Jack Wolfe Quartet Performs at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Jack Wolfe Quartet

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame welcomes the Jack Wolfe Quartet to the Jazz Depot stage.

Specializing in instrumental, classic, and modern jazz with keyboard, bass, percussion and saxophone, the Jack Wolfe Quartet takes the Depot stage in an unforgettable concert event.

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 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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

NSU Jazz Ensemble featuring Scott McQuade at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

scott mcquade

 

As far as first-call saxophonist and Northeastern State University director of jazz studies Tommy Poole is concerned, his contemporary Scott McQuade  is a great example of “the perfect working musician.”

It’s not surprising at all that Poole, another busy Tulsa-area performer, is in a position to make that evaluation. The two of them, he says, have “played together countless times, in countless configurations – I don’t know if I’ve played a lot of pop music with him, but we’ve done a lot of straight-ahead jazz and traditional New Orleans-style jazz together, all kind of jazz stuff.”

McQuade, he notes, “just has so many skills and is able to do so much.”

“He can arrange music. He can read anything. He knows any song that you might call out,” explains Poole. “He can play in any style. He can play with a rhythm section, he can play by himself, or he can play in a duo format, walking bass with his left hand and playing chords with his right hand, or playing bass with his right hand and soloing with his right. He’s just got so many skill sets. It’s really good for my young musicians to see someone like that.”Scott McQuade2

Sunday, Poole’s young instrumentalists in the NSU Jazz Ensemble will not only be seeing and hearing McQuade. They’ll also be performing with him. Or, rather, he’ll be performing with them.

“Scott will be playing from the piano chair of the Jazz Ensemble,” says Poole. “The NSU Jazz
Ensemble is going to play by itself, with no guest artists, for the opening song of each half of the concert. Then, beginning with the second song through however many songs we do each half, Scott McQuade will sit at the piano chair.”

Poole adds that he himself will be playing on “one or two numbers,” including an arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Take the `A’ Train” by Rob McConnell, known for his work with the Boss Brass band in the ’70s and ’80s. And three other guest players, he says, plan to be coming along with the 17-piece NSU Jazz Ensemble Sunday.

“Two of them are friends of mine from the Tahlequah area who play great trombone: Dr. Chuck DeShong and Orien Landis,” says Poole. “Chuck used to teach English at NSU – he’s retired now – and Orien is a band director at Tahlequah High School. And then we have Jim Masters, who’s a trumpeter. He graduated with a music degree from NSU a couple of decades ago – a very, very good trumpet player.”

All of these performers will be turned loose on a repertoire that leans heavily toward classics of the big-band era, including “All of Me,” the Duke Ellington standard “In A Mellow Tone,” and Buddy Rich’s arrangement of “Love for Sale.”

“Then I’m going to throw a curve ball with `Time Remembered,’” says Poole. “`Time Remembered’ is a composition of the great pianist Bill Evans, and it’s a beautiful song. That one is probably the most complex chart we’ll do the whole night.”

Sunday’s playlist also includes “Jive Samba,” composed by Nat Adderley, who played coronet and trumpet alongside his saxophonist brother, Cannonball Adderley, for years.

“They led one of the most influential hard-bop jazz quintets of all time,” notes Poole, “and that song was one of their hits.”

tommy poole12Poole, who’s been in charge of the NSU Jazz Ensemble for the past five years, is exceptionally bullish on this year’s version of the big-band styled group.

“I’ve got a lot of great students, a lot of great improvisers in the band,” he says. “You’re going to hear them get up and play some really good solos. This band is rock-solid, and they get excited about coming up and playing the Jazz Hall of Fame. It’s always a great crowd that comes out, a warm audience and a really fun audience.”

The NSU Jazz Ensemble, with guests Scott McQuade and Tommy Poole, is set to

begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. 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.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.

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 preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

 

jazz hall at night

Enhanced by Zemanta

“Midnight Social Club” Farewell Performance at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

4 ladies msc

Midnight Social Club Brings Musical Farewell to Jazz Depot Friday

The SummerStage theater festival, that Tulsa audiences first met the four fictional ladies who provided the entertainment at a not-quite-first class 1930s bistro called the Midnight Social Club. Played by top Tulsa vocalists Cindy Cain (as club owner Violett Redd), Rebecca Ungerman (Garnett McGee), Pam Van Dyke Crosby (Stella Moon), and Annie Ellicott (Little Ruby) in a production calledBackstage at the Midnight Social Club, the characters proved to be so popular that they appeared in a second production, Onstage at the Midnight Social Club, and have performed occasionally in various configurations at Tulsa venues ever since.

