Tulsa Jazz Music Group Presents Angie Cockrell Performing at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame



This lovely lady will be performing at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame this Sunday June 7th from 5-7 pm. Accompanying her will be Dean Demerritt, Frank Brown, Wade Robertson, and Mike Leland. Angie’s voice has been described as “rich and heart melting” and her performances are mesmerizing.

It is that voice that causes one to conjure up comparisons to Linda Ronstadt, Ann Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Patsy Cline, Karen Carpenter, Etta James, and Eva Cassidy. Growing up with influences like Barbara Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Patsy Cline, James Taylor, Carole King, and Eva Cassidy, Angie’s versatility spans jazz, contemporary Christian, Gospel, country, blues, and soft rock.

This award winning vocalist  has been  a staple in Tulsa’s music community for several years and her genuineness on and off the stage has endeared fans both young and old. She’s been a shining star on the Jazz Depot’s roster of performers for several years now and we would like to thank the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame for having her back and for all they do in the community.

“We love Angie” one fan said, “when she sings you can feel it down in your soul”

This is a must see show! For tickets call (918) 928-JAZZ or visit www.JazzHallTickets.com. 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 2015 Summer Concert Series.

This is a Tulsa Jazz Music Group Production


Sunday June  7th 2015  5 00 pm-7 00 pm

Location: 5 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74103

Phone: (918) 928-5299

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

Angie’s Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/angiecockrellmusic

Oklahoma Jazz HOF Website: www.okjazz.org






Angie Cockrell and Mike Leland Performing at Bluestone Steakhouse

angie cockrell okjhof

Here at Tulsa Jazz, it has been such a pleasure representing Angie Cockrell these past few years and watching her career blossom in to something very special. Her versatility as a performer is absolutely amazing, Country Blues, Christian, Folk, Jazz you name it, she sings it, and sings it well.

If you have not had the opportunity to hear this golden voiced lady in person, your life truly has a void. Every week Angie performs many of your favorite Jazz standards and various other of her favorite music at Bluestone Steakhouse for their Jazz Night. Accompanying her, as always, is the incredible Mike Leland on keyboard and together this duo takes the words “ear candy” to a whole new level. Bring your friends, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors, treat yourselves, to a fabulous evening of Jazz as you enjoy dinner in the wonderfully relaxing atmosphere of Bluestone.

angie at bluestone 2


This show is a Tulsa Jazz.Com Production.


Wednesday May 13th, 2015 6 pm- 9 pm

Thursday May 14th, 2015 6 pm- 9 pm

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angiecockrellmusic

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

Location: 10032 S Sheridan Rd, Tulsa, OK 74133

Phone: 918-296-9889


New Collection of 12,000 Photographs Chronicles the American Jazz Scene


A donation from the family of photographer and historian Duncan Schiedt captures the music’s “essence”

Photographer Duncan Schiedt shot exclusively in black and white. He wanted to capture the gradients of feeling that jazz evokes, or what he saw as the music’s “essence.” Schiedt once said, “Jazz is a black and white music. Its range, from blinding brilliances to deepest shadings, seems to demand the drama that black and white can so easily provoke.

Schiedt’s family recently donated a body of the photographer’s work to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, some 26-to-30 cubic feet of material that includes more than 12,000 images, both Schiedt’s own images as well as historical photos that the photographer collected. The collection, says the museum’s John Edward Hasse is “one of the largest photo archives in jazz history.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/sneak-peek-new-collection-stunning-photos-chronicle-american-jazz-scene-180954831/#ZvAEXgqBMVMV8YSS.99

**Pictured above Duke Ellington with his arm around Billy Strayhorne  1940-1941

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CynSings Ella: Cynthia Simmons Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Another look at a very special night…


“This was just one of those moments in time where you just wished time would stand still and this would go on forever”. That’s how several people in attendance described Cynthia Simmons and the band’s performance Sunday night at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. This was a much anticipated event and it didn’t disappoint, once the downbeat hit the magic began. The night started with one of Ella’s most popular songs A Tisket A Tasket and then took you on a melodic journey through Ella’s life. You may have hopped on the A Train , In a Sentimental Mood, but that didn’t last long because the show was Too Darn Hott!


One of the reasons this show was so successful was the all-star line up of musicians. Dean Demerritt, Frank Brown, Wade Robertson, and Dr. Mike Moore made the music come to life. Each musician, highly talented  and respected in the jazz community, could  have headlined this or any other show, but the crowd was treated to the collective sounds of this incredible group…and a treat it was.

