Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Announce Inductees

LOCAL ARTIST DONATES GIFT: The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame recently received a gift from local artist Matt Bearden to honor the 2005 Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductees. The portrait of Miles Davis was presented during a press conference at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame announcing the 2005 gala inductees, the June concert line up, and an update on the new Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame location. Pictured from left are: Matt Bearden, former Senator Maxine Horner, Chuck Cissel, Bailey Siegfried and Steve Alter.

MATTHEW GROSS for GTR Newspapers

Chuck Cissel, Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, announced recently the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s inductees for 2005, and the line-up for the new Oklahoma JazzFest!

Cissel also acknowledged that, “We are pleased to announce that our Honorary Chairpersons for this year are Mayor Bill La Fortune and Dr. Kathy La Fortune. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Gala Co-Chairs for 2005, are County Commissioners Wilbur Collins, Randi Miller and Bob Dick. Corporate Co-Chairs for 2005 are Craig Millar and Michael Oppenheimer of Clear Channel Broadcasting. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Board Co-Chairs are Tulsa Community College’s Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Charles Gary Crooms and General Manager of the Downtown Doubletree Hotel, Robert Watson.”

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s 17th Annual Induction Banquet Gala will be held on Wednesday evening, June 15 at the Jazz Hall’s current location at 322 North Greenwood Avenue in the Greenwood Cultural Center. The black-tie scholarship fundraiser begins at 6 p.m. with a reception; 7 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. PM Awards Ceremony. Music for the Gala will be provided by Tulsa’s own Jazz Hall Inductee, the incredible Pat Moore and Co.

According to Cissel, “This star-studded event is a highlight of the year for the Jazz Hall and, for many in the community, this event is the most entertaining of the year. For 2005, the Jazz Hall will posthumously honor one of the great jazz artists of the 20th century, the incomparable pianist and vocalist, Nat King Cole. He will receive the Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005, for his incredible musical legacy and his outstanding contributions to music in America and internationally. A highlight of the Gala evening will be a musical tribute to Nat King Cole, with Jason De Long, Chuck Cissel and Tom McCaslin performing many of Nat King Cole’s most popular hits, including “Mona Lisa,” “Walking My Baby Back Home,” “Straighten Up” and “Fly Right,” “Unforgettable,” “Let There Be Love,” “Ramblin’ Rose,” “Orange Colored Sky” and “Route 66.” The trio of vocalists will be accompanied by Ms. Moore and Co.

Also to be honored is Nat’s younger brother, legendary jazz vocalist, pianist and international recording artist, Freddy Cole, who will receive the 2005 Living Legend Award. Freddy Cole does not apologize for sounding like his brother. There are certain unmistakable similarities. He plays the piano, sings and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like Nat King Cole. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. And, he has emerged from the awesome shadow cast by his elder brother. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother and his timing swings a little more. His vocals – suave, elegant, formidable and articulate – are among the most respected in jazz. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is looking forward to it’s move to the Union Depot in downtown Tulsa as part of the Vision 2025 project.

Updated 05-31-2005

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