“Jazz Up”: An Online Art Gallery

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Jazz Up! An Online Art Gallery

We love jazz and we love art, what if you put the two of them together? You would have our Jazz Up!: Online Art Gallery board 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.

Music and art have always complemented each other 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, check out some of our other boards as well such as: Tulsa’s Jazz, Jazz Clubs, Jazz History, Women and Jazz: A Celebration in Art, and many more!

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

 

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Jazz Appreciation Month: Ways to Celebrate!

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Here are a few ways jazz fans can celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month!

Attend a concert by your local high school or college jazz band.

Listen to a jazz CD that is new to you. Try to stretch your ears. If you need some guidance, try The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 4th edition, by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, Tom Piazza’s Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz.

Read a good book on jazz.

Find a new jazz website.

Listen to a radio station that plays genuine jazz.

Go to “This Date in Jazz History” (at www.SmithsonianJazz.org), pick an anniversary, and go out find some music by that musician to explore.

Pay a pilgrimage to your favorite jazz city, or to a jazz museum, or to a musician’s birthplace or gravesite.

View Satchmo, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, Straight No Chaser, or another jazz documentary or performance video.

Check out the jazz offerings or find your local NPR station, on the web site www.npr.jazz.org.

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Log onto a distant jazz radio station on the web. For example, KLON (www.klon.org), WBGO (www.wbgo.org), or WWOZ (www.wwoz.org) which features New Orleans music.

If you travel in the United States, use The Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover’s Guide to the U.S., by Christiane Bird, as your guide to jazz clubs and historical locations in 25 cities.

Join your local jazz society. If none exists, organize one.

Subscribe to a jazz magazines, such as Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz. Others include: Cadence, Marge Hofacre’s Jazz News, The Mississippi Rag, and from

Canada, Coda, Planet Jazz, and The Jazz Report.

Host jazz listening sessions in your home.

Hold a jazz-themed party in honor of a favorite musician, or to celebrate jazz in general.

Read a jazz-related poem–such as those in The Jazz Poetry Anthology, edited by Sascha Feinstein and Yusef Komunyakaa or their The Second Set: The Jazz Poetry Anthology, Volume 2.

Consider a jazz-related artwork (such as those reproduced in Seeing Jazz: Artists and Writers on Jazz, compiled by the Smithsonian Institution’s Marquette Folley-Cooper, Deborah Macanic, and Janice O’Neil.).

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TulsaJazz.Com Presents Cyn Sings Ella: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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CYNTHIA SIMMONS PRESENTS ELLA FITZGERALD TRIBUTE SHOW SUNDAY

 

The late Ella Fitzgerald remains one of the most high-profile and beloved jazz and pop singers in history, selling more than 40,000 records, winning 13 Grammy Awards as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and even appearing on a postage stamp in 2007, celebrating the 90th anniversary of her birth. In addition, she’s popularly known as “The First Lady of Song,” a title that’s hardly thrown around.

So shouldn’t it be more than a little intimidating for a vocalist to produce and sing a show full of Ella’s songs?

“Absolutely,” says Cynthia Simmons with a laugh. “But, you know, I went into it with the same mindset I had with the Nina Simone show, which I did back in March of last year. I’m not Ella Fitzgerald. I’m not going to sound like Ella Fitzgerald. But I’m going to give the best tribute I can to a musical phenomenon, somebody who had a fifty-year-plus career in music, who kept going even after major illnesses. She was awesome, I love her, and I’m going to give her my best possible tribute.”ella-fitzgerald

That five-decade career began for Fitzgerald in 1934, when she won an amateur-night contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Four years later, she had her first No. 1 hit, “A-Tisket A-Tasket,” which she recorded with Chick Webb’s big band. Throughout the 1930s, she worked extensively with both Webb and the Benny Goodman Orchestra, as well as with her own band. Then, in the mid-1940s, during a stint on the road withDizzy Gillespie, she began scat singing during a stint on the road with Dizzy Gillespie. That wordless vocal style soon became a major element in her music.

