Sheridan Road Christmas Concert at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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SHERIDAN ROAD CHRISTMAS SHOW TO BE A HOLIDAY FAVORITE

According to their director, Dr. Barry Epperley, members of the three-man, three-woman vocal-jazz group Sheridan Road went through “at least 100 different pieces” of Christmas music before selecting the material they wanted to perform in their Sunday Jazz Depot concert. And what they came up with, notes Epperley with a chuckle, was “some music that’s really sweet, some really hot jazz, and some that’s just completely goofy.”

It’s hard to know which of those categories applies to the group’s planned opening number. Epperley first encountered it during his days of working with the Walt Disney Company at Disneyland in the early 1970s, when he produced a musical program with the veteran actor and musical performer Elsa Lanchester.

“It’s a street cry from London; she had heard a street vendor selling lavender, and for her, it was a Christmas thing,” he recalls. “So I adapted that to the show we were doing, and she sang it, sort of. It was called `Won’t You Buy My Sweet Blooming Lavender.’

“I remembered it, and we found it and rewrote it for our group. So [Sheridan Road member] Steve Raiford is going to start the evening going through the audience singing `Won’t You Buy My Sweet Blooming Lavender.’”

And while that sounds pretty off-trail for a Christmas concert, it’s far from the only unusual song on the bill.

“We’re doing a little set of Alfred Burt carols,” he explains. “Alfred Burt’s father was a minister in the Midwest, and every year he and his church organist, Wilha Huston, would write a Christmas carol, put it on a card, and mail it to the people on their Christmas list. In 1942, Alfred started writing the words. You may not know the titles, but you’ll hear them playing when you walk through a mall: `We’ll Dress the House,’ `Caroling, Caroling,’ ‘`Some Children See Him’ – which is probably his most popular. They’re all straight-ahead and pretty sweet.

“From there,” he adds, “we’ll go to a very raucous and jazz-filled `Jingle Bells,’ and it kind of changes everything.”549366c5af0de.image

The group plans to end the first half of the show with a musical arrangement of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” originally performed by the big-band-era act Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians and arranged by Harry Simeone, who would later become famous for another Christmas evergreen, “The Little Drummer Boy.”

“When I was a little kid,” Epperley recalls, “my father was the choir director at Stillwater High School, and one of the early things I remember with him is `Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ When my family gets together for the holidays, we always sing, and we always close with that. It tells the story humorously and with a good deal of fun.”

Other unusual holiday songs that Depot patrons can expect Sunday include one from PeterSchickele, aka P. D. Q. Bach, called “Throw the Yule Long on Uncle John”; “Hard Candy Christmas,” a Dolly Parton composition from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; and the Harry Connick Jr. arrangement of “(It Must’ve Been Ol‘) Santa Claus.”

Epperley himself created a kind of “Carol of the Bells” medley for the show.

“We have the old Peter Wilhousky arrangement, which he brought over from Russia. That’s the one everybody knows,” he says. “Then I happened on to the Jay Rouse arrangement, which is real swingy and just builds toward a screaming end. I put them together, adjusted the keys, and we just elided them. It’s really, really fun to sing.”

Scheduled to join Epperley on stage for all the fun are the other members of Sheridan Road, minus one.

“Because of some previous commitments and other things in her world, Jenn Green is not going to be with us,” he says. “Brenda Bussman, whom I’ve worked with for a long time, is filling in, and she’s got a really sweet kind of midrange soprano. I did a gospel octet over at Christ United Methodist Church for probably 10 years, and she was one of my folks there, so I know her capabilities. She’s got the second soprano role, and I’ve moved Marla [Patterson] up to first.”

In addition to Patterson, Bussman, Raiford, and Epperley, the group includes Brian and Jennifer Wilson (who are not related). The band is the same trio that played with the group at its October Jazz Depot show: pianist Rob Muraoka, bassist Jim Loftin, and drummer George Toumayan.

“We all like each other,” Epperley says. “You can tell it on stage.”

“Sheridan Road is a relatively new act, and this is their first Christmas show,” says Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. “But I expect it to be an annual concert, and to quickly become a sure tradition for many families.”

The Sheridan Road Christmas Concert is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 21, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First Street.

Tickets can be purchased at the Depot, from www.JazzHallTickets.com, or by calling 918.928.JAZZ. 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.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014-5 Winter 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.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

 

 

Angie Cockrell and Mike Leland at Bluestone Steakhouse Presented by TulsaJazz.Com

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Angie is one of those rare performers who can make hearts ache and souls shake with her own renditions of At Last, Somewhere Over the Rainbow,  Crazy, The Tennessee Waltz,  Stormy Monday, Amazing Grace,  and Eye on the Sparrow. “Because I’ve lived through some tough times, I can infuse those classic songs with a sense of knowing.” A Tulsa music scene staple for the last several years, Angie has appeared at Juneteenth, The Saturday Night Spotlight, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, and The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

She has won several songwriting and performance awards from the Sandra James Music Foundation Songwriting Competition; American Traditions Competition in Savannah; Oklahoma-Based Songwriting Contest; Absolute Best of Tulsa for Best Christian Artist by readers of Urban Tulsa Weekly. She has performed with the Hard Rock Orchestra, the Swon Brothers, and under the direction of acclaimed gospel artist Ernestine Dillard.

She will be performing with Mike Leland, a much heralded and accomplished keyboardist, this Wednesday and Thursday evening, December 17th and 18th from 6pm-9pm.

This show is a Tulsa Jazz.Com Production.