Now, however, the Midnight Social Club appears to be shutting its doors for good. As Crosby notes, “Violett’s selling the club, Garnett’s going back on the road, Little Ruby’s moving to the big city, and Stella’s marrying her longtime boyfriend, Doghouse Bill.”

It is, at least partially, a case of art imitating life. Stella’s betrothed, who’s also the bassist in the Midnight Social Club band, is in real life Bill Crosby, Pam’s husband. And Ellicott really is moving away from Tulsa, something that comes as a blow to area jazz fans.

“Annie’s moving to San Francisco,” says Pam. “And even though she may be coming back from time to time, we probably won’t get a chance to do this again. So this will be the last time to see the four of us together doing the material from both of those shows, Backstage and Onstage.

Hence the name of Friday’s production, The Midnight Social Club – Last Chance. Pam stresses, however, that the Jazz Depot production is less a play than a show and dance.

“We’re going to act like our characters, but we’re just going to have a few lines,” she explains. “It’s going to be a show, but it’s also for dancing. We’ll be doing swing and Latin andfoxtrots. Since the club setting is in the 1930s, the songs we’re doing are from that era, except that there are a couple of originals.”

Chances are good that one of those originals will be the Cain-penned number that brought all the ladies of the Midnight Social Club together in the first place.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“P. Casey Morgan wrote the original script for The Midnight Social Club,” she says, “Cindy Cain had wanted all of us to work together, and she wrote an opening song and had the idea for us all to be in a club. Then, we all kind of wrote our own characters and came up with the names and the name of the club.

“Violett Redd was the owner of the club, and when she took it over, she called my character, Stella Moon. I was a singer doing things in another town. Then, a friend of hers just kind of showed up one day and asked for a job. That was Garnett, played by Rebecca. So the three of us were singing together in the Midnight Social Club – which was, well, a little less than an A-1 nightclub.”

She laughs.

Then, unexpectedly, Little Ruby showed up. Violett Redd was her aunt, and she’d run away from home because her parents wanted her to marry a local pig farmer. She came to town and sang `Real Cowboy Girl’ and then got changed and became more sophisticated.”

In addition to the four vocalists playing those parts, all of the musicians involved in Friday’s production of The Midnight Social Club – Last Chance were on board for the first show back in 2008. They include Jeff Newsome on piano, Wade Robertson on drums, and “Doghouse Bill” Crosby on bass.

Those players also appeared on the original-cast CD, Backstage at the Midnight Social Club,which will be available for purchase at Friday’s show.

 The Midnight Social Club – Last Chancepresented by Sweet and Hot Productions, is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’sJazz Depot, 111 E. First Street. The show is presented in conjunction with the Brady Arts District’s First Friday Art Crawl. Admission is $10 at the door, with advance tickets available from Bettie Downing at 918-281-8609.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pam Crosby Live at Main St. Tavern

pam crosby fb cover

The incomparable Pam Van Dyke Crosby will be performing with guitarist Randy Wimer at Main St. Tavern in Broken Arrow’s Rose District, Wednesday April 2nd from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Bring your friends, family neighbors and enemies(they get to sit in the back), have a wonderful dinner and enjoy a fun filled  evening of your favorite tunes from jazz, blues, soft rock and more.

For more info click the links below:

Facebook: Main St. Tavern

Facebook: Pam Crosby Music

Rose District Broken Arrowhttp://www.rosedistrict.com/

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bass Summit hosted by Nathan Eicher at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

bass600x1000

NATHAN EICHER HOSTS BASS SUMMIT SUNDAY AT JAZZ DEPOT

 

It’s been a little over a month since Nathan Eicher accompanied Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame drummer Washington Rucker in a Jazz Depot concert. But it’s clear that the experience, and Rucker himself, continue to impress the young bassist.

“The guy was amazing – just so much experience,” says Eicher. “I could see, given his experience, where it would have been frustrating to play with someone like me, because I don’thave the experience. I haven’t seen all the situations, musically, that he’s seen. So things I might be doing that are maybe new, that I’m doing for the first time, are things he’s probably heard guys do before. Anything I could throw at him, he’s heard.

“But he was just so nice about it, you know? He was like, `Be free. Explore, and express yourself.’ He was reassuring, and he seemed to enjoy watching the process unfold with a younger guy. That was inspiring. He was just so far beyond me, and I got the opportunity to play with him and learn from him and I thought, `Man, I want to try to share that experience in the other direction.’”

To that end, the band Eicher’s bringing to the Depot Sunday will not only feature Depot regular Tim Shadley on piano, but a couple of high school musicians: bassist Byron Crenshaw and drummer Jonathan Haywood.    Crenshaw has been playing at the Tuesday evening Depot Jams, while Haywood is the drummer for the Tulsa Jam’bassadors, the award-winning all-city jazz group that’s a project of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. A combo made up of Jam’bassadors will also be on the bill Sunday.tulsa jambassadors web

In addition to his experience with Rucker, growing up in a musical family – his mother is the well-known vocalist Janet Rutland, his father the noted multi-instrumentalist Shelby Eicher – also contributed to his yen to work with youthful players.

“I want to reach out to kids who are young, because when I was young I had that opportunity,” he explains. “I was very fortunate, with my parents being musicians, to be able when I was in high school to go out and play gigs and sit in. And I’m always inspired when I hear these younger kids playing.”

Sunday, two of those younger kids, along with Shadley and Eicher, will be performing in a quartet that’ll look s a bit unusual. Added to the standard rhythm section of piano, bass, and drums will be a second bass, played by Eicher as a lead instrument, using a bow.

“I drew my inspiration from a bassist named Arni Egilsson,” Eicher says. “He has an album I heard several years ago called Basses Loaded, and it was the same kind of combo. After I heard it, I said, `Man, I want to do that. I want to develop my ability to play this instrument as a lead instrument, so much that I could step in front of a band and do it.’”nathan eicher

He adds that the groups he’s in, including the Tulsa-based string-jazz quartet Mischievous Swing and the trio that works regularly at Oklahoma City’s Hefner Grill, give him plenty of chances to experiment with bass solos.

“The past couple of years, particularly at Hefner Grill, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with a bow and develop that,” he notes. “So, now that I’m finally feeling comfortable with it, I thought, `Hey, I want to try leading a band with this.’ The bass might step into that [lead] role occasionally in the other bands I’m in, but in this [concert], it’s going to be every song, basically. It’ll be sort of like a bass violin.”

He laughs. “I guess I’m trying to be the Stephane Grappelli of bass.”

The Bass Summit with the Nathan Eicher Quartet and the Tulsa Jam’bassadors combo is set to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. 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.  Refreshments will be available for purchase.

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 Oklahomansthrough preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.

jazz hall at night

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Begonias Return to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

begonias 3

Begonias Return to Jazz Depot Sunday

            Rick Bentley has long been a musical innovator. Some longtime observers of the area music scene may, for instance, remember a time years ago when he played banjo with vocalist E.G. Kight and fiddler Rick Morton, creating one of the most unusual blues bands to ever take a stage.

For The Begonias, a group that also features his wife, vocalist-bassist Terry Bentley, and drummer David Blue, Bentley put aside his banjo in favor of an acoustic guitar. (“Quite honestly,” he laughs, “it’s a lot lighter and doesn’t hurt nearly as much when you get older.”) But he’s continued to experiment with new sounds because, as he says, “If you don’t change up a little bit, you’ll just always be playing the same thing.”

Sometimes the changes he and Terry have made in the band were relatively simple, like adding a percussionist or having their old friend Morton come in on fiddle. Other times, however, it’s been a little more complex.

“I experimented with a guitar loop for awhile, and it was fun, but boy, if you kicked it at the wrong time, all of a sudden you’d be playing something and it’d be playing something else,” he says with another laugh, referring to the technology that allows a musician performing live to create a track and play it back onstage. “I’d record a rhythm loop while we were playing, and then when I got ready to take a lead, I’d just kick it and hopefully it was where you wanted it to be.

“Sometimes,” he adds, “it was not pretty.”

The band’s experimentation with loops ended about three years ago, when Blue came aboard.

“That guy is a phenomenal drummer,” says Bentley. “With him, everything fills up nicely, and he’s so much fun to play with. So you don’t have to worry about the rhythm falling down, because Blue’s got that covered, and then Terry’s got the top of it. So it’s back to doing basic music again, and it’s a whole lot more fun.”begonias 2

Eighteen years ago, Rick was playing in the bluegrass group the Sons of the Boutineers, while Terry was in the duo Sisters of the Sun. Then they got married, and they soon had joined forces for a new band, initially called Ruby’s Begonia, in reference to a famous line from both the Amos ‘n’ Andy and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-Intelevision shows. That first trio included Terry’s son Levi Dennis, then a college student, now a Nashville-based musician who’s toured with the likes of Sara Evans and Gary Allan.

At first, Ruby’s Begonia played bluegrass festivals and similar events, familiar to Bentley from his gigs as a banjo player. But as the act continued, it took a turn away from bluegrass and toward other forms of music.

“When we started, I was playing maybe 25 percent banjo and the rest of it was guitar,” he recalls. “Now, I very, very seldom pull out a banjo and play it with our stuff, which is more jazzy. We used to say, `We do some songs by Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin, and Bobby Darin,’ but we do so much different stuff now. Terry’s always out there looking for new tunes, and right now we’re looking at a lot of [songs from Texas songwriter] Guy Clark. Of course, we always want to do duets, so we’ve gone back and picked up some Everly Brothers tunes – just something a little different, to add more flavoring.”

Although Bentley had played the Jazz Depot with the likes of Shelby Eicher andCow Bop, The Begonias’ first job at the venue was last September. He’s glad to be back.

“I love the room,” he says. “The acoustics are good, and the guy who runs the sound has always done a fabulous job.”

He also enjoys the listening-room aspect of the Depot, although he notes that Terry had to get used to that part of the experience.

“She likes playing in a restaurant or a bar, where the crowd’s not sitting and watching her play,” he explains. “But she didn’t have any problems at all when we played [the Depot] last time,” says Bentley.

“Now, me, I like that,” he adds with another laugh. “That’s kind of the reason you play music, you know – to act a fool and show off some.”

The Begonias are set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at theOklahoma 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 Spring Concert Series.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Enhanced by Zemanta

Darell Christopher Performs at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

DC_015

Darell Christopher Brings Spring Break Show to the Jazz Depot

 

            For a while there, vocalist Darell Christopher thought about calling Sunday’sJazz Depot show March Madness.

Instead, he settled on Spring Break. After all, it’s about happiness, not madness. And it’s also about finally getting a break from what has sometimes seemed like an interminable Oklahoma winter.

“Everybody’s ready to get rid of winter,” he explains. “We’re ready to move on into spring and summer. So we just want to have some happy music, R&B and jazz, and make people feel like, `Wow. The sun has come out and spring is here.’ I think everybody is ready for a little sunshine, a little happiness – and we just want to play some music that makes people feel good.”

Bill Withers

Cover of Bill Withers

So patrons can expect a tune or two from legendary soul singer Bill Withers, for instance, as well as George Gershwin’s “Summertime.” They can also expect a group of musicians who Christopher believes too often perform “under the radar.”

“These guys just don’t want a lot of attention, but people are always in for a treat when they hear them play,” he says. “I’m always trying to get them out there to do more solos and just enjoy the fact that they’re extremely talented musicians.”

The band includes Spike Gore, perhaps best known as the regular drummer for the late Earl Clark’s band Spectrum, along with guitarist Mark Furnas and keyboardist Aaron Henderson.

“Aaron and I started playing together several years ago, when he was teaching music at Booker T. Washington [High School],” notes Christopher. “He’s still teaching, but he’s also the music director for a wonderful church, Faith Christian out in north Tulsa. I like him because he has that gospel feel, but he also brings in R&B. He’s just an amazing musician, and he arranges music. I could not do it without him.

“He’s the maestro. We don’t call him Aaron; we call him the maestro, and it’s just been a blast to play with him for the last few years. “

“Spike Gore,” Christopher adds, “is one of the best drummers I know. I don’t know if it’s his gospel roots or his rhythm, but I come alive when he’s drumming back there. I get excited, because he’s just a great drummer.”

Veteran guitarist Furnas is known for his work in a variety of genres, as well as for his association with the legendary music impresario Jim Halsey. Like the other two musicians on Sunday’s show, he has worked with Christopher for several years.

“We’ve put together a pretty nice group, and it’s all about chemistry,” says Christopher. “Playing with guys is always about liking their company, you know, and I can hang out with these guys in any situation. Whether we’re playing jazz, blues, gospel, or R&B, they’re right there, and it’s so much fun.”

NE_001 In addition to performing with his band, Christopher is a regular emcee for the JazzDepot’s Sunday concert series. It’s a job he relishes.

“I’ve got the best seat in the house,” he says. “It’s an honor. [Musicians] come in from L.A., they come in from Seattle, they come in from all over the world, and I’m the guy who gets to get up there and hype their shows a little bit. That’s exciting to me.”

He’s similarly enthusiastic about the Depot’s local acts.

