Tulsa Jazz.Com’s Jazz Legend Spotlight: Marshall Royal

A Leader, Follower, Team Player and Friend…What a Musician, What a Career!

For close to 20 years — from the early ’50s until 1970 — the characteristic sax sound of Count Basie’s big band was topped by the clear, vibrating lead alto of Marshall Royal. Royal was, by all accounts, a competent swing-based soloist, but his strength was first and foremost as a team player. Royal’s style became the prototype for swinging a sax section; his slightly behind-the-beat phrasing, pronounced vibrato, and aggressive leadership influenced a subsequent generation of ensemble players.

Listen to Marshall Royal and Gordon Jenkins play Blues for Beverly:

Royal was born in Oklahoma, the elder brother of trumpeter Ernie Royal, and learned to play violin, guitar, as well as clarinet and sax while still a child. He first performed in public at the age of thirteen, starting his professional career with an eight-year stint with Les Hite’s band (1931–1939), during which time he also recorded with Art Tatum. He spent 1940 to 1942 with Lionel Hampton, until the war interrupted his career. After his military service (during which he played in a Navy band), Royal played with Eddie Heywood, then went on to work in studios in Los Angeles, California.

In 1951 Royal replaced Buddy DeFranco as clarinettist with Count Basie’s septet, which Basie had formed after circumstances forced him to dissolve his big band. When the Basie band was reformed the following year, Royal stayed on as lead alto saxophonist and as music director — not to leave until 1970. Though he was admired as an occasional soloist, his main rôle was as an important part of the reeds section, and as a leader who helped to give Basie’s sound its distinctively precise yet swinging character.

Tulsa Jazz Music Group Website: http://www.tulsajazzmusicgroup.com

Like Tulsa Jazz on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TulsaJazz1

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TulsaJazz1

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tulsajazz

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tulsajazz

Taylor Entertainment Group LLC: https://www.facebook.com/taylorentertainmentgroup


OKC Jazz Fest Brings World Class Talent To New Festival Venues This Year

Al Jarreau_Photo 4_crMarinaChavez

Al Jarreau, Color Me Badd and The Gap Band will headline the 3rd Annual OKC Jazz Fest May 31-June 4 in Bricktown and Deep Deuce in downtown Oklahoma City.

The 2016 festival will feature jazz, jazz rock, hip hop, rhythm & blues and other genres of music. Local and national artists will perform on both indoor and outdoor stages during the five-day festival run.  Festival headliners Jarreau, Color Me Badd and The Gap Band will perform at the new Criterion Music Hall located in the Bricktown Entertainment District.

“The OKC Jazz Fest is excited to showcase this impressive group of award winning headliners, as well as other accomplished musicians as we continue to grow this event into a major music festival for Oklahoma City,” said Mike McAuliffe, OKC Jazz Fest founder.

The official kickoff event for the festival will be on Tuesday, May 31 at the Aloft Hotel, where a new outdoor stage is being constructed to accommodate music fans.

“Jazz on Deep Deuce” will take place on Saturday, June 4 with bands performing throughout the day at various Deep Deuce and Bricktown establishments including Deep Deuce Grill, The Wedge, WSKY, Slaughter’s Hall, Urban Johnnies and WXYZ Lounge at the Aloft Hotel.

okc jazz fest 14x48 2016

Al Jarreau is the only vocalist in history to net Grammy Awards in three different categories including jazz, pop and R&B. His long list of hit songs includes “We’re In This Love Together” and he is also recognized for the popular theme song for the television show “Moonlighting.”GAP BAND (003)

The Gap Band, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an American R&B and funk band that rose to fame in the 70’s and 80’s.  The band is known for such songs as “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” and “Early In The Morning.” Local singer Darla Z will also be performing with the band.

Color Me Badd

One of the highlights of the 2016 jazz fest is the homecoming of “Color Me Badd” as part of their 25th Anniversary National Tour.  Formed in Oklahoma City in 1991, Color Me Badd is an American contemporary R&B group that has sold over 12 million records worldwide.

The music festival will also feature Los Angeles violinist, singer, songwriter and actress Lucine Fyelon.

Major supporters of the festival include the Chickasaw Nation, Saint Anthony, Criterion Music Hall and Aloft Hotel.

Tickets for the OKC Jazz Fest are available through Ticketmaster beginning May 9.   For sponsorship information contact Mike McAuliffe at 405-630-7668.  For the festival schedule and additional information visit www.okcjazzfest.com.

Jazz Fest Runs May 31-June 4 In Bricktown/Deep Deuce

Tulsa Jazz Music Group Website: http://www.tulsajazzmusicgroup.com

Like Tulsa Jazz on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TulsaJazz1

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TulsaJazz1

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tulsajazz

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tulsajazz


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Chapman Music Hall

SistemaJazzConcert_poster_Opt2e (2)

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Concert to Support ‘Sistema Tulsa’ Music Education Program

Tulsa, Oklahoma – Sistema Tulsa presents the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Chapman Music Hall, Friday, October 2, 2015. All proceeds will benefit the launch of Sistema Tulsa, a social change music education program. Underwritten by the Brannin Family Foundation, the concert will celebrate the launch of Sistema Tulsa and its partnership with Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and Tulsa Public Schools. Led by 9- time Grammy Award winner, Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has performed hundreds of shows to people of all ages on over six continents.