Dates/Times:  

Wednesday December 17th, 2014 6 pm- 9 pm

Thursday December  18th, 2014 6 pm- 9 pm

Angie’s Website: http://www.angiecockrell.com/

Bluestone Steakhouse Website: http://www.bluestonesteakhouse.com/

Location: 10032 S Sheridan Rd, Tulsa, OK 74133

Phone: 918-296-9889

Dr. Joey Crutcher in Concert at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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CHRISTMAS CONCERT HONORS MEMORY OF DR. JOEY CRUTCHER’S SON

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Famer Joey Crutcher is well-known for presenting his annual Christmas gospel concerts in conjunction with the Hall, something he’s been doing since the very beginnings of the non-profit organization back in the early ‘90s.

This year’s show, however, will be especially poignant. Dr. Crutcher is dedicating the event to the memory of his oldest son, Joey LaRon Crutcher, who lost his battle with cancer on November 29.

“He worked with me all the time,” says Dr. Crutcher. “In fact, he’s been with me ever since he was a little boy. He started playing drums then, but his passion was the keyboard. He played percussion, organ, piano, and he did a lot of producing and writing. So Jason [McIntosh, Jazz Hall CEO] and I talked about it, and we just decided to dedicate the whole night to my son.”TonyMason

Many of the musicians and vocalists set to perform Sunday afternoon were also a part of Joey L. Crutcher’s funeral service, including vocalist Tony Mason.

“Tony Mason was the praise and worship leader for a long time at the Greenwood Christian Center, a big church my son played for,” Dr. Crutcher says. “He’s a praise and worship specialist who’s done a lot of professional singing, and he did praise and worship at my son’s service. He’ll be at the gospel show with a group, Tony Mason and Company.”

Others scheduled to appear during the concert include Christian rap artist Mario Johnson, the Heralds of Praise from Tulsa’s New Heights Christian Center, and two veteran musicians, saxophonist Chris Clayton and multi-instrumentalist Leon Rollerson.

“Chris was one of the original members of the GAP Band, and he was a classmate of mine. We both graduated from Washington Senior High School, class of ’66. Leon called me and said, `Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it.’ So he’s going to be there, too.”

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Of course, a Crutcher show wouldn’t be complete without representation from the Tulsa chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, a group founded in 1967 by the Rev. James Cleveland – perhaps the major driving force in modern gospel music – and star gospel performerAlbertina Walker. Described on its website (www.gmwanational.net) as “a non-profit, interdenominational, interracial, non-sexist oriented, international association of gospel singers and musicians,” the group holds a yearly convention that draws some 20,000 delegates to education and performance opportunities.

The mission of these delegates, and the chapters they belong to, is “to preserve the heritage of Gospel music in America, while providing a forum for the development of excellence in the presentation of Gospel music. Further, to increase opportunities for the perpetuation of Gospel music throughout other industries, arenas, and the world.”  There are some 250 chapters worldwide, including Tulsa’s, with which Dr. Crutcher has been deeply involved for many years.GMWA

“I’m a chapter representative,” he notes. “We’re planning to go to Las Vegas in March for the annual board meeting, and that’s actually the preparation for our national convention, which is going to be in New Orleans this year, the second week in July.”

Oklahoma City also has a GMWA chapter, and, says Dr. Crutcher, that group will be sending representatives to perform Sunday as well.

As its organizer as well as a participant, Dr. Crutcher stops short of calling the Christmas concert a variety show – because, he says, “it takes away the theological aspect of it.” But, he adds, “This particular show is going to have gospel, and gospel jazz, and a little bit of R&B.

“When you’re dealing with gospel music, you’re dealing with a lot of different styles,” he explains. “I specialize in traditional gospel, but there’s also a lot of contemporary gospel. We’re opening this up to a lot of musicians from around the city, so it’ll be kind of a mixture. A lot of times, we just kind of look around ourselves to see what’s going to happen.”

Dr. Joey Crutcher’s Christmas Gospel Celebrationis set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 14, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First Street.

Tickets can be purchased at the Depot, from www.JazzHallTickets.com, or by calling 918-928-JAZZ. 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.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014-5 Winter Concert Series.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fameis 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.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Women and Jazz: A Celebration in Art on Pinterest

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Women and Jazz: A Celebration in Art

We love the Ladies of Jazz and we love art, what if you put the two of them together? You would have our Women and Jazz: A Celebration in Art on Pinterest!

What you will find there are quite a few of our favorite jazz art paintings posted in this fantastic online gallery for your enjoyment.

Women have always played a key role in Jazz and we have thoroughly  enjoyed putting together this collection for you, please stop by an peruse through these wonderful paintings done by some incredible artists. We hope you enjoy viewing this collection as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.

While you’re there, follow us and check out some of  our other boards such as: Tulsa’s Jazz, Jazz Clubs, Jazz History, and many more!

Check back with us regularly to keep up with our latest posts about jazz history, art, and Tulsa’s jazz community…thanks again for supporting Tulsa Jazz.

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TulsaJazz.Com Presents Angie Cockrell and Mike Leland at Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood.

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This beautiful lady with her “buttery smooth” voice  will be performing with the always wonderful  Mike Leland at  Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood Wednesday December 3rd and Thursday December 4th  from 6-9 pm. They will perform many of your favorites as you dine on the the delicious offerings of the Bluestone menu and relax in an elegant, intimate, atmosphere.

Are you a wine lover? Bluestone has a great selection to choose from as well as offering a wonderful wine “experience”.

These are can’t miss shows, so bring your friends and family and join enjoy an evening of good music, good food, and good fun :-)

This show is a Tulsa Jazz.Com Production.

 

Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood

Date/Time: December 3rd-4th 2014  6 pm- 9 pm

Location: 10032 S Sheridan Rd, Tulsa, OK 74133

Phone: 918-296-9889

Angie’s Website: www.angiecockrell.com