<i>Jazz Hall of Fame Celebrating 20th Anniversary</i>

DREAM CONCERT: The Jazz Hall of Fame hosted a concert in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, held Jan. 24, featuring performances from Bishop Carleton Pearson and the New Dimensions Choir. From left are Dr. Joey Crutcher, yours truly, featured performer Bishop Pearson and Leon Rollerson.

GTR Newspapers photo

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame celebrates its 20th Year Anniversary in 2008. Can you believe it? Where did the time go? The Jazz Hall was created in 1988 by the Oklahoma State Legislature, with legislation authored and sponsored by Senators Maxine Horner (the founder) and Penny Williams. We salute these two towering political figures for their cultural vision for the state of Oklahoma.

The Jazz Hall would also like to thank all of our Jazz Hall members, donors, supporters, volunteers, friends and to all of you music lovers for consistently standing by our side over the years – as the late-legendary Duke Ellington would say, “love you madly!” Nonetheless, the Jazz Hall continues to expand its vision and will continue providing a diverse musical menu from which to choose from jazz to blues, gospel, Latin jazz, western swing, country, reggae, neo-soul, classical, rhythm and blues, keep your eyes open and stay tuned.

January was a great month at the Jazz Depot with lots of special events, parties and concerts. Call Ray Davis (918-596-1001) to secure the venue for your special event.

The “Dream” Concert honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a night to remember. From Jason Ofori’s poignant singing of “Make Them Hear You” to Joseph Bias’ story of singing at the actual funeral for Dr. King years ago and his amazing vocals on “There Is A Balm in Gilead,” the night was filled with standout performances. Phil Armstrong’s reading of Dr. King’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” was powerful and touching. With vocalists Brenda Johnson, Booker T. Gillespie, Pam Crosby, Chuck Cissel, Sara Jordan Powell, pianist Donald Ryan, Leon Rollerson Group, the Gospel Workshop Choir of America, under Gospel Inductee, Dr. Joey Crutcher’s musical direction, the David Ellis Singers and Gospel Inductee Bishop Carlton Pearson and his New Dimension Choir singing with such passion and conviction, one could feel the spirit days after the concert was over. It was an amazing night, and Bishop Pearson spoke so eloquently about “change” and sang his heart out on “Everything Must Change,” one of my favorite tunes of all time, composed by Bernard Igner and produced on Quincy Jones’ monster hit album “Body Heat” in the mid-1970s. Visitors from Las Vegas and Los Angeles were “in the house” and raved about the special musical evening and the fantastic talent here in Tulsa. On a musical note, Bishop Pearson will have his new CD Release Party at the Jazz Depot in the coming weeks.

The Spring Jazz Concert Series for 2008 is underway at the Jazz Depot. Mark your calendars for great entertainment on Sunday afternoons at 5 p.m. It’s a wonderful time to relax, listen to some of Tulsa’s top talent at reasonable prices and support not only the talent but the community.

Spring Schedule includes: Sunday, Feb. 24-Pam Van Dyke Crosby show; March 2-Verdigris and Edison High School Jazz Ensembles; March 16-SCORE and March 30-Gospel Workshop Choir Celebrates Easter 2008.

The concert schedule runs through Sat. June 21 when we present the annual JazzFest on the Depot’s premises. We are located at 111 E. First St., right off Cincinnati in the old Union Depot Building. You can’t miss it!

In celebration of our 20th year anniversary at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, we are proud to present a rare and historic concert at the Jazz Depot on Monday evening, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. Visiting Tulsa for the first time from Argentina will be the Viento Sur Trombone Quartet who will be in concert to showcase why they are one of the top classical and jazz trombone quartets in the world. Jazz Hall Inductee and Oklahoma native Conrad Herwig, who is recognized as the top jazz trombonist on the planet, says “These four gentlemen are astounding and brilliant in their presentation and technique. Anyone who claims to love classical and jazz music should make it a point to catch them in concert. I promise you have never heard anything like this musical sensation. The quartet is the trombone section from the state orchestra of Argentina and they are considered to be some of the finest trombone players in the world.”

Jazz Hall board member Vernon Howard, a professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Tulsa says, “They are absolutely amazing! You must see them to believe them.”

General admission tickets $15; $10 seniors and Jazz Hall members; $5 college students, high school; Youth under 12 free. Bring the whole family. Refreshments will be available. Plan on making this historic concert.

Another special event will take place at the Jazz Depot on Monday, Feb. 25 Channel 8 will produce their daily “Good Day Tulsa” show from the Depot with lots of special musical jazz guests, interviews and a tour of the new facility with their cameras. Be sure and tune in.

New things happening downtown are also on the rise. There is a brand new jazz club in downtown Tulsa at 219 S. Cheyenne (directly across from the new BOK Arena). The new venture is called So Chey Jazz Club and the new haunt offers lunch, dinner, “live” jazz music and will showcase a Sunday Jazz Brunch. The location was once the old Pomodores Restaurant. Stop in and visit this cool new hot spot in downtown Tulsa. Lunch is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner is 5-10 p.m. For more information, call (918) 295-0177.

Updated 02-25-2008

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