Top Tulsa Talents Come Together to Ring in New Year

Associate Editor

MUSICAL EVENING: Those ringing in the New Year at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Conference Center will dance the night away to the musical stylings of jazz saxman Grady Nichols, left, and vocalist Toni Estes, who will perform a tribute to Motown. The hotel is offering a variety of packages that can include dinner, overnight stay and breakfast New Year’s day.

GTR Newspapers

It’s the perfect recipe to ring in the New Year in style—a delectable dinner, great music by two of Tulsa’s finest in the biggest and the most elegant ballroom in Oklahoma. It’s “A Tribute to Motown” with Toni Estes and Grady Nichols at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center.

“Last year was such a tremendous hit that we decided to take the evening to the next level,” says smooth-jazz saxman Grady Nichols. “It will be non-stop fun.”

About 1,000 people enjoyed last year’s party where attendees crowded the dance floor through the night. With that in mind, organizers are expanding the dance floor and the dinner area.
“It’s fun to be on stage and see people dancing and mouthing the words to the songs along with Toni,” says Nichols. “This certainly won’t be your ordinary New Years Eve.”

Estes, a grammy–nominated R&B singer and songwriter agrees.
“There will be something for everyone with songs the audience will know,” she says. “We’ll be doing Motown, some 90’s hits, ballads…the music will span all age groups.”

In the tribute, Estes and Nichols will be doing the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s that will include such standards as ‘What’s Going On,’ ‘Night and Day,’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’
And it’s only on New Year’s Eve.

“Toni and I don’t tour together or do shows together. We do this just for New Year’s Eve so if you don’t catch it then you won’t see us doing the show a few months down the line,” says Nichols.

Estes is bringing her backup singers, Nicky Walker and L 2. Nichols band will play and includes Jo Watkins, David John, Mike Wilson, Chuck Totress and Wallace McNary. Arthur Thompson will join the group for the evening.

Both Nichols and Estes say the show is “high-energy.” So much so that Nichols has hired a personal trainer to help him get in shape for the evening.

The evening kicks off with a 7 p.m. dinner with piano music where renowned Renaissance chefs are offering two menus. The Cyprus Suites package menu will offer a five-course meal in the Cyprus Grille featuring an apricot chipotle glazed loin of lamb with vegetable tian and toasted orzo pasta. The package, which includes an overnight stay in a Renaissance Suite, the dinner, entertainment and New Year’s Day breakfast is $741 for two. A reception for Cyprus Suites package holders will be held in Merlots at 6:30 p.m.

Attendees can also book the Suite Package for $439 for two which includes an overnight stay in a Renaissance Suite, dinner in the Grand Ballroom, the entertainment and New Year’s Day breakfast. In this option, there will be a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Madrid Ballroom before the 7:30 p.m. dinner in the Grand Ballroom.

Another option is a standard room package for $349 for two which includes the same items as the Suite Package but the overnight stay will be in a Renaissance guest room.

A dinner and entertainment only package is available for $199.
The menu for the dinners being served in the Grand Ballroom will be a three-course meal featuring a petit filet of beef and crab stuffed filet of sole, saffron soubise rice with sun-dried tomato and cilantro cream sauce.

Scrumptious desserts finish all of these dinners.
For those only wanting the entertainment, this option is available for $99 for two.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 307-2600 or visiting

Updated 12-19-2005

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