It’s Jazz Appreciation Month and WRTI is celebrating the local and national jazz greats who have shaped the music we enjoy today. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Philadelphia bassist Warren Oree, who’s passionate about the power of jazz to connect musical styles and lives.
Susan Lewis: Warren Oree has been playing bass since he was 25. And while he learned music theory, he never had more than one lesson on the bass itself.
Warren Oree: I used to regret it, but now I don’t because I realize I got my own sound. I don’t have a lot of rules to stop me from exploring.
SL: In 1979, he formed the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, which plays straight ahead jazz, avant-garde, and more. In recent years, he’s been working with the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill, putting together programs that feature not covers, but jazz takes on music from different genres — from Michael Jackson and Patsy Cline, to the Beatles and Motown.
WO: The point is for people to see there is a common denominator — a nucleus with music. If you forget all those labels, those categories, you just have that passion, that intensity, that feeling.
SL: Different music attracts different crowds. Playing them together opens people’s minds not only to music but to each other.
WO: That’s the whole idea of it, to bring people together.
SL: The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble tours, plays at the Woodmere Art Museum, at jazz festivals, and at various other venues around town.