Jack Wolfe Quartet Performs at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Jack Wolfe Quartet

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame welcomes the Jack Wolfe Quartet to the Jazz Depot stage.

Specializing in instrumental, classic, and modern jazz with keyboard, bass, percussion and saxophone, the Jack Wolfe Quartet takes the Depot stage in an unforgettable concert event.

To enjoy the jazz, call Bettie Downing at (918) 281-8609 and purchase your tickets. Members and Seniors enjoy discounted ticket prices at $10.00 each.  General Admission tickets are only $15.00, or $20.00 for Reserved Table Seating. High school and middle school students admitted for only $5.00.

The event is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014 Spring Concert Series.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural and educational organization, with a mission to inspire creativity and improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans through the preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

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NSU Jazz Ensemble featuring Scott McQuade at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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As far as first-call saxophonist and Northeastern State University director of jazz studies Tommy Poole is concerned, his contemporary Scott McQuade  is a great example of “the perfect working musician.”

It’s not surprising at all that Poole, another busy Tulsa-area performer, is in a position to make that evaluation. The two of them, he says, have “played together countless times, in countless configurations – I don’t know if I’ve played a lot of pop music with him, but we’ve done a lot of straight-ahead jazz and traditional New Orleans-style jazz together, all kind of jazz stuff.”

McQuade, he notes, “just has so many skills and is able to do so much.”

“He can arrange music. He can read anything. He knows any song that you might call out,” explains Poole. “He can play in any style. He can play with a rhythm section, he can play by himself, or he can play in a duo format, walking bass with his left hand and playing chords with his right hand, or playing bass with his right hand and soloing with his right. He’s just got so many skill sets. It’s really good for my young musicians to see someone like that.”Scott McQuade2

Sunday, Poole’s young instrumentalists in the NSU Jazz Ensemble will not only be seeing and hearing McQuade. They’ll also be performing with him. Or, rather, he’ll be performing with them.

“Scott will be playing from the piano chair of the Jazz Ensemble,” says Poole. “The NSU Jazz
Ensemble is going to play by itself, with no guest artists, for the opening song of each half of the concert. Then, beginning with the second song through however many songs we do each half, Scott McQuade will sit at the piano chair.”

Poole adds that he himself will be playing on “one or two numbers,” including an arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Take the `A’ Train” by Rob McConnell, known for his work with the Boss Brass band in the ’70s and ’80s. And three other guest players, he says, plan to be coming along with the 17-piece NSU Jazz Ensemble Sunday.

“Two of them are friends of mine from the Tahlequah area who play great trombone: Dr. Chuck DeShong and Orien Landis,” says Poole. “Chuck used to teach English at NSU – he’s retired now – and Orien is a band director at Tahlequah High School. And then we have Jim Masters, who’s a trumpeter. He graduated with a music degree from NSU a couple of decades ago – a very, very good trumpet player.”

All of these performers will be turned loose on a repertoire that leans heavily toward classics of the big-band era, including “All of Me,” the Duke Ellington standard “In A Mellow Tone,” and Buddy Rich’s arrangement of “Love for Sale.”

“Then I’m going to throw a curve ball with `Time Remembered,’” says Poole. “`Time Remembered’ is a composition of the great pianist Bill Evans, and it’s a beautiful song. That one is probably the most complex chart we’ll do the whole night.”

Sunday’s playlist also includes “Jive Samba,” composed by Nat Adderley, who played coronet and trumpet alongside his saxophonist brother, Cannonball Adderley, for years.

“They led one of the most influential hard-bop jazz quintets of all time,” notes Poole, “and that song was one of their hits.”

tommy poole12Poole, who’s been in charge of the NSU Jazz Ensemble for the past five years, is exceptionally bullish on this year’s version of the big-band styled group.

“I’ve got a lot of great students, a lot of great improvisers in the band,” he says. “You’re going to hear them get up and play some really good solos. This band is rock-solid, and they get excited about coming up and playing the Jazz Hall of Fame. It’s always a great crowd that comes out, a warm audience and a really fun audience.”