“I think my biggest challenge was to do an Ella show when I’m not a scatter,” says Simmons. “A lot of people compare my voice to hers, but I don’t scat. I’m working on it, though.”

In the 1950s, Fitzgerald broke into the mainstream in a big way, recording a number of big-selling albums as a solo performer. She was a double winner at the very first Grammy Awards event, in 1958, scoring Best Individual Jazz Performance honors for Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book and Best Female Vocal Performance for Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book. For the next three decades, she also toured extensively and was a regular guest star on national television, which is where Cynthia Simmons first encountered her.Ella F singing

“I remember being a kid and seeing her on variety shows,” Simmons recalls. “She was this very elegant older lady, just standing there and singing, and as I got older, I just kept watching her age in front of the world, still doing her music. It was one of those things that just struck me. I always thought, `Oh, yeah, Ella Fitzgerald. She sang jazz.’

“The very first show I did for the Jazz Hall was three or four years ago,” she adds. “It was two other gentlemen and me, and I spotlighted Ella in my part. So I’ve been performing her songs for my entire jazz career.”

For Sunday’s Jazz Depot show, which she’s titled Cyn Sings Ella: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Simmons will be backed by a trio of musicians very familiar to area jazz fans: Frank Brown on Guitar, Dean Demerritt on bass, Mike Moore on trumpet and Wade Robertson on drums. She also plans to have another well-known Jazz Depot performer, Darell Christopher, on hand to recreate a few of the famous duets Fitzgerald did with Louis Armstrong.

And along with all the music, Simmons says that she’ll present a few biographical facts about Ella that will help the audience see her as a person in addition to a great performer.

“She did fabulous music,” notes Simmons. “Everyone listens to her, but most people don’t learn about her. I’ve been learning about her, so I’m going to share a lot of what I’ve learned.”Cynthia 50

Cyn Sings Ella: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, January 25th, 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.myticketoffice.com, or by calling Bettie Downing at 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 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 the preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Tulsa Jazz Presents:The Jazz Legends featuring Melba Doretta Liston

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Although a formidable trombone player, Melba Liston was primarily known for her arrangements, especially working with Randy Weston, and compositions. Growing up mostly in Los Angeles, some of her first work came during the 1940s with two West Coast masters: bandleader Gerald Wilson and tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon. In Gordon’s small combos, she began to blossom as a trombone soloist, and Gordon wrote a song as a tribute to her, “Mischievous Lady.” Despite her obvious talent as a soloist, Liston became an in-demand big band section player, which likely fueled her later work as an arranger. During the 1940s, Liston also worked with the Count Basie band and with Billie Holiday.

Following a brief hiatus from music, she joined Dizzy Gillespie‘s bebop big band in 1950, and again for two of Gillespie’s State Department tours in 1956 and 1957, which included her arrangements of “Annie’s Dance” and “Stella by Starlight” in performances. She started her own all-woman quintet in 1958, working in New York and melba_liston3Bermuda, before joining Quincy Jones’ band in 1959 to play the musical Free and Easy. She stayed in Jones’ touring band as one of two woman members until 1961.

In the 1950s, Liston began a partnership that she would return to on and off for more than 40 years. From the seminal 1959 recording Little Niles through 1998’s Khepera, Liston was the arranger on many of Randy Weston‘s albums. Her arrangements, with a powerful base of brass and percussion and expressive solo performances, helped shape and embellish Weston’s compositions.

To read the rest of her biography click herehttp://arts.gov/honors/jazz/melba-liston

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John Fedchock and The NSU Jazz Ensemble at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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Grammy-Nominated Trombonist John Fedchock Joins NSU Jazz Ensemble for Sunday’s Jazz Depot Show

            Saxophonist Tommy Poole, director of jazz studies at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, says there’s no reason trombonist, arranger, and bandleader John Fedchock should remember the last time they played together.

Poole, however, will never forget it.

“It was right around the time when Dizzy Gillespie died [on January 6, 1993], and I was young,” recalls Poole. “I was part of a big band, a school big band, that was backing him up at a jazz conference – and I remember him playing ‘way faster than I could play.” He laughs.

