Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
BRISTOW, Oklahoma– Before she was introduced to jazz music, Muscogee (Creek) citizen Carmen Bruner sang in a gospel group known as the Bruner Family who was also her three older brothers.
Bruner grew up in Bristow, she is the daughter of Rachel Bruner and Lewis Bruner, Sr. Bruner and her parents are members of the Rogers Chapel in Slick, OK.
She learned how to sing at an early age, crediting her mother who taught her and her brothers how to harmonize with each other. As a group they would sing locally, statewide and nationally.
When Bruner was in the 8th grade, her music teacher Mr. Connie Fisher introduced her to jazz. She developed her music skills in high school at Bristow and continuing education and music classes at Tulsa Community College (TCC).
Her passion for jazz music has led her to performing on public stages, venues and even a number of productions in local and regional theaters. In 2018, Bruner performed on stage at the Tulsa State Fair. Recently, she played a role in the Mary Poppins musical that took place at the Freeland Center for the Performing Arts in Bristow.
“I played the Bird Woman in the production,” Bruner said. “In the meantime, I am working on new music to release.”
Bruner is currently working on a promotion, a single that she wrote called “Hold Onto Your Dreams.” Another one of her latest single which was promoted in March of this year is called “Fragile” which has done well on the Smooth Jazz charts.
“Fragile is a cover originally sung by Sting,” she said. “I have always wanted to cover that song, and so we went ahead and released that back in March. It has done well, still being played and heard on over 160 stations that is FM and Internet around the world.”
In April, Bruner was a feature jazz artist for the Fayetteville Jazz Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“That was my first time being featured as a headliner,” Bruner said. “It was a really great experience to sing in front of people. This was the third jazz festival.”
Other opportunities that have occurred for Bruner is, being a finalist for the 2021 US Female Rising Star of the Year by the International Singer Songwriter Association, Inc. She has also started collaborating music with other musicians in other states.
Bruner’s music can be found and purchased on all digital platforms. Her website is CarmenBruner.com.