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Scissortail Park's grand opening lineup adds performances from OKC Philharmonic, Billy Jones Band, Markus James

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Markus James and the Wassonrai

Scissortail Park opens the weekend of Sept. 27–29 with a musical lineup from Kings of Leon, the Billy Jones Band, Markus James and the Wassonrai, and the OKC Philharmonic.

Although they are the most anticipated, Kings of Leon will not be the only ones playing the newly created Scissortail Park in Oklahoma City during its opening weekend.

Joining the park's inaugural lineup are the Billy Jones Band, Markus James and the Wassonrai, and the OKC Philharmonic. The grand opening weekend celebration will take place Sept. 27–29. 

The Billy Jones Band, a Southern variety show band inspired by artists like Big Joe Turner and B.B. King, will perform 7:30–9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Band leader Billy Jones said his band’s repertoire encompasses a number of musical styles, according to a press release.

At 9:30 p.m. following the Billy Jones Band’s performance will be Markus James and the Wassonrai, an upbeat “desert blues” band, according to the release.

Desert blues is a genre practiced by nomadic groups of the Sahara and is considered the root of the American blues genre. The vocals alternate between singing and rapping in English, Sonrai and Bambara, as well as North Mississippi-style trance riffs, according to the release. 

James’ most recent album, “Snakeskin Violin,” is available on Amazon music. Billboard Magazine has reviewed the album's songs as “extremely distinctive pieces, driven by a seductive rhythmic circularity that’s a keystone of Malian traditional tunes and Delta blues.” 

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will close out the weekend with an evening performance at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. The orchestra will play a variety of classic works including many nature-themed pieces, such as Firebird Finale by Stravinsky and Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky.

Both the Billy Jones Band and Markus James and the Wassonrai will perform on the Love’s Travel Stops Stage, located near the corner of Oklahoma City Boulevard and Robinson Avenue. All concerts are free and open to the public.

Scissortail Park was designed as a place for play, culture and inspiration and will cover 70 acres, featuring a playground, an enclosed dog park, an outdoor roller rink, interactive fountains, ornamental gardens and more.

Update: This story has been updated at 1:50 p.m. August 26 to reflect additions to the performance schedule.

Alma Cienski is a modern dance performance and public relations junior and a culture reporter for The Daily.

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