The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Presents “Tin Pan Alley Magic” Sunday April 19th

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Pam Crosby and an All-Star cast take you on a musical journey this Sunday at 5 pm!

Produced by Pam Van Dyke Crosby, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame presents Tin Pan Alley Magic. Featuring Darell Christopher, Cindy Cain, Larry Cochran, Joe Wilkinson, Sandy Sterling, Angie Cockrell, Cynthia Simmons, Barry Hensley, and Pam Van Dyke Crosby. The performance will also include Scott McQuade on keys, Bill Crosby on bass, Wade Robertson on drums, Tim Shadley on trombone, and Tom Sterling on sax.

Tin Pan Alley jazz hall

 

To enjoy the jazz, call at (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 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 all Oklahomans through the preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

jazz hall at night

Jazz and Art: Two of our favorite things…

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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 and prints 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 our other boards as well such as: Tulsa’s Jazz, Jazz Clubs, Jazz History, and Women and Jazz: A Celebration in Art…and more!

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

Tulsa Jazz

Joe Wilkinson’s Memorial Day Salute to Vets At The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

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Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Presents Memorial Day Salute to Vets:

Produced by Joe Wilkinson

Anyone who can produce a show like Monday’s Salute To Veterans, featuring a large roster of vocalists and instrumentalists, deserves kudos for getting it all together and out onto the Jazz Depot stage. If that person is actually performing as well as producing, the feat is still more impressive.

But if the producer-performer recently celebrated his 90th birthday, it’s not just impressive – it’s pretty much unparalleled.

This year, pianist-vocalist-producer – and nonagenarian – Joe Wilkinson is once again at the helm for what has become a Jazz Depot tradition: the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day concert emphasizing patriotic and World War II-era music that’s free to any member or former member of the United States Armed Services. And, as has been the case in the past, he’ll also play some piano and sing a number or two – although, he says, he’s going to keep the latter to a minimum this time around.

“Our annual Memorial Day concert is a salute to our veterans, and a way to thank them for their service,” said Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. “And everyone loves working with Joe–ninety years old and still going strong. It’s inspiring that this WWII vet is still producing and directing shows. He represents the Greatest Generation well.”cp_003

“Well, my voice is growing old, just like my body, and when I listen to it, I’m beginning not to be happy with what I hear,” explains Wilkinson. “So although I’m probably going to sing at least one tune, just for fun, I’ve got Darell Christopher doing what I did last year, which is `Kalamazoo’ and `Chattanooga Choo Choo.'”

Except for Jazz Depot favorite Christopher and singer Amanda Mansheim, the vocalists on the program were all aboard for last year’s Salute to Veterans. They include Angie Cockrell, Larry Cochran, Pam Van Dyke Crosby, Emily Chappell, and Sue Warwick.

“Amanda and I did some things together three or four years ago, and then she was expecting another child and it was time to get off the stage for a while,” notes Wilkinson. “After that, she had some throat problems. But she’s back and running. In fact, she’ll be singing on `Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.’ We’re going to do that with a trio of girls, kind of like the Andrews Sisters. Angie will handle the melody, Sue will do the alto work, and Amanda’s doing the soprano part– and she’s an opera singer, so she’ll get there.

“I’ve got Emily, who sang `I’ll Never Smile Again’ last year, doing that one again, and I’ve also gotten her to do `Indian Summer.’ Those are two of my all-time favorites.”

Also returning from last year – in addition to emcee John Wooley, of Public Radio Tulsa’s Swing on This program – are trumpeter Mike Bennett and bassist Jordan Hehl, joining new pianists Tim Shadley and Larry Mitchell, along with Wilkinson himself.

“Tim will be our main piano man,” says Wilkinson. “His primary instrument is trombone, but he’s taken a real hold on piano, and I mean he really works that sucker. Larry Mitchell worked with us at Guthrie Green last year, and he’s a good pianist. He fits the bill real well. I’m probably going to do a minimum amount of playing, but I do have my favorites.

“Mike Bennett is great to have, because you’ve got somebody carrying the load, you know,” he adds. “And he certainly can. He’s the best.”talk of tulsa

Sue Warwick, says Wilkinson, is the person responsible for the group that’s scheduled to begin this year’s event.

“We were kind of looking for a new approach for kicking the thing off, and Sue brought this to us. It’s a group called the Talk of Tulsa, a chorus, and they’ve been very successful in competitions. There’ll be at least 20 people up there singing the National Anthem in a cappella harmony, and it could be just outstanding.”

 

Oklahoma Representatives Eric Proctor and Ken Walker, both of Tulsa, along with representatives of the Honor Flight program are expected to be on hand. The organization sends World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. for a tour – recently, in fact, Wilkinson himself took the trip.honor flight

“It was really great. Whenever we’d come into a crowd, getting off at the airport and everything, there would be all these people standing there and saying, `Thank you so much for what you did.’ I’m thinking, `Man, when I was a kid in the South Pacific, I didn’t realize anybody was going to thank me for my service.’ That’s the last thing I expected,” he concludes with a laugh.

The Salute to Veterans is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. on Memorial Day – Monday, May 26 – 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 http://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.

All veterans of the Armed Services will be admitted for free.

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

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

918-281-8609

 

jazz hall at night

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Luisza Cornelius In Concert At The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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Luisza Cornelius Debuts Own Show Sunday at the Jazz Depot

Vocalist Luisza Cornelius may be a newcomer to the Jazz Depot stage – and to the rest of the Tulsa jazz scene as well – but anyone who hears her sing will realize immediately that she’s hardly a rookie. In fact, as recently as last year, she was a featured performer in a jazz show at the House of Blues on L.A.’s Sunset Strip.

Later in 2012, however, she returned to the town of her birth, after following her jazz dreams to the West Coast, Paris, and back to California. Now, she’s exploring the Tulsa scene for opportunities to establish herself as an artist in her hometown.

For that, she couldn’t have found a better person that the veteran pianist and vocalist, Joe Wilkinson, whom she met, more or less by accident, not long after coming home for the holidays.

“I’d just gotten here, and I thought, `You know, I’d really love to hear some jazz during this Christmas time. I just don’t know where to go to hear it,'” she remembers. “So I looked in the paper, and I saw that there was going to be jazz at this church. I was kind of shocked that there was going to be jazz at a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but my brother and I went, and that’s how I met Joe. I told him I sang, and he told me about the jam sessions [at the Jazz Depot].”Luisza_Corneilius-1

The event she attended was Jazz to the World, a holiday concert organized by Wilkinson at the First Christian Church in downtown Tulsa. A performer since his World War II days, Wilkinson has had untold numbers of people come up to him and introduce themselves as singers, so he can be forgiven for being skeptical.

But then he heard her sing.

“He said, `It seems like you’ve done this before,'” Cornelius recalls with a laugh. “And I said, `Yes, I have.'”

She did not do it while she was growing up in Tulsa, however, although she did participate in school music programs.

“That was it, because my dad wouldn’t allow me to do anything else,” she explains with another laugh. “It was just school and church.”

Then, in the 1980s, she took off for California, where she found work for the first time in clubs and similar venues.

“I’ve sung with people who are famous now, like Billy Childs, the jazz artist,” she says. “He used to back me up at a club called the Comeback Café, in California. I’ve sung at all the various clubs: the Roosevelt Hotel, the Roxy, the Troubadour. From there I went to France, because I’d heard how beautiful it was, and I sang at famous hotels there as well. That was in the ’90s.”

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After another stint on the West Coast, Cornelius came back to Tulsa. And now, with the help of Wilkinson and her own substantial talent, she’s worked her way up from the jam sessions to featured spots in Jazz Depot shows, notably the most recent Memorial Day concert, which Wilkinson produced. Last month, she shared a bill with vocalist Darell Christopher. Sunday, she’s got one for herself.

“Luisza is quickly becoming a crowd favorite here at the Jazz Depot,” says Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO Jason McIntosh. “And she’s a vocalist musicians love to play music with.”

“I’ll do jazz, but I’m going to mix a little R&B in there as well,” she says of her show. “People should expect the unexpected. Sometimes I’m not even sure what’s happening – it’s in the moment, and it is what it is. That’s what beautiful music is about: improvisation. You just improvise, and beautiful things usually come out.”

She’ll be working with a band Sunday, she adds, but there’ll also be a guest appearance by the man who helped her get her foot in the door in Tulsa.

“I’m going to have Joe come up and do a guest number with me, and tell the people how I came to perform there, and how I got there because of him,” she says. “He’s just been so helpful, pointing me in the direction of different things. He’s a kind-hearted person, and he and his wife have been very good to me. I appreciate that.”

Luisza Cornelius is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 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.               

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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Luisza Cornelius & Darell Christopher at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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Three Top Acts Combine for Jazz Depot Double Feature Sunday, August 11

 

            Plans call for Sunday’s Jazz Depot show to be split neatly down the middle, with pianist-vocalist Joe Wilkinson and singer Luisza Cornelius featured in the first half, and vocalist Darell Christopher and his band in the second. That’s according to the veteran performer Wilkinson, who’s also producing the first segment of this two-parter. And while he’s still considering whether or not to sing a song or two himself – he’s leaning toward a performance of “Lush Life” – he’s happy to be playing for Cornelius, who’s getting her splashiest Depot showcase to date after impressing at the Tuesday night jam sessions and appearing in the Wilkinson-produced Memorial Day show. After her performance in the latter, she earned the approval of a critic very close to Wilkinson’s heart.

“My wife said, `You know, she’s one of the best,’ and I said, `Coming from you, that’s pretty good,’ because I’m the one who takes all the critiques,” he says with a laugh. “Luisza has a real throaty delivery, in the Sarah Vaughan range, with that deep, strong, lower register.”

Although Cornelius has performed on the West Coast, she is, in a sense, a Joe Wilkinson discovery – at least as far as Tulsa audiences are concerned.

“I think she grew up in Tulsa, but I know that she lived in Los Angeles and sang in various clubs there,” he notes. “So she moved back to Tulsa, and we got acquainted last December when I was involved in providing the musicians and setting up a program for an event at the First Christian Church downtown called Jazz to the World.  It was a fundraiser, pretty well attended, and after the show I was standing down front talking to some people when this young lady came up to me and introduced herself. She said, `I’m a singer.’

“I said, `okay.'” He laughs again. “I’ve heard that song before. We visited a few minutes, and she wanted to know where to go to get involved in doing jazz in Tulsa. So I told her about the Depot and said, `The best thing I can suggest is that you come on down to the jam sessions on Tuesday nights. That’s a regular thing that goes on, and ‘most anybody can get up and do something if they’ve got the ability.'”

Wilkinson himself was at one of the Tuesday jams when she showed up, and he helped her get started by sitting down with her and a piano in the Depot’s back room, finding the best key for the song she wanted to sing, and then sending her out to the stage to do the tune with the house band.

“And boy, it didn’t take long for them to feel like they wanted her to sing more,” he remembers.

That’ll happen Sunday, when she has a whole set to perform. It tentatively includes the likes of “Cry Me A River,” “Good Morning, Heartache,” “When Sunny Gets Blue,” and Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade.”  Wilkinson will accompany her on piano – this time on the stage instead of a back room.

Darell Christopher, scheduled to come on with his group after intermission, recently produced and performed the well-received Martin Luther King Day show at the Depot.  A Holland Hall and University of Tulsa graduate, he spent a considerable amount of time in Germany, where he taught gospel music, sang at weddings, and gradually added blues, jazz, and R&B to the spiritual music he’d learned in his youth. Ultimately, he formed an act called the Darell Christopher Blues Band, which toured all over Europe and had a German Top Ten hit with “Jealous Man.”DC_015

Returning to Tulsa at the beginning of the century, Christopher began earning a reputation for his work in musical theater and as a solo vocalist.

Wilkinson and Cornelius are set to begin the show at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, August 11th, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First Street.  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.

