Swunky Face Big Band at Mixco!

Swunky Face Mixco

It’s Just So Swunky, Baby!

Put together a cool name, a great atmosphere, and so much talent that it can barely fit on this page much less in a night club, and you have the recipe for an unforgettable experience! This is a can’t miss show…

Additional Show Information:

Date/Time: Friday July 10th, 2015 9:00pm-12:00 am

Location: 3rd & Denver, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Phone: (918) 932-8571

Website: www.mixcotulsa.com

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

Mike Cameron Website: http://www.michaelcameronmusic.com/

Dean Demerritt Performs at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Dean DemerrittWeb



First of all, here’s the reason for the unusual name of the Sunday concert featuring veteran bassist Dean DeMerritt and his group of equally top-notch jazz players:

“I’m calling it Bass Face, because I met a great bass player out of Detroit, Ray McMurtry, in Atlanta one time, and he asked me to sit in,” explains DeMerritt. “I was kind of nervous, because he was a great musician. So after I got done playing with him, I asked him what he thought about my playing. And what he said to me was, `I’ve finally met someone who makes uglier faces than I dowhenI play.’” He laughs. “So, you know what? I’ll take that.”

Until about a month ago, DeMerritt was living and performing in the city where he metMcMurtry, having moved to Atlanta in 1996. If you’re a jazz fan, however, you can hardly miss noticing DeMerritt’s recent impact on the Tulsa scene, where he seems to be featured on some stage or other just about every night.

“It’s been great so far,” he says. “I’ve been really fortunate to hook up with some great musicians here in Tulsa. I’ve been playing with Mike Cameron, Scott McQuade, Frank Brown, and, gosh, Cindy Cain and Tim Shadley, just to mention a few.”

DeMerritt’s move to Tulsa is of the circle-closing variety.  The son of a Tulsa jazz pianist and graduate of the University of Tulsa’s music program, DeMerritt had barely finished taking his finals when he was invited to go on the road with the Texas-based, hard-touring western-swing andboogie-woogie outfit, Asleep at the Wheel. That was in 1979, and during his years in the group he would be joined by several other Tulsa musicians, including piano player Falkner Evans, saxophonist Pat “Taco” Ryan, and drummer Billy Estes.asleep at the wheel

“I played with Asleep at the Wheel four years or so, and then I came back to Tulsa briefly and played in a few bands,” DeMerritt recalls. “Then I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and played gigs down there. I played with the Fort Worth Symphony for a little while.

“That was 30 years ago, so it’s been 30 years since I lived in Tulsa full-time. I have family here, so I’ve come back and hung out and played, but I haven’t actually lived here since 1984.”

The reason for his return to Tulsa, he adds, has to do with both aesthetics and finances.

“I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I have so few debts, my overhead is so low, that I can finally afford to be a jazz musician full time – and Tulsa’s inexpensive to live in. Extremely inexpensive. Food and shelter and fuel costs are very, very little. So finally, I don’t have to have a dreaded day job. I can play music, write music, breathe music all the time.”

It’s a good thing, too, because he’s getting the opportunity to do just that.

“I’ve lived in Tulsa a month now, and I’ve had more informal people, calling me at midnight and wanting to come over for a jam session, than I had in years in Atlanta,” DeMerritt says. “The scene in smaller and people can get to my house in 15 minutes rather than being an hour away in another part of town.

“The venues are really good in Tulsa, considering the size of the city, but the camaraderie, the people who are willing to come over and bring an instrument or sing until the sun comes up – that’s really nice.”20140710_224436

”It’s great to have him back in town,” says Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. “We’re looking forward not just to Dean’s shows, but to the impact he has on music education, and our next generation of Jazz Hall inductees.”

For Bass Face, DeMerritt will be joined by saxophonist Cameron and guitarist Brown, along with Jeff Newsome on piano and Michael Bremo on drums. Together, he says, “We’ll do one original and some little-known jazz nuggets. Because these Tulsa musicians can play so many different kinds of things, we’ll do everything from gypsy jazz to Snarky Puppy, and we’ll do some stuff by Oklahoma composers like Sam Rivers, a great sax player, and Oscar Pettiford. We’re doing “The Plain But Simple Truth,” an Oscar Pettiford song he did with Lucky Thompson. We’ve also arranged a Beatles tune for jazz improvisation. So it’s going to be very eclectic.”