The Ear Candy just kept coming with songs like Paper Moon, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, Do Nothing Til You Hear from Me, Cry Me a River and a wonderful rendition of Can’t We be Friends  performed by Cynthia and Darell Christopher.CynSimm_116


Cynthia also shared with the audience a brief history and some little know fact about Ella’s life, her struggles and her triumphs. The room was filled with smiling faces, tappin’ toes, boppin’ heads, and joyous applause, like we said at the start of the post, it was truly a special evening 🙂

Photos courtesy of Bill Gaddis Photography.

This show was a TulsaJazz.Com Production.

Just in case you had the misfortune of missing this show, here is a video of Cynthia and the band performing Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered…Enjoy 🙂



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




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

Jerome Dabney Performing at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

Cynthia Simmons web sm (1)Dear Jazz Hall Friends,

My Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame tribute to Ella Fitzgerald-originally scheduled for this Sunday-has been moved to next Sunday, November 16. I’m recovering from an unfortunate bout of laryngitis, so Jerome Dabney and the Dean DeMerritt Jazz Tribehave graciously stepped in to take over this Sunday’s show.

Vocalist Jerome Dabney–headlining his first Jazz Depot performance–has been delighting audiences all over the world for the last thirty six years, as he has performed on stage, in film, on world tours, and aboard cruise ships. Dabney performs alongside the Dean DeMeritt Jazz Tribe, featuring Scott McQuade on keys, Wade Robertson on drums, and DeMeritt on bass.

To enjoy the jazz, call Bettie Downing at (918) 928-JAZZ or purchase your tickets online. 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.

Yours in jazz,

Cynthia Simmons




          Last month, Tulsa’s Jerome Dabney celebrated 30 years as a cruise-ship performer. And as he’s sung for those crowds over the past three decades, the entertainer known in the cruise industry as “Mr. Motown” has made quite a few adjustments to his repertoire.

“It’s really been one of those evolving situations,” he explains. “When I first started, I was doing a tribute show – not impersonations, but tributes to the music of Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, those artists. And then as the years passed, the audiences changed, and now there are a lot of really big Motown fans out there. I would say that in two years, if you’re going to be an entertainer in the cruise industry, it might be your best bet to do a lot of disco-type stuff. The people who have the time and money to cruise are usually older people, so you want to be able to appeal to the majority of your crowd.”

For the past decade or so, both on sea and on land, Dabney has done a lot to earn that “Mr. Motown” tag – which, he notes, is “a monicker one of the cruise directors I worked with gave me, and it kind of stuck.” Over the past decade, he’s toured internationally with Tribute – A Salute to the Temptations, branching out from Las Vegas to dates in England, Japan, and South America, as well as other spots around the globe. He also does a regular Motown show, a Stevie Wonder show, and, in 2012, toured Asia with the World Famous Platters, playing dates in the Philippine Islands and Singapore and appearing on a cruise ship in Malaysia.

jerome dabney

Sunday, however, Mr. Motown becomes Mr. Standards, as Dabney returns to the music he began performing on ships back in the mid-’80s.

“What I plan to do on Sunday are the traditional jazz standards,” he says. “I was talking to Dean DeMerritt the other day, and I was telling him there are a lot of jazz tunes out there that are quote-unquote `jazzy-jazzy’ – like `Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most.’ That’s a jazzy-jazzy song; your jazz connoisseur is going to know that song, but someone who just enjoys jazz music may not. I don’t think a lot of effort is being spent on the basic jazz standard. When’s the last time you heard someone singing `Misty’? So I told Dean, `I’m just going to offer up as many classic standards as I possibly can.’

“The show I do now is called An Evening of Motown Classics,” he adds. “But this show is going to be An Evening of Jazz Classics. I have a Nat King Cole medley I’m going to offer, and some of the really basic standard songs: `Satin Doll,’ `Misty,’ `Tenderly.’ I’ll do a couple of `jazzy-jazzy’ songs, too.”

“Tenderly,” in fact, was the tune that brought DeMerritt and Dabney together. As DeMerritt remembered it, he and guitarist Frank Brown were hosting a jazz jam session in the Centennial Lounge of Tulsa’s VFW Post 577. It was July, and DeMerritt had just returned to his native Tulsa after spending several years on the Atlanta scene.

“We saw this guy who was intently listening to us play, and then he came up and said, `I’d love to do “Tenderly” with you,'” remembers DeMerritt. “We thought, `If he wants to do “Tenderly” here, in this VFW hall, we’d better go ahead and let him do it.’ And from his first chorus, we both knew he was something special.”

