The City of Yale honors one of their own, the late, great Chet Baker
Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. was born on December 23, 1929, in Yale, Oklahoma, and moved to the Los Angeles area with his family at age 10. The son of musically inclined parents, he sang in church choirs and tried his hand at trombone before turning to trumpet at age 13.
Baker dropped out of school at 16 to join the Army, and played in bands during his two stints in the armed forces. In between, he was turned on to the music of Miles Davis and became involved in the Los Angeles jazz scene.
Baker’s musical career took off after he earned the chance to play with jazz great Charlie Parker in 1952. That year he joined saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s piano-less quartet, and the pairing of Baker’s subdued tone and gentle phrasing with Mulligan’s ear for harmonies proved a dynamic combination. The quartet reeled off such favorites as “Walkin’ Shoes,” “Bernie’s Tune” and “My Funny Valentine,” which became one of Baker’s signature songs.
The festival will consist of various artist from Tulsa and around the state, to a person, if asked, they will state how honored they are to be a part of such an historic event.
Bruce Guthrie Exec. Dir of the Chet Baker Foundation stated that “He hopes this will continue be one of many annual celebrations of Chet’s legacy here in his hometown of Yale, Oklahoma.”
The line up for this great event is as follows:
Hank Williams Tribute – 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Steve Wilkerson and Andrea Baker Duo – 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Moore Jazz w/ guest vocalist Cynthia Simmons – 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The Chet Baker Festival will run from 4-9 p.m. on Main and Boston in downtown Yale, about 45 minutes west of Tulsa. The festival is free and open to the public.
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