Richard Birk-t

BC music director to record original music with Brazosport Big Band

BC music director to record original music with Brazosport Big Band

Tue May 28, 2019

Richard Birk

Brazosport College Director of Music Richard Birk has been writing original compositions for much of his professional life. Many have heard these songs through the years during performances by various groups at the College or through community events. Unfortunately, a live music setting has always been the only way his original music could be enjoyed.

That’s all about to change. And the public is invited to witness it.

On Friday, June 7, the Brazosport Big Band will record a live performance of 13 of Birk’s top compositions with the intention of releasing a live album in the near future. The free performance will be at 7:30 p.m. at The Clarion at Brazosport College and the public is invited to attend.

Birk’s compositions feature a wide array of styles and musical expressions. His pieces range from big band swing to funky rock to modern jazz to fun-filled salsas. Many are also introspective compositions, such as a beautiful ballad written for his wife or a fun, 1960s-era rock tune created to recognize a friend and fellow musician, naming only a few examples.

“I’ve written these pieces over the years for various groups here at the College and I’ve been wanting to get a professional recording of them for a long time,” Birk said. “I’m excited to finally have this opportunity.”

While Birk is looking forward to recording his compositions, his peers in the Brazosport Big Band are just as excited to get these tunes on tape.

“Richard is ‘Mister Music’ in the Brazosport area,” said Jimmy Koch, trombonist for the Brazosport Big Band and former Brazoswood High School band director. “He’s brought music to our area for so long, be it through community band, combo jazz or big band jazz. He’s brought in world-class artists to work with our public school jazz band students. He’s even arranged tunes for the Brazosport Big Band to play backing up artists that sing at the Clarion.

“Through all this, Richard has written countless original tunes that are not only fun to play, but also fun to listen to,” Koch added. “This is going to be a great night.”

Birk’s compositions scheduled to be performed and recorded on June 7 are “Ain’t No Dead Monkeys Here!,” “Bailey’s Boogie,” “Blessed With Joy,” “Caliente,” “Chile Con Queso,” “Dem B Bones,” “’Dis Here,” “Fuego Frio,” “Mosquito Swamp Blues,” “Reverend Ron,” “Ritz Bitz,” “Silde Mode” and “Violaceous Funk.”

The Brazosport Big Band is a professional big band comprised of area teachers that typically perform the last Sunday of each month at Wurst Haus in downtown Lake Jackson. Brazosport Big Band members include alto saxophonists Pat Singletary and Audry Dunn; tenor saxophonists D.J. Eisenhart and Linda Crummel; baritone saxophonist Randy Marble; trumpet players Donnie Artley, Chris Cermak, Kelby Koch and Stephen Forse; trombonists Birk, David Griffith, Koch and Tyler Waguespack; pianist Ted Wenglinski; bassist Brian Casey and drummer Greg Dick.

For more information on the June 7 performance and live recording, contact the Clarion at (979) 230-3156.