Juneteenth on the River with the Leon Rollerson Band at The Spotlight Theatre

juneteenth

Join us at Juneteenth on the River with the Leon Rollerson Band!

Jazz abounds in Tulsa during the month of June and not an event more appropriate than the celebration of Juneteenth. The Spotlight Theatre is proud to host this wonderful event and invites you to join us for an evening of great music and entertainment!

The Friday June 19th show begins at 5:30p.m., snacks and drinks are available for purchase, tickets are seven dollars for Tulsa Jazz Society Members, and ten dollars for non members.

This show is a part of the Tulsa Jazz Society’s TGIF Jazz concert series. These fantastic shows are held on the third Friday of the month, and features a variety of local Tulsa Jazz talent. See you on the river!

This series is sponsored by the Tulsa Jazz Society and TulsaJazz.Com.

Loen Rollerson

Leon Rollerson

For additional information:

Date/Time: Friday June 19th, 2015 530 pm-700 pm

Phone: (918)587-5030,

Website:  http:spotlighttheatre.org.

Tulsa Jazz Society Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Tulsa-Jazz-Society/

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“Jazz On the River” at The Spotlight Theatre

Spotlight fundraiser

Jazz is popping this month!  Friday, June 19th at 5:30pm, Juneteenth comes to the river with the Leon Rollerson Band!  Sponsored by the Tulsa Jazz Society and TulsaJazz.com

On Sunday, June 28th at 2:00 pm, join Tulsa legends Rick Fortner, Annie Ellicott, and the Dean Demerritt Tribe for a fundraiser to benefit the entertainment programs at the Tulsa Spotlight Theatre.

For more information call or visit the website:

Location:1381 Riverside Dr, Tulsa, OK 74127

Phone:(918) 587-5030

Websitehttp://www.spotlighttheatre.org.

Copyright © 2015 Tulsa Spotlighters, Inc., All rights reserved.

Published with permission

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Dr. Joey Crutcher in Concert at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

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CHRISTMAS CONCERT HONORS MEMORY OF DR. JOEY CRUTCHER’S SON

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Famer Joey Crutcher is well-known for presenting his annual Christmas gospel concerts in conjunction with the Hall, something he’s been doing since the very beginnings of the non-profit organization back in the early ‘90s.

This year’s show, however, will be especially poignant. Dr. Crutcher is dedicating the event to the memory of his oldest son, Joey LaRon Crutcher, who lost his battle with cancer on November 29.

“He worked with me all the time,” says Dr. Crutcher. “In fact, he’s been with me ever since he was a little boy. He started playing drums then, but his passion was the keyboard. He played percussion, organ, piano, and he did a lot of producing and writing. So Jason [McIntosh, Jazz Hall CEO] and I talked about it, and we just decided to dedicate the whole night to my son.”TonyMason

Many of the musicians and vocalists set to perform Sunday afternoon were also a part of Joey L. Crutcher’s funeral service, including vocalist Tony Mason.

“Tony Mason was the praise and worship leader for a long time at the Greenwood Christian Center, a big church my son played for,” Dr. Crutcher says. “He’s a praise and worship specialist who’s done a lot of professional singing, and he did praise and worship at my son’s service. He’ll be at the gospel show with a group, Tony Mason and Company.”

Others scheduled to appear during the concert include Christian rap artist Mario Johnson, the Heralds of Praise from Tulsa’s New Heights Christian Center, and two veteran musicians, saxophonist Chris Clayton and multi-instrumentalist Leon Rollerson.

“Chris was one of the original members of the GAP Band, and he was a classmate of mine. We both graduated from Washington Senior High School, class of ’66. Leon called me and said, `Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it.’ So he’s going to be there, too.”

leon rollerson

Of course, a Crutcher show wouldn’t be complete without representation from the Tulsa chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, a group founded in 1967 by the Rev. James Cleveland – perhaps the major driving force in modern gospel music – and star gospel performerAlbertina Walker. Described on its website (www.gmwanational.net) as “a non-profit, interdenominational, interracial, non-sexist oriented, international association of gospel singers and musicians,” the group holds a yearly convention that draws some 20,000 delegates to education and performance opportunities.

The mission of these delegates, and the chapters they belong to, is “to preserve the heritage of Gospel music in America, while providing a forum for the development of excellence in the presentation of Gospel music. Further, to increase opportunities for the perpetuation of Gospel music throughout other industries, arenas, and the world.”  There are some 250 chapters worldwide, including Tulsa’s, with which Dr. Crutcher has been deeply involved for many years.GMWA

“I’m a chapter representative,” he notes. “We’re planning to go to Las Vegas in March for the annual board meeting, and that’s actually the preparation for our national convention, which is going to be in New Orleans this year, the second week in July.”

