Tulsa Jazz Society Presents TGIF: Jazz at the Spotlight Theatre

tgif aug 14 2015

This is the final show in the The Tulsa Jazz Society’s “Jazz at The Spotlight” Summer Series. It has been great fun and we would like to thank our sponsors The Spotlight Theatre and TulsaJazz.Com for committing to do this and special mention to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame for their assistance as well. Speaking of the Jazz Hall of Fame the Fall Series kicks off there next month on Friday September 18th with more great music and wonderful special guests.

Join the Tulsa Jazz Society this month and every month to enjoy a wonderful evening of food, wine, and jazz, is there a better way to spend a Friday night…we don’t think so 🙂

For tickets call The Spotlight Theatre at 918-587-5030

Date/Time: August 14th, 2015  6:00 pm until 7:30 pm

Tickets: 10.00/person, available in advance or at the door.

Location: 1381 Riverside Dr, Tulsa, OK 74127

Website: www.spotlighttheater.org

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


International Jazz Day…A Look Back

FB_IMG_1430327710588Another International Jazz Day has come and gone but it’s impact will go on and on…

As I laid in bed last night, just after midnight, I realized how historic, fun, and impactful the day had been. As a jazz fan and professional in the music business you experience some special moments, an epic show, the big recording deal, landing a big name client, but few events rival 185 countries setting aside differences, joining forces and celebrating together like the events of yesterday! Jazz did that, that’s right JAZZ!

Note: There was an event held in all 50 states in the US!

700+ events around the world, plus an incredible concert in Paris of some of Jazz’s finest, took people away from their problems, issues, and conflicts for a moment and transported them to a place of peace, joy, and musical bliss…happy,happy, happy 🙂

Only music has the ability to do this, it overcomes cultural and language barriers, socioeconomic differences and allow people to come together in harmony like nothing else and jazz is leading the way.

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We have put together a slide show of some of the event posters and people involved in the events of yesterday as well as a link to watch the incredible concert that took place in Paris.

As you go about your day, remember when you have those moments of “I need to get away”  grab your CD, Laptop/tablet, or smartphone and let music, especially Jazz, transport you to a faraway land, be your time machine and take you back to a special moment, let it soothe, move,and refresh you. Let it rekindle and invigorate your passion, and most of all most of all let it encourage you to share your love for music, jazz in particular, with others.

To borrow a saying from someone very special to me…Stay Jazzy!

Sandy Gardner “In Her Shoes” at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame



 According to vocalist and bassist Sandy Gardner – who should know – the title of her Sunday Jazz Depot show can be taken a couple of different ways.

“It seems like every time I’m on stage, people want to see what shoes I’m wearing,” she says, laughing. “I guess over the years I’ve collected a pretty cool set of snazzy high-heeled shoes. But beyond the cute-shoe angle, it really refers to the music I’ve selected for this concert, because it encompasses music, from a lot of different eras, which has meant a lot to me in my life.


“Everybody expects us to do music from the Great American Songbook,” she adds, referring to herself and her husband, Chuck, a pianist, arranger, composer, and Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee. “Clearly, we have that on the docket this time. We’re doing a hit of Judy Garland’s, and it’s not `Over the Rainbow.’ It’s `Get Happy.’ I just love that tune, and I’ve wanted to do it for a long time. And we’re doing Doris Day’s `At Sundown,’ another great tune I’ve always wanted to do.”

However, she notes, those classic numbers come from only one of the musical eras she intends to spotlight in the show.

“We’re doing some songs from the sixties, my era. I don’t often try to put on the arranger hat – why should I, when I have the incredible Chuck Gardner to do that for me? But I’ve come up with an arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel’s `Scarborough Fair’ that starts out with Miles Davis’s `Milestones.’ I was lying in bed one night, thinking about `Scarborough Fair’ and that Miles Davis thing, and I thought, `Oh, that’llwork.’ So I shared it with Chuck, and he was kind of skeptical at first, but I think I convinced him.”TooHot_026

She also came up with another inspiration for a two-song medley, thanks in part to her friend and jazz activist Jeanine Rhea.

“One of her favorite tunes is `Everything Must Change’ by Bernhard Ighner, a beautiful, beautiful tune, and I got the inspiration to put it with `A Song for You’ by Leon Russell,” Sandy explains. “So it’s got a real Tulsa connection.”

She also plans to put her own spin on such 1960s chart toppers as the Classics IV’s “Traces” and the Turtles’ `Happy Together’ – songs that she and her husband have seldom performed together in their decades of working together onstage.

“We didn’t really do any of that material back in our heyday, I guess you would say, in the ’80s,” she says. “That was when we were working six nights a week and twice on Saturday. We were the society band in San Antonio, playing in private dining clubs and all that sort of thing.”