“He had an arrangement of the old cartoon theme for The Flintstones, called “Flintstoned,” and it went really fast. I did what I could with what I had at the time. It was a learning experience; that’s my point.”

There’ll probably be more learning, along with plenty of entertaining, going on at Sunday’s concert, when Poole joins his NSU Jazz Ensemble in backing Fedchock. The trombonist is flying in from New York for the show, as well as for the Oklahoma Jazz Educators Fall Workshop, which takes place the next day at NSU’s Jazz Lab.

“We’ve got five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, four in the rhythm section – piano, bass, drums, guitar – and then we’ll add Fedchock in there as well,” he says, referring to the group playing behind Fedchock Sunday. “I’m one of the five [saxophone players].”

maynardfergusonBefore Fedchock takes the stage, the NSU Jazz Ensemble will start things off with an opening number called “Superbone Meets the Bad Man.”

“It’s kind of a funny title,” notes Poole, “but it was a big hit for Maynard Ferguson. It’ll feature our first trombonist, Zach Gunkel, and our baritone sax player Kaleb Baquera.”

Other soloists who’ll be featured throughout the evening include tenor saxophonist Joe Barger, trumpeter Austin Stunkard, pianist Hiroki Ohsawa, guitarist Nick Meena, bassist Matt Butler, and drummer Katy Peacock.

“It’s always a pleasure working with Dr. Poole and the NSU Jazz Ensemble,” said Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. “Dr. Poole is a leader in music education, known for developing NSU’s jazz program through energizing young musicians so they can fully reach their potential. ”

“We’re going to do all John Fedchock compositions, except for one of the songs, a standard called `What’s New,’ says Poole. “It’s his arrangement.”

Fedchock’s Grammy nomination was, in fact, for his arranging. His arrangement of his own composition, “Caribbean Fire Dance,” was a finalist for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 2003. It appeared on the John Fedchock New York Big Band’s disc No Nonsense.

Called “a superior jazz trombonist” by noted music critic and writer Leonard Feather and “one of the country’s most accomplished trombonists” by the Cleveland Plain

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Woody Herman Rochester, N.Y. 1976 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dealer, Fedchock made his initial splash in 1980, when he began playing with jazz and big-band legend Woody Herman. He toured with Herman’s Thundering Herd for seven years, working as both music director and featured soloist, and served as musical coordinator and chief arranger for the 1986 Herman disc 50th Anniversary Tour as well as 1987’s Woody’s Gold Star. For his part, the legendary bandleader called Fedchock his “right hand man.” A quote from Herman published on Fedchock’s website (www.johnfedchock.com), adds, “Everything I ask of John he accomplishes, and I ask a lot. He’s a major talent.”

Although Herman passed away in ’87, his orchestra continues to record and tour, and Fedchock continues to be closely associated with the group, composing, arranging, and occasionally playing in the band.

In addition to touring with the likes of T.S. Monk, Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band, Louie Bellson’s Big Band, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Fedchock has recorded four CDs with his own big band. The discs New York Big Band and On the Edge were included in Downbeat magazine’s list of best CD’s of the ’90s, and the group’s Hit the Bricks was similarly honored by the publication as one of the best of 2000.

A strong advocate for arts in education, Fedchock holds a master’s degree in jazz studies and contemporary music from the Eastman School of Music and conducts seminars and workshops at universities and colleges across the country. In addition to headlining the Sunday afternoon concert and appearing at the Oklahoma jazz educators’ meeting in Tahlequah, he plans to spend time working with the members of the NSU Jazz Ensemble at the Jazz Depot, prior to their performance.

John Fedchock, Tommy Poole, and the NSU Jazz Ensemble are set to begin at5:00p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 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, fromwww.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.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2013 Autumn 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.