The NSU Jazz Ensemble, with guests Scott McQuade and Tommy Poole, is set to

begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. Tickets can be purchased at the Depot, from www.myticketoffice.com, or by calling Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609. General admission is $15, reserved table seating $20. Seniors and Jazz Hall members are admitted for $10, and high school and junior high students for $5.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014 Spring Concert Series.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural and educational organization, with a mission to inspire creativity and improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans through preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

 

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“Midnight Social Club” Farewell Performance at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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Midnight Social Club Brings Musical Farewell to Jazz Depot Friday

The SummerStage theater festival, that Tulsa audiences first met the four fictional ladies who provided the entertainment at a not-quite-first class 1930s bistro called the Midnight Social Club. Played by top Tulsa vocalists Cindy Cain (as club owner Violett Redd), Rebecca Ungerman (Garnett McGee), Pam Van Dyke Crosby (Stella Moon), and Annie Ellicott (Little Ruby) in a production calledBackstage at the Midnight Social Club, the characters proved to be so popular that they appeared in a second production, Onstage at the Midnight Social Club, and have performed occasionally in various configurations at Tulsa venues ever since.

Now, however, the Midnight Social Club appears to be shutting its doors for good. As Crosby notes, “Violett’s selling the club, Garnett’s going back on the road, Little Ruby’s moving to the big city, and Stella’s marrying her longtime boyfriend, Doghouse Bill.”

It is, at least partially, a case of art imitating life. Stella’s betrothed, who’s also the bassist in the Midnight Social Club band, is in real life Bill Crosby, Pam’s husband. And Ellicott really is moving away from Tulsa, something that comes as a blow to area jazz fans.

“Annie’s moving to San Francisco,” says Pam. “And even though she may be coming back from time to time, we probably won’t get a chance to do this again. So this will be the last time to see the four of us together doing the material from both of those shows, Backstage and Onstage.

Hence the name of Friday’s production, The Midnight Social Club – Last Chance. Pam stresses, however, that the Jazz Depot production is less a play than a show and dance.

“We’re going to act like our characters, but we’re just going to have a few lines,” she explains. “It’s going to be a show, but it’s also for dancing. We’ll be doing swing and Latin andfoxtrots. Since the club setting is in the 1930s, the songs we’re doing are from that era, except that there are a couple of originals.”

Chances are good that one of those originals will be the Cain-penned number that brought all the ladies of the Midnight Social Club together in the first place.

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“P. Casey Morgan wrote the original script for The Midnight Social Club,” she says, “Cindy Cain had wanted all of us to work together, and she wrote an opening song and had the idea for us all to be in a club. Then, we all kind of wrote our own characters and came up with the names and the name of the club.

“Violett Redd was the owner of the club, and when she took it over, she called my character, Stella Moon. I was a singer doing things in another town. Then, a friend of hers just kind of showed up one day and asked for a job. That was Garnett, played by Rebecca. So the three of us were singing together in the Midnight Social Club – which was, well, a little less than an A-1 nightclub.”

She laughs.

Then, unexpectedly, Little Ruby showed up. Violett Redd was her aunt, and she’d run away from home because her parents wanted her to marry a local pig farmer. She came to town and sang `Real Cowboy Girl’ and then got changed and became more sophisticated.”

In addition to the four vocalists playing those parts, all of the musicians involved in Friday’s production of The Midnight Social Club – Last Chance were on board for the first show back in 2008. They include Jeff Newsome on piano, Wade Robertson on drums, and “Doghouse Bill” Crosby on bass.

Those players also appeared on the original-cast CD, Backstage at the Midnight Social Club,which will be available for purchase at Friday’s show.

 The Midnight Social Club – Last Chancepresented by Sweet and Hot Productions, is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’sJazz Depot, 111 E. First Street. The show is presented in conjunction with the Brady Arts District’s First Friday Art Crawl. Admission is $10 at the door, with advance tickets available from Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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Pam Crosby Live at Main St. Tavern

pam crosby fb cover

The incomparable Pam Van Dyke Crosby will be performing with guitarist Randy Wimer at Main St. Tavern in Broken Arrow’s Rose District, Wednesday April 2nd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Bring your friends, family neighbors and enemies(they get to sit in the back), have a wonderful dinner and enjoy a fun filled  evening of your favorite tunes from jazz, blues, soft rock and more.