The Orchestra is composed of 15 of the most accomplished soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today and has been hailed as “extraordinary” by the Los Angeles Times and “the greatest large jazz ensemble working today” by the Chicago Tribune. Many have described Marsalis as not only a brilliant composer, but also the most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter of his generation. He is a tireless educator and advocate for the Arts and will perform in Tulsa this fall to support the launch of Sistema Tulsa.

jazz at lin cnt1


The concert will be held at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Chapman Music Hall on Friday, October 2, 2015. Tickets sales are available to the general public and may be purchased online at myticketoffice.com, in person at the PAC box office or by calling 918-596-7111. The tickets range from $30-$100. Based on the successful “El Sistema” program founded in Venezuela and featured on 60 Minutes, Sistema Tulsa is designed to build a culture of aspiration for students in Tulsa Public Schools. Jose Luis Hernandez-Estrada, the Director of Sistema Tulsa, notes, “I am delighted that Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are supporting our efforts to launch Sistema Tulsa. Marsalis and his orchestra are consummate musicians and true champions of arts education in America. We share a vision for access to opportunities in music that can lead our youth to more promising futures. As we marvel in their artistry we will be reminded that music can be a source of inspiration and an instrument of solidarity.” Burroughs, Chouteau and Lee Elementary School students in 4th and 5th grade have been invited for the initial program and participants are being selected through an application process. Opening day for the program will be September 9, 2015.


Jose Luis Hernandez-Estrada

About Sistema:

Tulsa Sistema Tulsa envisions how a comprehensive and inclusive music program can positively impact the social, cognitive, and aesthetic realms of youth development. Inspired by the philosophy and values of El Sistema in Venezuela, the program aspires to grow and support youth musical ensembles that exemplify and nurture the pursuit of excellence and high aspiration. Sistema Tulsa is steered by the vision of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and supported by the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation, the Tulsa Public Schools system, and the generous financial support of caring sponsors.

For more info visit www.sistematulsa.org.


Eric Himan Performs at Main St Tavern for “Wine and Jazz Night” September 16th


Eric Himan sings Jazz and many of his favorites at Main St Tavern

GRACEFULLY by Award-Winning nationally touring artist, Eric Himan, brings the songwriter/acoustic guitarist to a brand new place: the piano bench.

After releasing and selling his music (over 40,000 cds sold independently) through his record label, Thumbcrown Records, licensing original music to MTV, E!, and heavy rotation on satellite radio (SiriusXM’s The Coffeehouse), Eric delivers his latest, GRACEFULLY, his most ambitious album to date. Well known for writing and performing on the acoustic guitar, GRACEFULLY is the first full album written and recorded with Eric on piano. A horn section, a new element in his recordings, was brought in and arranged by saxophonist, Ryan Tedder, with Dave Johnson on trumpet. This album has one last feature: the album was fully funded through his listeners via the crowd-sourcing website, PledgeMusic. Eric was able to bring in some heavy hitters such as drummer, Brandon Holder (current drummer for Leon Russell) and bassist Matt Hayes (Jacob Fred Jazz Odessey, Wayne Newton) thanks to the support of his many generous listeners. This album was recorded in Eric’s hometown of Tulsa, OK by Rockwell Ripperger (of the platinum selling band, Stephen Speaks) and Brandon Holder, mixed by Ripperger, and mastered by the grammy-award winning Chris Bellman (Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Katy Perry) at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles, CA.Gracefully eric h

A collection of songs gathered throughout the past three years, GRACEFULLY holds elements of pop, soul, rock, R&B, and even a bit of a latin feel with its entrance, RED HOT TEARS. WAITING FOR THUNDER inspired by the story of Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old Pakistani student who was shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, brings the rock genre into light on GRACEFULLY. Other highlights of the album are the gospel tinged, HOW CAN YOU SLEEP?, bringing back the horn section for a swinging tale of love on its way out, the pop-driven-perfect-for-a-sunday-morning, EVERYTHING TO YOU, and the title track, GRACEFULLY, a tribute to Eric’s grandmother, Grace, who raised Eric with his grandfather and father. Grace who passed away last Fall at the age of 97, led a full life of motherhood, a careers in photography, and at one time, a colorist for DC Comics in the 1930’s. Smiling from the cover art of this new record, Grace gives the stamp of approval for the grandson she encouraged artistically as Eric puts it ” to live life like you taught me, GRACEFULLY”.

More accolades for Eric Himan:

  • As heard on XM/Sirius The Coffee House (recorded live sessions for them, as well)
  • Recently added to HOLLISTER’s In-Store Playlist nationally
  • As seen in The Huffington Post, American Songwriter Magazine,Towleroad, Out Magazine, and The Advocate
  • Opening Tour dates this spring for Ani DiFranco and Leon Russell.
  • Opened for Patty Griffin, India.Arie, Leon Russell, Edwin McCain amongst others.
  • Featured at Songwriter’s Festivals around the country including the 30A Songwriter’s Festival alongside Ani DiFranco, Loudon Wainwright III, Matthew Sweet and more.
  • Endorsed by Fender Guitars
  • Winner of The Singer/Songwriter Awards (WeAreListening.Org)
  • Licensed songs to E!, MTV, Vh1, and The Discovery Channel.
  • *Best of the Best-Okahoma Magazine three years in a row
  • *Winner-Artist of the Year/Best Male Vocalist-Urban Tulsa Weekly’s Music Awards

Eric’s Latest Album:

playingcards-600x600 eric h

This show is a TulsaJazz.Com Production

Additional Show Information:

Date/Time: Wednesday September 16th, 2015 6 pm-9 pm

Location: 200 S. Main St Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Phone: 912-872-1414

Eric’s Website: http://www.erichiman.com/

Eric’s Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/EricHimanMusic

Eric’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/RealEric_Himan

Main Street Tavern: Main Street Tavern on Facebook

Like Tulsa Jazz on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TulsaJazz1

Follow Tulsa Jazz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TulsaJazz1





Angie Cockrell and Mike Leland Performing at Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood


These shows are a Tulsa Jazz Music Group Production.


Wednesday August 12th 2015  6 pm to 9 pm

Thursday August 13th, 2015  6 pm to 9 pm

Location: 10032 S Sheridan Rd, Tulsa, OK 74133

Phone: 918-296-9889

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

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

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



Tulsa Jazz Music Group Presents Afton Hefley and Scott McQuade Performing at Main St. Tavern June 17th

Afton Hefley

Afton Hefley

In 2006, Afton Hefley moved from Tulsa, OK to begin a winding journey through nearly every facet of the music world in Los Angeles.

Her formative years were spent in private music lessons as well as in the school and church bands and choirs. Alongside singing, she plays the piano, guitar, and a smidgen of flute if coerced enough.

Interests and jobs changed throughout the years but the one constant for her has been singing. One of the most notable of those jobs was touring the world with Tears For Fears, off and on from 2007 – 2011 as more and less, a production manager. The “more” part of that job title was when she was asked by the band to join them on stage to sing backing vocals on a couple of songs.

Afton recalls that it was that experience in which she discovered where her heart truly was.


After nearly 10 years in LA, Afton now appears primarily as a vocalist. Deeply engaged in original creative music as well as jazz, pop, folk, and classical, her characteristic touch and unique approach is in demand throughout LA. She can be heard in the most notable venues, and always with the most dynamic musicians the city has to offer.

In 2013, under the pen-name, Sangster, Afton released a 5 song EP of original music titled “Human Becoming”, featuring a host of LA’s top tier musicians from the creative music scene.

We now find her putting down the guitar and pen and turning her attention to The Great American Songbook and classic pop tunes, familiar to her past.



LA jazz guitar guru, Larry Koonse, sums it up perfectly: “Her (Afton’s) music (and vocal quality) gets me right in the gut and heart. What a gorgeous sound she has along with a beautiful way of shaping the experience (phrasing).”

Wednesday Afton will be joined by the incomparable Scott McQuade on keyboard who, according to his many fans, always provides a “breathtaking musical experience”! This is a must see show!

This is a Tulsa Jazz Music Group Production

Date/Time: Wednesday June 17th 6 pm-9 pm

Location: 200 S. Main St Broken Arrow, OK

Phone: (918) 872-1414




Scott’s Website: www.playitagainscott.com

Main St Tavern on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MainStreetTavernBA



Music Legend Spotlight: Roy Milton

Roy Milton small

Roy Milton (July 31, 1907 – September 18, 1983) was an American singer, drummer and bandleader.

As in-the-pocket drummer of his own jump blues combo, the Solid Senders, Roy Milton was in a perfect position to drive his outfit just as hard or soft as he so desired. With his stellar sense of swing, Milton did just that; his steady backbeat on his 1946 single for Art Rupe’s fledgling Juke Box imprint, “R.M. Blues,” helped steer it to the uppermost reaches of the R&B charts (his assured vocal didn’t hurt either).

roy milton 2

Milton spent his early years on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma (his maternal grandmother was a Native American) before moving to Tulsa. He sang with Ernie Fields’s territory band during the late ’20s and began doubling on drums when the band’s regular trapsman got arrested one fateful evening. In the mood to leave Fields in 1933, Milton wandered west to Los Angeles and formed the Solid Senders. 1945 was a big year for him — along with signing with Juke Box (soon to be renamed Specialty), the band filmed three soundies with singer June Richmond.

Additional information on Roy Milton:
Roy Milton – The Real Solid Sender
Roy Milton: Wikipedia Bio