The Uptown Collective
So in January 2018, four people came together to promote music that is new and old: an ensemble that would play arrangements of celebrated music such as the Brahms Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (split up into percussion) and celebrated new music as well such as the First American School (minimalists) and works by young / up-and-coming composers. In addition to this, I also wanted to create a folk/jazz/fusion/electronic idiom with our unique instrumentation and influences, and finally be able to wrap all of this up with a modular ensemble where musicians could be in rotation very similarly to Snarky Puppy. Still with us? Okay, cool.
We met on and off for weeks and couldn't come up with a name that we all liked. We bounced ideas off of each other and nothing seemed to stick. Until Iris came up with the name that would unify all of these ideas into one simple theme: The Uptown Collective.
The core of The Uptown Collective consists of the following people:
Iris Gracia Campbell: Clarinets
Cheyenne Rain: Cello
Jackie Partida: Percussion
Mathew Campbell: Percussion
We can vary ensemble instrumentation depending on the piece. We also have the power of live electronics to fully optimize and enhance our sound world. We are also very open to having other people join us on stage for pieces with open-ended instrumentation.
This theme comes from forming this ensemble at Oklahoma City University which is located on Uptown 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. The idea of "collective" lets us be without bounds. It sets us free from having to play a particular genre of music, and lets us do whatever we want. We can open up a set with the Dance of the Young Girls from Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring", and end it with a song composed by us like you'd see in a coffee shop. This ensemble has a lot of potential, and I'm so happy to share this with all of you.