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Mike Cameron presents: “A Don Byas Tribute” at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame

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Mike Cameron Presents Tribute to Oklahoma 

Sax Man Don Byas Sunday at Jazz Depot

As far as fellow saxophonist Mike Cameron is concerned, Oklahoma jazzman Don Byas was the one big-band era sax player who “best synthesized the swing styles and the bebop styles.”

Explains Cameron, “He was an extreme virtuoso as far as getting around bebop [chord] changes, but he did it with that old swing mentality.”

It’s fitting, then, that the Byas tribute show Cameron’s producing for the Jazz Depot Sunday will feature a blend of those two musical styles – swing and bebop. In doing it, Cameron will be joined by three musicians well known to Depot patrons: keyboardist Scott McQuade, drummer Jared Johnson, and saxophonist Tommy Poole. Other reed players, including the University of Tulsa’s Bobby Kitchen, are expected to sit in during the course of the evening.

“Swing will be the primary focus of the concert,” says Cameron. “There’ll be a lot of swing, and I think we’re going to do some of Tommy’s originals, and some of mine. We’ll do the bebop stuff with a little more of a modern approach; Scott gets really creative in that respect.

“We’re going to play some Don Byas compositions; we’ll play some by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane as well,” he adds. “I think we’re going to do a couple of movements from [Coltrane’s] Love Supreme album. We’ll do one or two from Michael Brecker, and there are some modern saxophone players who write some great stuff – like a guy named Chris Potter. We’ll do one of his, too.”

This emphasis on songs composed by saxophonists is the major difference between last year’s Byas tribute, which took place on the 100th anniversary of his birth, and Sunday’s show. As was the case with the 2012 event, however, Sunday’s concert is intended to draw attention to one of the greatest jazz saxophonists who ever lived.don byas 1

Carlos Wesley Byas, born in Muskogee on Oct. 21, 1912, started his first band while attending Langston University. He named that early group Don Carlos and His Collegiate Ramblers, giving him the “Don” nickname that stayed with him throughout his career. By that time, he’d already worked with Oklahoma City’s legendary Blue Devils and Kansas City’s Bennie Moten Orchestra, which often appeared on the same stage as the Blue Devils in band “battles” during the ’20s.

Byas spent most of the 1930s in California, playing tenor sax in bands led by Lionel Hampton, Eddie Barefield, and Buck Clayton. Crossing the country to New York at the end of that decade, he worked with Lucky Millinder, Benny Carter, and other noted bandleaders. His most visible gig of the early 1940s came when he replaced Lester Young in the Count Basie Orchestra (which had arisen from the ashes of Benny Moten’s Kansas City group.) He made more waves as a player in the emerging bebop scene, performing with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and leading his own aggregation.

In the late ’40s, Byas settled in Paris, later moving to Amsterdam. Although other jazz greats had played overseas, Byas was, according to historian William W. Savage Jr., “the first of a number of prominent American jazz expatriates.”

Byas returned for the occasional American job, including a 1970 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, but he lived overseas for the rest of his life, dying of lung cancer in 1972.

“Saxophonist Don Byas was one of the most influential instrumentalists in the history of American jazz,” said Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. “This time each year we not only take the time to reflect upon Byas’ musical legacy, but we enjoy introducing new audiences to the music of this Oklahoma-born legend. We appreciate the next generation of great Oklahoma musicians-like Mike Cameron-paying tribute to an Oklahoma icon.”

In addition to providing Cameron with the opportunity to honor one of his favorite jazzmen – as he did last October, when the event debuted at the Jazz Depot – this year’s show also gives him the chance to headline with Poole for what, essentially, is the first time.tommy poole 1

“Tommy and I have never done a show together,” says Cameron. “It’s one of those things. If it’s a singer’s gig, for instance, they don’t need more than one saxophone player. We’ve played some big-band shows with Mike Bennett and some other big bands around town, but never in a small group like this, a solo-feature kind of thing.”

Because the concert bumps up against another McQuade gig, the Don Byas Tribute Concert will be presented as one full-length show with no break.

“We’ll start right at five and go until about 6:20,” Cameron says, “so it’s be a solid 80-minute set.”