Oklahoma City also has a GMWA chapter, and, says Dr. Crutcher, that group will be sending representatives to perform Sunday as well.

As its organizer as well as a participant, Dr. Crutcher stops short of calling the Christmas concert a variety show – because, he says, “it takes away the theological aspect of it.” But, he adds, “This particular show is going to have gospel, and gospel jazz, and a little bit of R&B.

“When you’re dealing with gospel music, you’re dealing with a lot of different styles,” he explains. “I specialize in traditional gospel, but there’s also a lot of contemporary gospel. We’re opening this up to a lot of musicians from around the city, so it’ll be kind of a mixture. A lot of times, we just kind of look around ourselves to see what’s going to happen.”

Dr. Joey Crutcher’s Christmas Gospel Celebrationis set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 14, 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.JazzHallTickets.com, or by calling 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 show is a part of the Jazz Hall’s 2014-5 Winter 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.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Dr. Joey Crutcher performs at The Okahoma Jazz Hall of Fame June 22, 2014

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DR. JOEY CRUTCHER CLOSES JUNETEENTH WITH GOSPEL- MUSIC CELEBRATION

Dr. Joey Crutcher—accompanied by Leon Rollerson—is planning a big finish for his gospel-music show this Sunday. In fact, he wants nothing less than to turn the Jazz Depot into one big church.

“We have a saying in the Gospel Music Workshop of America, and in my church, a little phrase: `Let the whole church sing.’” he explains. “That means that everybody in the whole building becomes one big choir. I don’t care what their ethnic background is, their denomination, what their nationality is – there’s always one song that everybody knows. We always try to find that song and let the whole church sing.”

A gospel number, for instance, like “Oh Happy Day,” which became a million-selling single for the Edwin Hawkins Singers back in 1969, climbing into the Top Five of the Billboard magazine pop charts.edwin hawkins singers cover

“That’s the one we’re going to go out on Sunday,” says Crutcher. “It’s going to be a hand-clapper, not real fast, but upbeat enough to where you can do some good one and three [beat] clapping. And we’ll syncopate it in all kinds of ways. I think it’s in 4/4 time, and we’ll do something on every one of those beats.”

Crutcher’s show closes out Tulsa’s annual Juneteenth festival, held around June 19, the date in 1865 when slaves in the Southwest finally got word that the Civil War had ended and they’d been freed. With that in mind, “Oh Happy Day” seems an especially appropriate song to mark the end of the festivities.

There will, of course, be many other gospel numbers, performed by several different acts that include The Heralds of Praise, from Tulsa’s New Heights Christian Center, and members of the Gospel Music Workshop of America/Tulsa Chapter, for which Crutcher has been a longtime representative.

“We’ve got a variety of artists from the Tulsa area, and we’re going to reference things that relate to the African-American experience and Juneteenth, but basically what it’s going to be is a lot of good toe-tappin’ gospel music,” he says.  “One of the songs we’re going to be doing is `Lifter of My Head.’ No matter how bad it might seem, you know, Jesus is the lifter of my head. That’s a Gospel Music Workshop of America song. Every year, we go to the national [meeting] – this year, we’ll be in Atlanta – and most of the music that I do comes from the national convention.”

For a gospel-music writer, adds Crutcher, the GMWA convention is “like a farmer coming to market.  You bring your music and you market it. You try to sell it to the different local chapters so that they’ll go out and do your music. [Gospel stars] Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Bobby Jones – all of those guys came through the Gospel Music Workshop. They got their start there. We sit out there and we listen and think what would be good for our own local churches. That’s what it’s for, just marketing good gospel music. We’ll be doing a lot of that music Sunday.”

The Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. was founded in 1967 by the Rev. James Cleveland, perhaps the major driving force in modern gospel music, and well-known gospel performer Albertina Walker. Described on its website (www.gmwanational.net) as “a non-profit, interdenominational, interracial, non-sexist oriented, international association of gospel singers and musicians.”GMWA-Logo-1-300x279

The mission of these delegates, and the chapters they belong to – including Tulsa’s – is “to preserve the heritage of Gospel music in America, while providing a forum for the development of excellence in the presentation of Gospel music. Further, to increase opportunities for the perpetuation of Gospel music throughout other industries, arenas, and the world.”

“GMWA has about 10 or 12 churches in the Tulsa area, different denominations, that are represented,” adds Crutcher. “We do preaching, and young people’s stuff – we have a fine-arts academy for young people, and we teach them the art of gospel music. So we do a lot more than choirs.

“But,” he says, “the founder, James Cleveland, was a choral director. One of the best in gospel music. So at the end of the day, it’s going to be about the choir.”

The Juneteenth Gospel Celebration is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, June 22, 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 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 Oklahomans through the preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

 

jazz hall at night