For more info click the links below:

Facebook: Main St. Tavern

Facebook: Pam Crosby Music

Rose District Broken Arrowhttp://www.rosedistrict.com/

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Bass Summit hosted by Nathan Eicher at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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NATHAN EICHER HOSTS BASS SUMMIT SUNDAY AT JAZZ DEPOT

 

It’s been a little over a month since Nathan Eicher accompanied Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame drummer Washington Rucker in a Jazz Depot concert. But it’s clear that the experience, and Rucker himself, continue to impress the young bassist.

“The guy was amazing – just so much experience,” says Eicher. “I could see, given his experience, where it would have been frustrating to play with someone like me, because I don’thave the experience. I haven’t seen all the situations, musically, that he’s seen. So things I might be doing that are maybe new, that I’m doing for the first time, are things he’s probably heard guys do before. Anything I could throw at him, he’s heard.

“But he was just so nice about it, you know? He was like, `Be free. Explore, and express yourself.’ He was reassuring, and he seemed to enjoy watching the process unfold with a younger guy. That was inspiring. He was just so far beyond me, and I got the opportunity to play with him and learn from him and I thought, `Man, I want to try to share that experience in the other direction.’”

To that end, the band Eicher’s bringing to the Depot Sunday will not only feature Depot regular Tim Shadley on piano, but a couple of high school musicians: bassist Byron Crenshaw and drummer Jonathan Haywood.    Crenshaw has been playing at the Tuesday evening Depot Jams, while Haywood is the drummer for the Tulsa Jam’bassadors, the award-winning all-city jazz group that’s a project of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. A combo made up of Jam’bassadors will also be on the bill Sunday.tulsa jambassadors web

In addition to his experience with Rucker, growing up in a musical family – his mother is the well-known vocalist Janet Rutland, his father the noted multi-instrumentalist Shelby Eicher – also contributed to his yen to work with youthful players.

“I want to reach out to kids who are young, because when I was young I had that opportunity,” he explains. “I was very fortunate, with my parents being musicians, to be able when I was in high school to go out and play gigs and sit in. And I’m always inspired when I hear these younger kids playing.”

Sunday, two of those younger kids, along with Shadley and Eicher, will be performing in a quartet that’ll look s a bit unusual. Added to the standard rhythm section of piano, bass, and drums will be a second bass, played by Eicher as a lead instrument, using a bow.

“I drew my inspiration from a bassist named Arni Egilsson,” Eicher says. “He has an album I heard several years ago called Basses Loaded, and it was the same kind of combo. After I heard it, I said, `Man, I want to do that. I want to develop my ability to play this instrument as a lead instrument, so much that I could step in front of a band and do it.’”nathan eicher

He adds that the groups he’s in, including the Tulsa-based string-jazz quartet Mischievous Swing and the trio that works regularly at Oklahoma City’s Hefner Grill, give him plenty of chances to experiment with bass solos.

“The past couple of years, particularly at Hefner Grill, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with a bow and develop that,” he notes. “So, now that I’m finally feeling comfortable with it, I thought, `Hey, I want to try leading a band with this.’ The bass might step into that [lead] role occasionally in the other bands I’m in, but in this [concert], it’s going to be every song, basically. It’ll be sort of like a bass violin.”

He laughs. “I guess I’m trying to be the Stephane Grappelli of bass.”

The Bass Summit with the Nathan Eicher Quartet and the Tulsa Jam’bassadors combo is set to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. Tickets can be purchased at the Depot, from www.myticketoffice.com, or by calling Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609. General admission is $15, reserved table seating $20. Seniors and Jazz Hall members are admitted for $10, and high school and junior high students for $5.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014 Spring Concert Series.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural and educational organization, with a mission to inspire creativity and improve the quality of life for all Oklahomansthrough preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

jazz hall at night

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