The Don Byas Tribute Concert is set to begin at 5:00p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20 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.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.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2013 Autumn 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.

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Washington Rucker’s show review in one word: Fabulous!

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Jazz Lions Roar As Washington Rucker Leads the Pride!

                  Washington Rucker’s homecoming to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame was a concert to remember. The Booker T. Washington graduate and 1998 inductee into the Jazz Hall clearly demonstrated why he holds a special place in Oklahoma jazz history, as well as among national jazz giants.

If you’ve ever heard recordings from Minton’s, or Small’s Paradise, or any “Swing Street” venue in New York City, you have some idea of the high level of Rucker’s appearance in Tulsa.

The July 7 performance at the Jazz Depot could be called a gathering of the Lions—the Old Jazz Lion Rucker, and the Young Jazz Lions Steven Schrag and Jordan Hehl. That pride showed there is no generation gap when it comes to classic jazz.

From the first measures of Miles Davis’s “All Blues,” the three musicians meshed like a well-oiled and highly rehearsed jazz trio—belying the fact that, as pianist Schrag noted in a conversation prior to the performance, due to scheduling problems the three never had a full rehearsal together as they coordinated their production.

If they had rehearsed, maybe the top would have blown off the Jazz Depot. Maybe not. As it was, it clearly levitated a few feet Sundayevening.

“All Blues,” a classic from Davis’s remarkable Kind of Blue  album, can — in the wrong hands —  become a repetitive nightmare. But the bass vamp, which is endlessly repeated throughout the song, seemed to take new life in Hehl’s hands. As a matter of fact, all six hands acquitted themselves well.

In the language of bop, drummer Kenny Clarke introduced what came to be known as bombs—accents that helped shape the genre as well as enhance the music. In Rucker’s hands, the bombs became a full-scale and well-aimed artillery attack that gave what can be a tired jazz warhorse a brand new and exciting run for the roses.

Schrag’s piano found new avenues throughout his improvisational tour of the number and the audience was nearly brought to its feet by the time every nuance of Davis’s composition had been explored.

No rehearsal? You have to be kidding!

As Rucker, who acknowledged his Tulsa and BTW heritage early on, explained, “We speak the language of jazz.” Indeed, despite their youth it was clear that Schrag and Hehl were well-versed in both the language and protocols of jazz as they joined with Rucker into Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia.” This jazz classic shows both Gillespie’s Afro-Cuban experience, as well as his firm grounding in swing prior to becoming a bop pioneer. The trio smoothly moved from the Latin rhythms to swing and back and forth with Rucker frequently introducing the changes with one trick or another on his drum set. Always fresh, always innovative. And each musician’s break blended as smoothly as a 12-year-old bourbon.

The first instrumental portion of the show closed with Thelonious Monk’s “In Walked Bud,” the pianist-composer’s tribute to jazz legend Bud Powell.  On this, the slowest piece of the first set, the trio proved its ability to play as superbly subtly as it had previously shaken the rafters.8931547981_a34fb41922_b

Rucker then introduced singer Cynthia Simmons by saying he’d thought his days of accompanying vocalists had ended (Rucker’s credits include Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Linda Hopkins) until he heard Ms. Simmons. Between “Lullaby of Birdland” which opened her first set, and “Mood Indigo” in her second, Ms. Simmons showed why she is such a favorite by not only respecting the melody, but also putting her personal stamp on each song she performed. It’s a trick few vocalists can accomplish.

After a break, the three instrumentalists continued along the same terrific lines, and Simmons returned to perform a knock-out encore set. The trio’s second-section highlight was a rousing performance of Ray Noble’s “Cherokee” that brought the house to its feet—raising the Jazz Depot roof even higher.

Schrag and Hehl, two of the finest young jazz musicians around, are well-known to Jazz Hall patrons for their numerous appearances on the Jazz Depot stage as well as in the class room. Their sterling performances, in tandem with the brilliant work of a jazz legend three times their age, will go down in Tulsa music history as one of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s  finest concerts ever.

— John Hamill and John Wooley

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