The Shawn Owens Project Trio releases Jazz Hands II. This adventurous project consists of drummer Shawn Owens, pianist Christian Bohnenstengel, and bassist Ryan Tilby. Music written by Christian Bohnenstengel, recording by Ryan Tilby.
Jazz Hands II consists of nine tracks: “Owens Loop,” “Taking Diagonal,” “On Flood St.,” “Indigo,” “Turtle Wall,” “City Creek,” “Whiptail,” “Silver Reef,” and “Owen’s Loop (Take 2).”
Shawn Owens discusses a few of the tracks on Jazz Hands II.
‘Owen’s Loop’ “is a nice, easy swing tune that is named after a local hiking trail that is a nice easy full loop trail in (Owen’s hometown of) St. George (Utah). The trail takes you to a high point that offers a great view of the city and is a fairly easy hike. The song being inspired by this trail has a nice easy bounce to it that reflects hiking the trail early morning to watch the sunrise.”
‘Taking Diagonal’ “is a song inspired by Diagonal Street that runs thru a part of historic downtown St. George UT. Diagonal St. borders Ancestor Square which is a piece of history to the locals and houses several art galleries and high-end restaurants and cafes. The song was written in a Latin style to reflect class and sophistication that is the image this area exudes but we also wanted to keep it fun and light as to not be too serious.”
’Indigo’ “is a ballad that is inspired by the night sky in Southern Utah. The high desert has some of the best skygazing in the country due to the lack of clouds and absence of light pollution. The song conveys the peace and tranquility experienced when laying under the stars and just letting yourself relax and enjoy the peace and quiet while staring at the heavens.”
‘On Flood St.’: “Although we don’t typically get much rain in Southern Ut, we do have a monsoon season that can bring a lot of precipitation in a short time. the street 400 east known as flood St by the locals is a street that when it rains a lot in a short amount of time quickly becomes a river of sorts earning it the name Flood St. The song is a very upbeat swing that captures the energy of the swiftly flowing water brought by the much-needed rain in the desert.”
Drummer Shawn Owens is from Cincinnati, Ohio. He fell in love with jazz at an early age and was influenced by Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Dave Weckl. Shawn left music behind for a while but when he moved to Utah he found his way back to jazz, when a jazz group performing at a local restaurant didn’t have a drummer and invited him to audition right then and there on the house drum set. Shawn got the gig and has been playing ever since. While Shawn’s favorite genre is jazz, his touch and musicality along with his professionalism has landed him on the first call list for fill in work (live and studio) for classic rock, country, gospel, and reggae bands. Shawn also loves sharing his love of drumming with the youth and is often called on to do clinics at local High Schools working with the Jazz bands and Drum Lines.
German pianist Christian Bohnenstengel feels equally at home in a wide range of musical genres. He was recently featured as soloist in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Orchestra of Southern Utah and in Richard Adinsell’s Warsaw Concerto with the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra. Christian is a founding member of Southern Utah University’s faculty jazz combo Kind of Blue and frequently performs with jazz ensembles and musicians throughout southern Utah. Praised as “…a master of contrasts…” (Aalener Nachrichten) and for his ability to “…put the audience into a state of sheer awe…” (Gmünder Tagespost), Christian’s performances have taken him all over the United States, to South America, to China, and to Europe.
Christian’s collaboration Set No Limits with clarinetist Dr. Jessica Lindsey was released on Albany Records in 2018 and his debut jazz album with The Shawn Owens Project, Jazz Hands, was released in 2020. He also wrote a follow up album featuring original tunes titled Jazz Hands 2 with The Shawn Owens Project that was released in 2021. Christian received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Missouri Western State University. He earned Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Christian has been Director of Keyboard Studies at SUU since 2011 and teaches courses in classical and in jazz piano.
For more information on The Shawn Owens Jazz Trio visit https://theshawnowensproject.com/
And on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/theshawnowensproject.
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