Dean DeMerritt’s Bass Face concert is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, August 17, 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 BettieDowning 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.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.

The show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014 Summer 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 Oklahomansthrough the preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

jazz hall at night


7 Blue In Concert at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

7 Blue Spotlights the Music of Armstrong and Baker in Sunday’s Jazz Depot Show

            Louisiana’s Louis Armstrong and Oklahoma’s Chet Baker were just about as well known for their singing as for their trumpet playing. That fact may go a long way toward explaining why those two jazz giants had a major influence on 7 Blue’s David Brennan, who possesses both those musical skills – and plays drums as well. He and his bandmates plan not only to feature songs made famous by Baker and Armstrong in Sunday’s Jazz Depot concert, but also to offer a visual presentation along with the music that will, as Brennan puts it, “show pictures in the background about the times when these songs were written and performed.”

The plan is to emphasize Armstrong numbers in 7 Blue’s first set, and Baker tunes in the second.

“We’ll sprinkle some instrumentals in, and move through the music somewhat chronologically,” Brennan explains. “We’re going to do probably four or five songs fromChet Baker Sings – everybody’s heard that [album], and they like it. We’ll do `Time After Time,’ ‘My Funny Valentine,’ `Another You.’ We’ll do `I Fall in Love Too Easily.’

“Louie is a lot easier for me to play, because he’s simple and he gives me a lot of space. I’m probably not as accomplished on Chet Baker’s stuff, because he’s very technical. But what I like about both of them, and why I’ve decided to feature them both, is that they’re both very melodic and lyrical in their approach to the instrument.”

Although many jazz fans are familiar with 7 Blue as a trio, Brennan says that the aggregation playing Sunday will be a quintet, adding Jeff Newsome on piano and Matt Leland on trombone. Damon Snow is the 7 Blue guitarist, Matt Hayes the bassist.

“There’ll be occasions Sunday when I bring the band down to just piano, bass, and trumpet, which Chet did a lot,” notes Brennan. “For the most part, though, there’ll be five of us.”

The origin of 7 Blue goes back some 10 years, after Australia native Brennan moved to the Tulsa area to start up a program in physical medicine at the Orthopedic Hospital of Oklahoma. A musician since his early teens, he’d performed for some two decades in Houston in a Dixieland jazz band called the Big Boys. One of its members was the big-name veteran Paul Buskirk, who, according to Brennan, “taught me jazz, starting with the basic New Orleans-style jazz, and then standards – that’s where I learned all that stuff.”paul buskirk with bigsby mandolin_1

In Tulsa, he began hanging out at the Monday evening jam sessions at Harwelden, presided over by pianist Ted Moses, Out of that experience, eventually, came 7 Blue, in which Brennan was joined Tim DeMoss on piano and Mike Schmidt on bass.

“Mike and Tim and I played four about four years, in places like the Bourbon Street Café and Camerelli’s, where we played every Wednesday night for two years,” he recalls. “That’s when the band got really good. We added Dave Brashears on vibraphone, and in about 2006 we cut a CD called Riverside. It has originals by the band and several standards.

“We disbanded about a year later, I picked up Damon Snow and Matt Hayes, and we became a guitar trio.”

For a year and a half, that band played regularly at Jazzwich, the Wednesdaynoontime event at the Jazz Depot. It’s now at Hey Mambo every Wednesday andFriday night.

“When I first came to Tulsa, I was only going to stay for three years, because I had a house in the [Texas] hill country, and I was trying to get into the Austin music scene,” says Brennan. “But after three years, I decided to stay here, because this place had already shown me the history behind not just jazz, but all music. Tulsa was a little treasure that no one knew about. And I was inspired by my contact with local musicians to go back and work on my music. I’ve watched things grow over the past four or five years now, to really become a hotbed for jazz.”

7 Blue is set to begin at 5:00p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, 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 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 preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.


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