<i>Jazz Depot is the Place to be for the Fall Season</i>
By CHUCK CISSEL
JACOB FRED AND MORE: Chuck Cissel, center, and members of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey recently gathered for the announcement of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame autumn concert series and Wayman’s Challenge. Wayman’s Challenge is sponsored by Tulsa native Wayman Tisdale who is looking for a new band. Auditions will be held at the Jazz Depot Oct. 6 and a Battle of the Bands competition will take place Oct. 18 and 25. The winner will be announced Nov. 1. For more information, visit www.okjazz.org.
MIRANDA ENZOR for GTR Newspapers
Many of you know the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame has moved to its new home in downtown Tulsa. We’ve been here since the first of July 2007 and the “Joint is Jumpin.” The move to the Jazz Depot, as we refer to it, all began as a dream. That dream is now a reality and we thank the citizens of Tulsa County for making it possible by voting for this Vision 2025 project.
At the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, our motto is “Creating Unity Through Music.” With the Jazz Depot’s special location, we are the gateway to north, south, east and west Tulsa; our home is at the center of the universe. It is a gathering place for families, friends, youth and lunchtime goers. People of all backgrounds, races, creeds and faiths come to the center of the universe to not only bask in the sun but bask in the beauty and cultural diversity of life here in God’s country.
A major part of our mission at the Jazz Hall of Fame is to reach out to the youth of this community, and we have done so by not only showcasing amazing talent, but by providing a new home for the Tulsa Honors Orchestra, Stardust Strolling Strings, the Tulsa Chamber Music Orchestra, all under the musical directorship of Kathy Rad, and the Debutante Orchestra directed by Karen Harmon.
We also work to educate the youth through our music educational programs, including the Jazz Hall Performing Arts Academy for the students of the Deborah Brown Community School. We are able to impact the lives of the youth in a positive way, with concrete results. Ms. Brown has created a strong academic program for the students and her kids are the most focused, disciplined and respectful I have worked with since I’ve been back in Tulsa over the past seven years. Ms. Brown is a proven leader and top educator and the Jazz Hall of Fame is proud to work with her and her staff. We offer the youth vocal classes taught by vocal music teacher Philip Armstrong, instrumental music lessons by a number of music professionals, speech classes by Rebecca Marks-Jimmerson and American music history by Jason Ofori.
THE PLACE TO GO – THE JAZZ DEPOT
The Jazz Depot is alive with swing dance classes. Dance classes are held on Tuesday evenings 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring your dancing shoes and remember you do not need to bring a partner. Simply come and learn to swing dance, cha cha cha and salsa too! Two of Tulsa’s top swing dancers, Jamin Jackson and Gina Bradford, are the instructors and they look forward to sharing their dance knowledge. Classes are $5 each and refreshments will be available. Remember to mark your calendar – Tuesdays at the Jazz Depot for Swing Dance Class 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call the Jazz Hall at (918) 596-1001. Everyone is welcome!
Next on our calendar of events is the brand new Weekly Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. beginning Oct. 3. Join us after work for an upscale get together to meet other professionals and enjoy networking opportunities at the jazz depot, casual conversation and beverages in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Each week will feature a senior executive from a major corporation who will be accessible for personal questions and one-on-one conversation. Again, the kick-off date is Wednesday, Oct. 3rd. Tulsa business and community leaders, Bill Paddock and Allen McLaughlin are your hosts. Entrance fee is $5.
Former Booker T. Washington High School All-Star, OU Basketball All-Star and NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist and current Smooth Jazz phenom, Tulsa’s own Nunber One Smooth Jazz Star Wayman Tisdale is offering a challenge to all bands in the Tulsa County area. EStyle Presents “The First Wayman’s Challenge Battle of the Bands.” Auditions will be held in Tulsa Oct. 6 at the new Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame – Jazz Depot. The Battle of the Bands Showcase will be Oct. 18 and 25 with the finale on Nov. 1 at the Jazz Depot. Celebrity judges include Tisdale and myself. The judges for this special musical event are looking for real bands who share a common interest in the art of making good music. Wayman is looking for the band that has incredible musicianship, sings, performs well, has the look Wayman is seeking and dynamic stage presence. Call the Jazz Depot at (918) 596-1001 or (918) 520-2272 to register or for more information about Wayman’s Challenge. You can also contact organizers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you play music and you are in a band, make sure you do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
This autumn, come by the Jazz Depot, 5 South Boston Ave. (off 1st Street) to enjoy our Sunday afternoon jazz concerts. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and concerts are at 5 p.m. Refreshments and merchandise are available. For a complete list of autumn concerts, visit www.okjazz.org.