Brian Gorrell serves as Director of Jazz Studies for the nationally respected program at the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab in Edmond. A former member of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, Gorrell also serves as Advisor for UCO’s Master of Music in Jazz Studies, teaches Applied Saxophone, Jazz Theory & Analysis, and directs the award winning "UCO Jazz Ensemble I". Under his direction, UCO Jazz Ensemble I was named the top collegiate jazz ensemble nationwide in Downbeat Magazine's 35th Annual Student Music Awards in 2012, and this group was one of only two collegiate jazz ensembles in the world invited to perform at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December 2013. Brian completed a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from UCO in 1995 and later earned a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance from Oklahoma City University studying with internationally acclaimed classical saxophonist Dr. Gail Hall in 1998.
Equally proficient on saxophone and keyboards, Gorrell has produced many album projects including "In Some Other World" (1995), "Soulmates" (1999), "In The Swing of Christmas" (2002), and "Live at the UCO Jazz Lab" (2008). In addition to the Welk Orchestra, Brian has performed on saxophone and/or keyboards with such diverse notables as The Manhattan Transfer, Louie Bellson, Phil Woods, Bill Trujillo, Jay Migliori, Jay Daversa, Clark Terry, The Lennon Sisters, Ralna English, Patti Page, Slide Hampton, Kay Starr, Steve Allen, Jim Nabors, Ty England, Diane Schuur, Christopher Cross, The Temptations, The Drifters, Gil Goldstein, Randy Brecker, and many others.
Brian has always been passionate about music education and has been aggressive in developing new programs at UCO including a Minor in Jazz Studies, a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance, and Oklahoma's only Master of Music in Jazz Studies, with majors in both Performance and Music Production. The Oklahoma Jazz Educators Association recently named Mr. Gorrell the “Collegiate Jazz Educator of the Year”. His band, “Brian Gorrell & Jazz Company”, has been performing regularly since 1995 throughout the Midwest.