JAZZ HALL GIANTS: Exciting events are happening at the Jazz Depot as the Autumn Series gears up and the Jazz Hall of Fame induction ceremony nears. Looking forward to the season’s festivities are, from left, Induction Gala Honorary Chair Regina Tisdale, Bluesman Steve Pryor, Author John Wooley, Gospel’s Dr. Stephen Wiley and rising jazz star Olivia Duhon.
DANIEL C. CAMERON for GTR Newspapers
The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame announced two upcoming special musical events for the 2009 Autumn Music Season. Chuck Cissel, artistic director and executive producer of the Autumn Jazz Concert Series and the 21st Annual Induction Banquet Gala, says, “We are thrilled to present four months of Sunday afternoon concerts from September thru December 2009 at the Jazz Depot.”
The Autumn season is titled Sounds of the Spirit and kicked off Sept. 13 with national recording artist and smooth jazz saxophonist Grady Nichols. Also on the calendar of events is Maestro Marc Gottlieb and his string quartet, with special guests vocalist Charlotte Blakely and New York Philharmonic pianist Harriett Wingreen. In addition, TU’s Big Jazz Band will feature trumpeter Walter White
Also on board for the Autumn season, Rev. Cortez Rex performs his outstanding tribute to gospel great, the late-Rev. James Cleveland. The Viento Sur Trombone Quartet from Argentina will also make a return engagement appearance this fall at the Hall, and the concert series concludes with the Holiday Concert featuring Jazz Hall inductee Rev. Joey Crutcher and the Gospel Workshop Choir of America.
Luigi Balletto, famous for singing Sinatra, will take center stage on Sept. 27 with pianist Mike Leland to present “Let’s Be Frank.” Luigi’s concert is a fundraiser for the Jazz Hall of Fame.
According to Cissel, “This is perhaps our most ambitious Autumn series programming effort yet, because we cover the bases from ragtime, classical, Dixieland, big band, swing, traditional jazz, blues and gospel, while several of our musical guests will be making their debut at the Jazz Depot and several of the musical artists hail from New York City. A list of the Autumn Jazz Concert Series schedule is listed below.
September 20 – Oklahoma City pianist/vocalist Justin Echols
September 27 – Vocalist Luigi sings Sinatra “Let’s Be Frank” with jazz pianist Mike Leland (Fundraiser)
October 1 – Jazz Violinist Christian Howes (Thurs.
7:30 p.m. (From New York City).October 4 - Ryan and Ryan on Ragtime. The Musical Magic of Pianists Donald Ryan and his son, Barron Ryan.October 7 - Viento Sur Trombone Concert (Wed. 7:30 p.m.) World-renowned trombone artists from Argentina.
October 11 – Trumpeter / vocalist/ band leader Jeff Shadley and his band.
October 18 – The infectious Steve Hamm & his Jambalaya Jass Band.
October 21 – The Induction Banquet Gala honoring Wayman Tisdale and Bob Wills.
October 25 – Mike Cameron Trio with special guest vocalist, Olivia Duhon.
All Autumn Jazz Concert performances are held at the Jazz Depot on Sunday afternoons at 5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, college students and Jazz Hall members and $5 for students. Patrons may also reserve a seat at $20 per person at one of our tables of eight. Reserved seating and table reservations need to be purchased in advance of the concert date(s). For tickets or more information, contact the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8600/8609 or visit online at okjazz.org. Gift shop and concessions are available. All major credit cards are accepted.
Cissel also announced the annual Induction Banquet Gala nominees for 2009. The Gala will be held at the Jazz Depot, First Street and Cincinnati Avenue (Upper Level) in the Great Performance Hall on Wednesday evening, October 21. The black-tie fundraiser begins with a reception at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award will be the legendary patriarch of western-swing, Bob Wills. Many of Bob Will’s musicians began as jazz performers, and Wills also borrowed heavily from the jazz repertoire and played a great deal of blues as well. It’s been often quoted that “Western swing is jazz music with cowboy hats, boots and fiddles.”
Former All-Star, Olympic Gold Medalist, OU and Booker T. Washington High School grad, and smooth jazz recording star, the late Wayman Tisdale, will be inducted in the jazz category. Tisdale received the Jazz Hall’s first-ever Legacy Tribute Award in 2002. According to Cissel, “The Legacy Award was created to honor the young professional up and coming jazz artists, and Mr. Tisdale was honored for number one CDs on the Billboard charts and sold-out performances around the country.”
Mrs. Regina Tisdale will be the Honorary Chair of the Gala for 2009. Wayman’s former band member, friend and top smooth jazz saxophonist, Tom Braxton will come in from Dallas to play a special musical tribute in honor of Wayman Tisdale.
Tulsa bluesman Steve Pryor will be inducted for his masterful blues guitar work as a recording artist and performer. Pastor Stephen Wiley of Muskogee is recognized as the first artist to have recorded a full-length Christian rap album with his 1985 release, Bible Break, on the Brentwood Records label. The Broken Arrow native is a pastor of two churches, Praise Center Family Church in Muskogee and in Tulsa.
The Legacy Tribute Award will be presented to University of Tulsa graduate and rising jazz vocal star Olivia Duhon.
Former Tulsa World writer and well-known author John Wooley will receive the Maxine Cissel Horner Spirit of Community Excellence Award for his contributions to the entertainment and cultural scene in Tulsa and throughout Oklahoma. For more information on tickets to the black-tie fundraiser, please contact the Jazz Hall at (918) 281-8600 or 8603. Everyone is invited to attend.