By CHUCK CISSEL
ON THE MOVE: The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is gearing up for the new move into the beautiful art deco architectural wonder known as Tulsa’s Union Depot Building, where it will assume a new nickname: The Jazz Depot. Pictured is The Great Performance Hall, which provides space for special events like weddings, receptions, parties, meetings, and seminars.
Courtesy Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
Recently, the Inside Scoop ran into a talented couple spending lots of time together working on a special project to take place later in the year. Let’s hope it’s just music they are making. Stay tuned for an update in the next issue of Greater Tulsa Reporter.
It’s been a great summer of music, theatre, poetry and outdoor events in Green Country. For those who think Tulsa has little to offer in terms of entertainment and cultural enjoyment, they’d better think again—those days are long gone.
Theatre Pops, under the direction of Randy Whalen, produced some very interesting and exciting theatre this summer in Tartuffe Born Again, starring first class entertainer Darrell Christopher, who hoodwinked and slithered his way into a fantastic comic performance as the televangelist, Tartuffe, all the way from the shores of Louisiana.
Tartuffe Born Again is an updated version of Moliere’s 17th Century Play, which, if you know Moliere’s writing, is hilarious.
Another of Tulsa’s favorite theatrical performers is the vivacious Rebecca Marks-Jimmerson, who played the role of the preacher in the wildly popular musical Bat Boy, which was produced by American Theatre Company. Last year’s original version was directed by the late actor/director Tyrone Wilkerson.
Booker T. Gillespie also showcased his acting chops and his amazing voice in the production of Karaoke, and from all accounts, Gillespie stole the show with his colorful and outrageous performance.
Each summer, the PAC’s Summer Stage presents outstanding music solo performances, and this year’s crop of performers included jazz artist Pam Van Dyke and pop and jazz princess Rebecca Ungerman who put on top-notch performances. Kudos!
Speaking of jazz, our own jazz institution, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, is gearing up for the new move into the beautiful art deco architectural wonder known as Tulsa’s Union Depot Building. It has a new nickname: the “Jazz Depot.” We can all look forward to the Oklahoma Jazz Experience in a new “Hall” and a destination for Oklahomans and visitors from all over the world to enjoy and learn of Oklahoma’s rich jazz history.
The Jazz Depot will offer a patio with tables, chairs and umbrellas for lunch, brunch or after work, and our promenade will offer music concerts and special events. The Great Performance Hall, VIP Suite and museum/gallery will be rental spaces for special events (weddings, receptions, parties, meetings, seminars and much more). For more information, please call Saloma Smith at 596-1004 or visit online at www.okjazz.org and view the 3-D virtual tour of the new Jazz Depot.
In association with the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, the Brady Theatre will present the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra in concert, along with Irving Mayfield, bandleader and trumpet master—all the way from the Big Easy. Keep your eyes peeled for the concert date in November. You do not want to miss this incredible evening of pure joy and entertainment—second line dance anyone?
The OJHF’s Autumn Jazz Concert Series kicks off at the Jazz Hall on Sept. 10 with Steve Ham’s Jambalaya Jazz Band, followed by Bruce Guthrie’s tribute to the legendary jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker on Sept. 17. On Sept. 24, the Brian Gorrell Quintet will come in from the UCO Jazz Lab in Edmond, and on Oct. 8, come and enjoy one of Tulsa’s favorite entertainers in his one man show, An Evening with Tavis! (Tavis Minner that is!).
All performances are on Sunday afternoons and begin at 5 p.m. and are held at the Jazz Hall of fame, currently located in the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood. For tickets, please call at 596-1001. Remember to get out on the town and enjoy this great city of ours.
Before I forget, so many people sent e-mails and calls thanking us for Celebrate Downtown C’mon. We’d like to thank the nearly 2,000 who attended; the diversity of the crowd is exactly what we look forward to at the Jazz Hall of Fame events.
From babies to teens, young professionals to those in wheelchairs, we enjoyed a cross section of Tulsans from all races, socio-economic backgrounds and those who simply wanted to come downtown and celebrate our city and that is exactly what they did.
Special thanks to our musical performers: FreeStyle (smooth jazz), The Lion King cast with Rick Fortner (traditional jazz), Salsa Rhythm Project (Latin jazz), Rochelle Chambers (blues), David Skinner (Oklahoma Jazz Hall blues inductee), Eldredge Jackson (Jazz Hall honoree) and Listening Pleasure (smooth jazz), Wallstreet (R&B) and the Wizards of OZ from Kansas who closed out the event (soul music). We also enjoyed our 18th annual Induction Banquet Gala honoring master pianist George Duke and the late Rosemary Clooney, among other honorees. Music for the special event was handled by the Jeff Shadley Group.
Chuck Cissel is the CEO of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.