The first weekend in June was going to be good because of the Tulsa Arts District’s monthly First Friday Art Crawl, an event that can draw as many as 3,000 people to the area in just one night.
June’s art crawl will coincide with the T.E.G. International Jazz Fest, a free admission event at the Guthrie Green that will run from 6:00 to 9:00 pm Friday, June 4. The concert will feature Tulsa’s own Cynthia Simmons Quintet, South Carolina trumpeter Willie Bradley, who is fresh off a run at number one on one of Billboard’s jazz charts, and New York’s own saxophone queen Paula Atherton, a Smooth Jazz Network 2020 Artist of the Year nominee and no stranger to those same Billboard charts.
John Taylor, CEO of Taylor Entertainment Group (T.E.G.), said that this would be a big deal.
“Jazz is alive and well in Tulsa,” he said and promised that this would be “one of Tulsa’s biggest jazz weekends in years.”
Anyone thinking he might be overselling it may not realize he was speaking of the entire weekend. On Sunday, June 6, trumpet legend Wynton Marsalis takes the stage at the BOK Center at 3:00 pm to perform his own “All Rise,” a blues suite he will play with the Tulsa Symphony as part of commemoration and remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The T.E.G. International Jazz Fest is presented as part of the events related to International Jazz Day, and Marsalis visits bringing his connections to Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he serves as managing and artistic director.
Having Bradley, Atherton, and Marsalis in Tulsa on the same weekend is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for jazz lovers and a happening not to be missed.
“This is a call to action,” Taylor said, urging Tulsa music lovers in general and jazz lovers in particular to get themselves downtown to soak up what is sure to be a truly unforgettable weekend.
The 2021 T.E.G. International Jazz Fest Friday is presented by SpiritBank and happens at the Guthrie Green on June 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
The Tulsa Symphony presents Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center performing “All Rise” at the BOK Center Sunday, June 5 at 3:00 pm.
Jazz giants Willie Bradley and Paula Atherton will travel to Tulsa for the event, joined by the Cynthia Simmons Quintet, an outfit Tulsa jazz lovers already know well.