“We always enjoy a Sandy and Chuck show here at the Jazz Depot,” says Jason McIntosh, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame CEO. “It is always heartfelt to witness this lifelong romance shine through in their incredible musical talent.”chuck and Sandy web Lg

In addition to Chuck on piano, Sunday’s ensemble includes Mike Bennett on trumpet, Jim Bates on bass, and Tony Yohe on drums, with Bates planning to switch to guitar for a couple of duet numbers with Sandy.

All of those are very familiar names to area jazz fans. Add to them a special guest whose name isn’t well-known. At least, not yet.

“Sam Troxel is a young man, a sophomore at Union High School. He’s been studying piano about 10 years with Diana Franchini, who happens to be a member of our church,” says Sandy. “She called Chuck and said, `This kid is amazing, and I’ve taken him as far as I can take him in jazz.’ So she asked if Chuck would work with him.

“They’ve been studying together a month or so, and Chuck is just so impressed with him. So we invited him to be a part of the concert. He’s going to do a solo piece called `The Eternal City,’ and then he and Chuck are going to do `Pick Yourself up’ as a duet – on one piano. One piano, four hands. We thought it would just be really neat to introduce this young talent and give him an opportunity to play on the big stage.”

Sandy Gardner “In Her Shoes” is set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, November 23, 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 Autumn 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





“Too Darn Hot” Cole Porter Revue at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame October 5th, 2014


“Too Darn Hot” Cole Porter Revue Features All-Female Vocalists

            Although there are a lot of factors that go into making a show a hit, it’s hard to go wrong with a concert full of Cole Porter music. In his four-plus decades as a songwriter and composer, the Indiana native contributed scores of classic tunes to the Great American Songbook, including such evergreens as “Night and Day,” “I Get A Kick out of You,” “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” and “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love.”

Porter’s drawing power has always been celebrated by the Oklahoma Jazz Hallof Fame, since a Cole Porter show was included in the Jazz Hall‘s initial slate of concerts. That first show was a success, and Jazz Hall-produced Porter concerts quickly became highly anticipated events. Today, CEO Jason McIntosh carries on the tradition, as does Tulsa’s First Lady of Jazz, vocalist Pam Van Dyke Crosby.

“I was on the first Cole Porter show produced,” she says, “and that was back when the Jazz Hall was at the Greenwood Cultural Center. We’ve had one just about every year since.”

Crosby’s producing the latest one, dubbed Too Darn Hot: A Cole Porter Review. And “just to have something a little bit different,” she’s decided to go with all female vocalists. To that end, she’s enlisted some of Tulsa’s finest jazz singers; scheduled to perform Sunday are Sandy Gardner, Cynthia Simmons, Olivia Duhon, Cindy Cain,Angie Cockrell, Louiza Cornelius, Stephanie Oliver, and Ashlee Elmore, as well as Pam herself. The only name on that list that might not be familiar to Jazz Depot audiences is Elmore, who recently moved to town and became the director of the Tulsa Children’s Chorus.

“She’s a young woman, a good singer,” says Crosby.”She just did a show with Olivia [Duhon] at the Jazz Hall, and I heard her sing [Porter’s] `I’ve Got You under My Skin.’ I’ve heard her sing a couple of times before, and I thought she’d be good for this.”

Once she assembled her cast for the Porter show, Crosby gave each vocalist the option of either choosing from a group of arrangements done by Oklahoma JazzHall of Famer Chuck Gardner or picking other Porter songs they liked. This freedom of choice, she says, led to   “some unusual tunes” set for Sunday, including a couple selected by Cindy Cain. Those are “High Society Calypso,” from the 1956 movie High Society, and “Find Me A Primitive Man,” which debuted in the 1929 Broadway musical Fifty Million Frenchmen but is probably better known by today’s audiences because of its memorable performance by Madeline Kahn in the 1975 film At Long Last Love.

“Cole Porter’s songs have everything,” notes Crosby. “The lyrics are very intelligent and sometimes funny, the melodies are interesting and sometimes challenging – like in `Begin the Beguine.’ And they lend themselves to all kinds of different rhythms. You can take a Cole Porter tune and make it a swing tune, or a nice Latin tune. You can do them as ballads. They’re just timeless. I love his songs.”cole porter Songbook

In addition to each vocalist doing the songs she’s picked, there’ll be at least one duet and one trio performance over the course of the evening. And, while the singers will all be women, the band is all-male, a trio of top-notch players enjoyed often by Jazz Depot patrons: pianist Scott McQuade, bassist Bill Crosby, and drummer Tony Yohe.

“They’ve played the Cole Porter shows, too, but it’s not a reprise, because some of the guy songs we’ve done in the past will be sung by gals,” explains Pam. “`I’ve Got You Under My Skin,’ for instance, is usually done by a guy, but we’re going to have it in our show. I just think it’s all going to be really fun and interesting.”

Too Darn Hot: A Cole Porter Revueis set to begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, October 5th, 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, 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 Autumn 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.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame