Barron Ryan’s love for music has always been divided. The son of two musicians, he grew up in a house filled with the sounds of artists ranging from Chopin to James Brown. So when it comes to his own performing, he’s not content drawing on just one influence. He combines them all into a musical adventure that’s vintage yet fresh, historical yet hip, classic yet cool.
"The Masters' Apprentice is a story of resilience,” states Ryan. “It's the story of persevering through rejection from famous music schools, learning complex jazz piano tunes by ear, and fighting through a potentially career-threatening injury. I want to encourage listeners to keep going through failure, because this album was born of it."
After beginning piano lessons at age four with his father, Barron seemed destined for a career in music. He excelled in performing throughout his middle and high school years in Tulsa, OK, then continued to impress his peers and instructors as a piano performance major at The University of Oklahoma. Last night, Ryan performed to a sold-out crowd at the Philbrook Museum of Art in his hometown of Tulsa.
Everything did not come up roses, however, as Barron was then rejected from all the music conservatories you might be impressed by. Disheartened and a little annoyed, he briefly gave up on the piano in pursuit of a satirical hip-hop career. But due to a favorable result in a piano competition that sent its winner to perform in Israel, that project was graciously short-lived.
Thanks to that Israel concert tour, Barron found his artistic voice. He discovered the joy of jazz- and ragtime-inspired concert music (found on his debut album, Classical with Attitude), and is learning from great jazz pianists by replaying their solos on his upcoming album, The Masters’ Apprentice.
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The Masters’ Apprentice is now available here: music.barronryan.com
The Masters’ Apprentice Track List: