps embraces the paradox of what it is to be human — constantly searching and, forever unsatiated, returning with everlasting hope to the ever-darkening fray. The deceptively upbeat “Lightlessness is Nothing New” unveils a gorgeous, complex, slightly skewed take on pop music.

Photos by Tanner Laws | University of Central Oklahoma

 

Magic Munchbox

Oklahoma City experimental funk-rock quartet Magic Munchbox opens for national touring act Maps & Atlases Nov. 1, 2018 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City. The ACM@UCO-tied band includes a student and alumnus in its lineup: Gilson Machtolff on guitar, skeeter on guitar, Michael Vaughan on bass and Robby Andersen on drums.

Photos by Tanner Laws | University of Central Oklahoma

 

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Check out upcoming ACM@UCO Metro Music Series shows at acm-uco.eventbrite.com!

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

For more information about the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, visit acm.uco.edu.