Justin Witte performs outdoor street music at The Brick

Justin Witte isn’t enthusiastic about the contemporary music scene. As a musician, he instead draws inspiration from the classic sounds of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and other musicians from a time when jazz was in its prime. Although he’s well-known locally for his folk and blues songs, he has officially begun a transition into the jazz world.

Witte performs at 6 p.m. Saturday outside the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark as part of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s “Out of the Box” program, which strives to provide Oklahomans with outdoor street music to enrich the community’s culture.

He has pursued a music career for about two years, but has been playing the guitar since 2002. He also plays the harmonica and kazoo, is currently learning the trumpet, and has been modeling jazz on the 1920s to 1930s era.

“There’s been a lot of emphasis on my music making people dance,” he said. “If I’m going to be dead in 10 years, I want to look back and see people who know where they’ve been, and see people dance.”

Witte hit a wall when the recession hit, and he’s had to pick up extra jobs to continue pursuing music, but the singer/songwriter realizes how important music and the arts are to the community and himself, and said he’ll push forward no matter what it takes. He said his music is basically an expansion of his identity, and keeping that identity is incredibly important to him.

“Music is that field ” it’s like a proxy for me,” he said. “I like for something that gives me goose bumps ” it’s that creative force that’s a part of you, and it’s something you can’t deny and you just have to work with it.”

For more information, call 270-4848.  “Paige Lawler

Paige Lawler

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