Scissortail Park Grand Opening

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OKLAHOMA CITY – From the Mississippi Delta, to West Africa, and all points in between, there will be something for most every musical taste during the Grand Opening weekend celebration of Scissortail Park from September 27-29.

Friday night kicks off with a free concert by Kings of Leon followed by more incredible music on Saturday and Sunday. All of the concerts are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, September 28, one of the most requested variety show bands in the mid-South, the Billy Jones Band, will perform from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the Love’s Travel Stops Stage located near the corner of Oklahoma City Boulevard and Robinson Avenue on the northeast side of the Park.

Born in the Deep South, band leader Billy Jones grew up in his grandfather’s bar, listening to blues in different juke joints and bars. Among his influences are Elmore James, Big Joe Turner, Jackie Wilson, B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and other great blues and soul musicians. His band boasts a repertoire that encompasses a number of musical styles.

At 9:30 p.m., Markus James and the Wassonrai will bring their upbeat blend of African and American Delta music to the stage for a show sure to intrigue and delight. This performance, part of a genre called desert blues practiced by nomadic groups of the Sahara, is in a style considered the root of the American blues genre. Instrumentation features the Kameme n’goni, an eight-stringed hunter’s harp of the Wassoulou people, the krurbu and njarka violin that is played by the Sonrai people, and the calabash and Bolon, a three-stringed gourd bass. Vocals alternate between Bambara, Sonrai and English, with North Mississippi-style trance riffs, singing and rapping in English and Bambara, mixed with harmonica and long jams.

James has been instrumental in exposing American audiences to West African roots music. His most recent album, Snakeskin Violin, has been called a “vital mix of the Mississippi Delta and Mali, a cultural exchange of haunting beauty and mystery.”

“We are thrilled to bring such a wide range of musical styles to enjoy during Grand Opening Weekend at Scissortail Park,” said Maureen Heffernan, CEO and president of Scissortail Park Foundation. “I would greatly encourage the public to attend and enjoy the straight ahead blues of Billy Jones and introduce yourself to the unique and mesmerizing sound of Markus James and the Wassronrai.  You will be fascinated by the music and its transcendent quality to speak to everyone.”

As previously announced, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will close out the festivities on Sunday night with a concert featuring music inspired by nature. More information about the OKC Philharmonic and other activities during the Grand Opening weekend will be released soon.

The new Scissortail Park is in the heart of a revitalized downtown Oklahoma City. This public space is part of the MAPS 3 program that envisions a healthy and vibrant quality of life for our city while serving as an investment in the future. Every detail is designed for connection – with nature, neighbors and ourselves. It is a place for play, culture, celebration and inspiration.

Scissortail Park features a variety of engaging experiences within 70 urban acres ranging from ornamental gardens and woodlands, to a lake and boathouse, children’s playground, grand promenade, water features, outdoor roller rink, an enclosed dog park, interactive fountain and much more.

Designed by one of the foremost landscape architecture planning firms in the world, Hargreaves Associates, the Park is also a horticultural tapestry of native prairie grasses, lush flower gardens and tree-lined walkways. Together we have created something spectacular. For everyone.

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