To enjoy the jazz, call Bettie Downing at (918) 281-8609 and purchase your tickets. The event is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 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 Oklahomans through preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

 

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Luisza Cornelius & Darell Christopher at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Luisza & Darell web smShow Date: August 4, 2013 5:30-7:30 pm

Plans call for Sunday’s Jazz Depot show to be split neatly down the middle, with pianist-vocalist Joe Wilkinson and singer Louiza Cornelius featured in the first half, and vocalist Darell Christopher and his band in the second. That’s according to the veteran performer Wilkinson, who’s also producing the first segment of this two-parter. And while he’s still considering whether or not to sing a song or two himself – he’s leaning toward a performance of “Lush Life” — he’s happy to be playing for Cornelius, who’s getting her splashiest Depot showcase to date after impressing at the Tuesday night jam sessions and appearing in the Wilkinson-produced Memorial Day show. After her performance in the latter, she earned the approval of a critic very close to Wilkinson’s heart.

To enjoy the jazz, call Bettie Downing at (918) 281-8609 and purchase your tickets. 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 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 Oklahomans through preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

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Joe Wilkerson’s Memorial Day Tribute To Veterans at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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Joe Wilkinson produces a Memorial Day Salute to Veterans: Like many jazz and swing performers, eighty-nine-year-old singer-pianist Joe Wilkinson knows a lot of the classic songs from World War II. The only difference is, he was playing them when they were new. As a member of the 304 th Signal Operation Battalion stationed in the Philippine Islands, Wilkinson was responsible for helping keep the Allied lines of communication open during the war. Evenings, he had another responsibility: laying down a beat for the off-duty officers stationed on the island of Leyte. “Over there in the South Pacific, the first thing that happened was that you hit the beach and got it secure,” he recalls. “The second thing you did was expand the perimeter to hopefully take in an airstrip, and secure that. The third thing you did was build an officers’ club. And the fourth thing you did was look for a band.”

To this day, Wilkinson isn’t sure why he was called to audition at the makeshift club on the island; he figures someone had heard him play piano at a boot-camp show back in the States and made a note in his record. What he is sure about is what greeted him when he showed up to try out for the gig. “Here was this big pyramidal tent with a dance floor, a piano, and a bar – and that was the officers’ club,” he recalled with a chuckle. “When I walked in, there was this black guy just playing the keys off the piano. I mean he was good. I later found out he had played with Coleman Hawkins stateside, so he was really credible. “So I sat down to listen to him, just in awe, and he saw me and said, `Are you here to audition for the band?’ I said, `Not as long as you’re in the room.’ “He laughed and said, Well, we’re looking for a bassist. You ever play bass?’ I said no, and he said, `Do you understand chord structure?’ I said, yeah, I did. He said, `Go to headquarters and bring a bass in, and I’ll help you along and see if we can’t get you playing bass.’ So I did, and he did, and I wound up playing bass for the Eighth Army Men’s Chorus.” And when the great American composer Irving Berlin came to the Philippines on tour, Wilkinson ended up as his bassist. “I’ll tell you what: He played piano, and every piano man thinks he can sing. I’m no exception,” Wilkinson says with another chuckle. “But he should never have tried it publicly.”

Unlike Irving Berlin, piano man Wilkinson is an accomplished vocalist, even though he tends to downplay both his singing and his keyboard work, saying, “I’ve been privileged to play with several of the good vocalists around here, and I do take pride in being able to handle that job. But there are really gifted piano men around, guys like Steve Schrag and Scott McQuade. Those guys are giants.” Wilkinson is producing Monday’s concert, which will feature a number of guest artists in addition to Wilkinson himself. He expects the evening to be “about two-thirds” standards from the World War II era.

John Wooley, host of Public Radio Tulsa’s “Swing on This” and a Vietnam veteran, is set to emcee the show. Honor Flight representatives will be on hand at the event to answer questions about their program, which sends World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. for a tour. They get a hearty endorsement from Wilkinson, who recently took the Honor Flight himself. “I did it just this year, and I really was touched by it,” he says. “The people were just overwhelming in their congratulations and their `thanks for what you did’ and all of that. I started to feel guilty because I’m still alive to see it. It was all very heartwarming.” – Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 E. First St., upper level. Monday night from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the depot, from http://www.myticketoffice.com, or by calling Bettie Downing at 918-281-1008. 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. All Armed Forces veterans will be able to see the concert for free. Free Covered Parking!

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