In addition to DeMerritt on bass, Sunday’s Dean DeMerritt Jazz Tribe lineup includes Scott McQuade on piano and Wade Robertson on drums.

“I went to the jam session at the Jazz Depot about a month ago on a Tuesday evening, and I did one or maybe two songs,” says Dabney. “But this will be my first time on the main stage. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be great.”

An Evening of Jazz Classics with Jerome Dabney and the Dean DeMerritt JazzTribe is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, November 9, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall ofFame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 East First Street.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at JazzHallTickets.com or by calling Bettie Downing at 918-928-JAZZ (5299). 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 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 the preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame





Kansas City Jazz Diva Millie Edwards Makes Tulsa Debut at The Oklahoma Jazz HOF

Millie Edwards WEB

For the past quarter-century or so, vocalist Millie Edwards has been a fixture on the Kansas City jazz and blues scene. She’s been a featured performer on Jazz Cruises. She’s a member of the famed Wild Women of Kansas City vocal ensemble. She’s played festivals. And in her earlier life with a touring band, she sang in clubs and hotels throughout the middle part of the country for several years.

Sunday’s show, however, will mark her first-ever appearance in Tulsa.

“I have some very good friends there, and I know that you have an incredible jazz scene,” Millie Edwards says. “Your scene is alive and active and I’m excited and happy to finally be doing it.”

“Millie Edwards’ voice is as rich and far ranging as the jazz legacy of her native Kansas City,” says Jason McIntosh, CEO of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. “We are thankful to Joe and JoAnne Wilkinson, two of our most steadfast patrons, who made it their mission to introduce Oklahoma jazz fans to Millie Edwards.”

“I know I’m working with some of the best musicians there are in Oklahoma,” Edwards adds. “When I mention Scott McQuade’s name to musicians here, they say, ‘Oh, my gosh. You’re going to have a great time.’ They say wonderful things about him.”

Tulsa-based pianist McQuade will lead the lineup of Tulsa players that’ll be backing Edwards on Sunday’s show. Together, says Edwards, they’ll offer patrons “an entertaining, very comfortable, evening.”

millie edwards

“I try to mix up my performances so they’re diverse and inclusive. So they’ll hear a variety of standards, maybe some show tunes, maybe some blues, and if someone requests a gospel tune, and the band knows it, I’ll do it, because it’s all about the audience enjoying the experience.”

Edwards learned about pleasing audiences during her college years. Growing up in a home where she heard jazz and blues as well as classical music, she studied classical piano at Ottawa College in Kansas.

“I was going to be a piano teacher and performer,” she recalls. “But once I was in college, I needed extra money. My parents said, ‘We’ve given you a budget. You need extra money, you figure it out.’

“Well, coffeehouses were big then, so I went out and purchased every songbook I could find. I bought Carole King, James Taylor, Richie Havens, and I started singing and accompanying myself on piano, performing in that coffeehouse-folk vein.”

Then, she says, “I heard Elton John. He was classically trained, but he combined rock and the classics and developed a unique sound, which caught my ear. I was amazed at what the man could do. And that’s what told me, `I can do this.’ So I graduated with a degree in education, and as soon as I’d graduated, I went on the road and started singing – which didn’t make my folks happy,” she adds with a laugh.

She describes the groups she toured with, Moment’s Notice and Chaos, as “lounge-lizard bands – Top 40 tunes, tuxedos, gowns, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., five or six nights a week, which is kind of unheard-of now. These days, it’sone-nighters, for the most part, and it’s usually not even a band, but a single or duo.”

But even as she traveled the lounge circuit, through Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, she was listening to music by performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn, and Frank Sinatra and practicing her jazz vocals. Then, in the late 1980s, she began playing the jazz and blues clubs in her hometown, quickly developing a following.

“My first big gig was warming up for [tenor saxophonist] Houston Person,” she remembers. “We had a place here in Kansas City called Bobby’s, and he and [his longtime musical partner] Etta Jones were going to be performing there. I was in awe of them, but I was in heaven.houston person and etta jones

“After that, I started doing jazz cruises for the late Charles Earland, and I began working with [organist and Kansas City music icon] Everette DeVan.  I have a group here called the Wild Women of Kansas City. Myra Taylor, who was a member of that group, passed away last year, but we’ve continued on.

“So I’ve had some incredible opportunities,” she concludes. “But I always remember what my parents always said: It’s not about you. It’s about the music, and doing honor to the music.”

The Millie Edwards concert is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 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 or by callingBettie 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.  Edwards’ performance is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 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 allOklahomans through preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

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