Jazz Hall Celebrates 2008, Launches Spring Concerts

Contributing Writer

SPRING SERIES: The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame will kick off the Spring Concert Series Sunday, Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. Performances will be held at the Jazz Hall of Fame Sundays through June. Tickets are $10 for admission or $5 for members, seniors and college students.

Courtesy Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Now that the winter is less chilling and the ice storm of the century has faded into memory, it’s time to pick up the tree debris and plan for a wonderful spring 2008. I would be absolutely happy if we didn’t see anymore snow this winter and certainly the ice can move on to the North Pole. I would like to offer kudos to Mayor Taylor and her team, and all the guys and gals who came in from all over the country to help us in our time of need. Somehow a historical event such as the ice storm brings it all home – be thankful for the little things.

Speaking of the New Year, we had a blast at the Jazz Depot with the Grady Nichols New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. Grady ripped the roof off the Jazz Depot playing saxophone with all the grit and passion as only Grady can, and the lovely Mary Cogan, Jenny Labow and Starr Fisher were “rockin??? the New Year in with their outstanding vocals and stage presence. The show was INCREDIBLE and the light show put on by Integrity Lighting was completely off the chain. For many of us who had either lived in New York City or been to party there, the Jazz Depot had the look and feel of Studio 54 or New York New York disco. The dance floor was packed from the first song and the band never let up for three solid hours. I’m telling you, we rocked the New Year in with music, fun and an awesome community spirit.

Now that we have bounced into 2008 with enthusiasm and purpose at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, we are looking to step up to the plate and knock a few homeruns over the fence. We are planning our calendar of events and first on the scorecard is the Jan. 24 “Dream??? concert honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The fundraiser will mark the music debut of Bishop Carlton Pearson and his New Dimensions Choir at the Jazz Depot. Bishop Pearson was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 2003 and remains one of gospel music’s great vocalists and his choir is one of the best around the state of Oklahoma. Joining Bishop Pearson will be Jazz Hall gospel inductees and incredible vocalists Sara Jordan Powell, Madelyn Manning-Mims and Dr. Joey Crutcher and his Gospel Workshop Choir of America. There will be other gospel artists on the bill, but the evening will also feature jazz and blues. Jazz Hall blues inductee Jr. Markham will play the harmonica along with bluesy pianist Mike Leland, while jazz stalwarts Sonny Gray, Vernon Howard, George Toumayan, Grady Nichols, Jeff Shadley, Jason Ofori, Leon Rollerson, Booker T. Gillespie, Olivia Duhon, Liz Alpert and yours truly perform your favorite jazz classics. The evening will be a cornucopia of jazz, blues and gospel music. Get your tickets at the Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. in downtown Tulsa between Cincinnati and Boston Avenue on the upper level. Call the Jazz Depot at (918) 596-1001. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door ($10) or make table reservations ($15 Jazz Hall members and $20 non-members).

By the way, a brand new online digital magazine will be happening in March called “Good Newz,??? published by Shari Tisdale and produced by E-Style Productions, so keep your eyes open online. The new magazine will premiere with Tulsa’s own talented bassist and former basketball star Wayman Tisdale. The focus of the article on Mr. Tisdale will be his upcoming television program, Wayman’s Challenge, highlighting bands who have auditioned for Mr. Tisdale. He will take them on tour with him and produce a new CD with the band that wins. The show will be filmed and produced at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in late March and early April 2008. FOX23 is producing the new television show.

Following on the heels of Dr. King’s “Dream??? concert, the Jazz Hall will launch into the Spring Jazz Concert Series for 2008. The new season kicks-off with the talented jazz vocalist, Mr. Jason Ofori with Mike McClure on guitar and Mike Leland on piano. Take a look on see what’s on the horizon for our Spring Series.

Spring Calendar 2008
January 24 – The Dream Concert
January 27 – Jason Ofori with Mike Leland and Mike McClure
February 3 – SUPERBOWL
February 10 – Darrell Christopher Show w/ Rebecca Marks-Jimmerson
February 13 – Rotary Day
February 14 – Valentine Day Sweetheart Dance / Dave Johnson Orch.
February 17 – Piano Keyboard Concert
Feb 19 – Score at Gilcrease
February 24 – Pam Van Dyke-Crosby
March 2 – Verdigris and Edison Jazz Ensembles
March 9 – Salsa Rhythm Project
March 15 – Jimmy Markham’s Harmonica Day
March 16 – SCORE “Letter From the Depot???
Mach 23 – Brian Haas and Annie Ellicott
March 30 – Blues Concert
April 6 – The Gospel Choir of America Celebrates Easter
April 13 – Liz Alpert “Singin in the Rain???
April 20 – TU Big Jazz Band with Conrad Herwig
April 27 – Easter Sunday with the Donald Ryan Trio
May 4 – Olivia Duhon Quartet
May 11 – The Ladies Who Lunch (Sandy Gardner, Rebecca Marks-Jimmerson, Janet Rutland, Deborah Hunter and Rachel Lester)
May 18 – Dara Tucker Trio
May 25 – String Quartet / Bravo Brass
June 1 – Dionne White and Booker T. Gillespie in Concert
June 8 – The Jeff Shadley Group
June 15 –
June 22 – An Evening with Ms. Diana Ross and Queen Dinah Washington
June 29 – Essentially Ellington

Happy New Year and remember that this is the season for new beginnings. Whatever happened in ’07 is behind you now. 2008 will be GREAT…talk it, walk it and live it!

Updated 01-28-2008

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