“Every Sunday, whether you know the artists or not, you know you’re going to get quality music,” he explains. “People know they’re going to witness a great performance when they get there.  So I always feel that if I’m going to bring in a show, I want to bring something that’s up to the standards of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall ofFame, because we have a reputation for incredible talent.”

“For me, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame represents what’s best aboutOklahoma. Tulsa has a history, but when it comes to multiculturalism, when it comes to diversity, the Jazz Hall of Fame represents all of that – because music brings people together. A hundred years from now, people will look back and say, `What a cool thing it was that these guys got together and knocked down all the racial barriers, all the frustrating things they were dealing with, and brought people together in a family-oriented environment,’” he concludes. “To be part of that, man, is an honor.”

Darell Christopher’s Spring Break show is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s JazzDepot, 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 2014 Spring 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.

jazz hall at night

 

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
918-281-8609

Enhanced by Zemanta

Nathan Eicher Quartet Performs at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

nathan eicher

Nathan Eicher Quartet Maiden Concert Set for Sunday

Bassist Nathan Eicher has shared the Jazz Depot stage with a number of top-notch musicians, playing there twice with his string-jazz band Mischievous Swing and, most recently, making a big impression alongside Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame drummer Washington Rucker, an experience Eicher calls “really a special evening for me.”

Now, it’s his turn to lead his own group into the Depot. Sunday marks the maiden voyage of the Nathan Eicher Quartet, whose members, in addition to Eicher, include Ryan Hatcher (trumpet), Stephen Schultz (guitar), and Mark Giammario (drums).

“I’vc played with all these guys individually, but this is the first time for this specific group to come together,” notes Eicher. “I put it together with the intent of all of us being able to play some original material we had composed. We’re going to play some familiar favorites, too, to kind of ease the listener in. I think we’ll do `Caravan’ and `Girl from Ipanema,’ `Just Friends’ and the tune `Pure Imagination’ from [the movie] Willy Wonka - we’ve got a nice little 5/4 arrangement of that song, which Ryan did.

“Then, we’ve got 10 to 12 original pieces; each person in the band has composed at least one of them.”

Those numbers, he adds, “really come out of the jazz tradition.”

“We don’t get into any free jazz, but we play a fusion tune, and we play a couple of tunes in odd meter, what I call post-bop. Ryan has a piece that has a lot of what I call Kansas City mute effects; it pays homage to that sound. We have a lot of Latin-influenced material, and swing material, and a couple of my own tunes have melodies that are almost like vocal melodies. They come very much out of that old swing vocal-tune tradition. But then I also have a tune in 7/4 [time], that has a very discernable melody, but it’s kind of ethereal in the sense of creating an atmosphere. It’s called `The Circus Comes to Town,’ and I attempt to create, with this little bit of an off-kilter rhythm pattern, thefeeling of the circus. So we have a big variety of stuff that comes out of so many of the traditions of jazz.”

Like Eicher himself, the other musicians in the Nathan Eicher Quartet play a lot at the other end of the Turner Turnpike, in the Oklahoma City area. In fact, he got acquainted with two-thirds of them via the University of Central Oklahoma‘s well-known jazz studies program, located in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond.nathan and mark

“I met Mark there; we were both doing our master’s at roughly the same time,” says Eicher. “Stephen is currently going to UCO. And I met Ryan, who went to school at Stillwater, through a mutual friend.”

Eicher and Giammario have a steady gig playing together at Oklahoma City’s Hefner Grill in an outfit called, appropriately enough, the Hefner Grill Trio. The two often work with another Oklahoma City performer who’s played the Jazz Depot himself, vocalist Justin Echols.

“I play with Mark all the time,” says Eicher. “I’m playing with him three times a week most weeks, and I’ve developed this very, very nice relationship as a player with him. I think we have a good sense of what we’re going to give one another, how to complement each other. Having a drummer and bassist paired like that brings, I think, a lot of cohesiveness to a group.”

Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, he believes, have “a tremendous amount of very, very good players.”

Justin Echols“But,” he adds, “with the exception of places like the [UCO] Jazz Lab and Hefner Grill, where I perform all the time, I don’t think there are as many venues in Oklahoma City that consistently have jazz as there are in Tulsa. I’m impressed by the fact that every night of the week I can go and hear jazz in Tulsa. In Oklahoma City, to my knowledge, that’s just not happening. It’s possible that it’s there and the word just hasn’t gotten out. There are a lot of great players, a lot of people I love playing with down there. But I think the main difference is that there just aren’t as many venues and nothing like the Jazz Hall.”

The Nathan Eicher Quartet is set to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, located in downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. 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 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

 

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
918-281-8609

Enhanced by Zemanta

Harmonica Summit 2014 at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Harmonica Summit web1 

Fifth Annual Harmonica Summit Set for Jazz Depot Saturday

David Berntson, an organizer, performer, and instructor for Tulsa’s annual Harmonica Summits, thinks it’s important for the event to offer patrons something different each year.

For the fifth and latest installment, you can begin with its very structure, which has for the first time been divided into two parts.

“We’ve gotten feedback, and some of our feedback said the perception might be that it’s a very collegial event [for harmonica players], with all these workshops and then a concert,” Berntson explains. “So we decided to promote the evening’s program as a big show and dance, with the bar open and people getting a very fun, entertaining evening of jump jivin’ blues.

“For the day, we kind of followed the model of SPAH, the Society for the Advancement of the American Harmonica, who do some summits and have a big convention every year. That’s when we’ll have vendors, presenters, workshops, and harmonica-centric things.”

Patrons can get into either the daytime portion, which runs from approximately noon to five p.m., or the evening show, beginning at seven p.m., for $15 at the door. Those who want to do both can pay one $25 charge.

Hohner-Travelling-Roadshow A centerpiece of the afternoon activities this year is the Hohner Roadshow, which Berntson calls “a real coup.”

“We’re really fortunate,” he says. “Hohner, out of Germany, the biggest harmonica and accordion manufacturer in the world, is sending this to Tulsa. They generally only do it for vendors, like guitar centers and big music outlets. Apparently, they were impressed with our spirit and what we do here.”

The Hohner Roadshow, he adds, brings to town “a world-class teacher namedRonnie Shellist and his colleague, Adam Hamil, who’s Hohner’s chief harmonica-repair technician. Anybody who wants to can bring in a harmonica, and Adam will give you the vintage of the harmonica. He’ll also repair a harmonica free of charge. So if you have Grandpa’s old harmonica in a drawer, and you’re not really sure about when it was made, Adam can date the instrument and fix it on the spot.”

Shellist, says Berntson, will be giving away 100 blues harmonicas at his workshop, one of several scheduled for the afternoon. Other instructors include John Gindick, author of the book Rock N’ Blues Harmonica, noted harmonica player R.J. MischoMike PeaceDennis Oellig, Jim Miller, and Berntson himself.

“Workshops are the key to our Harmonica Summit,” says Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO Jason McIntosh. “We’ll introduce harmonica to a lot of aspiring musicians, as well as those who want to brush up, or more serious players. We have various workshops that focus on people’s different levels of expertise; we really try to appeal to the fact that it’s one of the most versatile and user-friendly instruments there is. And you can take it with you.”

Hohner, whom McIntosh calls “a great partner to work with,” has also donated merchandise for giveaways and raffles during the day.

junior markham 1Several of the instructors, including MischoGindick, and Berntson, plan to perform at the evening show, which also features the Kansas City-based Levee Town,Johnny Long, and Tulsa-based legend Jimmy “Junior” Markham, with Little Joe McLerran scheduled for a guest appearance.

Levee Town has a harmonica player, and they’re younger, and they kick up their heels, so that’s going to give our evening program a lot of great energy,”Berntson says. “Johnny Long is a treasure, a phenomenon – an amazing storyteller who plays country blues and some very sophisticated tunes, similar to some of the Piedmont [blues] stuff Little Joe does. He’s really one of Little Joe’s muses.

Joe’s in the Dominican Republic right now, touring for the State Department, but all fingers crossed, he’ll make it back to sit in with John.”

And how about Markham, the veteran Tulsa Sound figure who’s recently been opening shows for B.B. King?

Junior’s the heart and soul of the whole thing,” says Berntson simply. “He’s why I do it.”

Doors open for Harmonica Summit 2014 at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 1, with workshops beginning at noon. Admission to the afternoon portion, running from noon until 5 p.m., is $15. Admission to the evening show, scheduled for 7 p.m. until midnight, is also $15. Admission to both is $25. Children under 14 get in free when accompanied by an adult.

All events take place at downtown Tulsa’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First Street.

Harmonica Summit 2014 is presented by the Route 66 Harmonica Club and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, theBlues Society of TulsaCapps BBQHohnerThe Bureau Digital Printing and Design, andThe Music Store.

 

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

 

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
918-281-8609

Enhanced by Zemanta