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Jazz in June Features World-Renowned Artists, Local Favorites
By Tourism Industry Partner
NORMAN – Music lovers from across the state, region and beyond will converge in Norman June 23-25 for the 28th annual Jazz in June music festival.
Jazz greats Larry Coryell and Poncho Sanchez, contemporary blues artists Murali Coryell and Margo Valiante, and local favorites the Jeremy Thomas Quartet, 145th Army Big Band Jazz Ensemble, Norman North High School Jazz Choir and Norman High School Jazz Combo will take the stage and fill the summer evenings with jazz-rock fusion, Latin jazz, big band jazz, blues, contemporary American music and more.
The June 23 and 24 concerts are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., respectively, at Brookhaven Village, 3700 W. Robinson St. The June 25 event is slated for 6 p.m. at Andrews Park, 201 W. Daws St.
Jazz in June events also include:
· June 23 post-concert blues jam session beginning at 11 p.m. hosted by The Dan Danger Band at Coach’s Brewhouse, 110 W. Main St.
· June 25 clinic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. led by the Coryells, Sanchez and Jeremy Thomas at the Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave.
· June 25 post-concert jazz jam session beginning at 11 p.m. hosted by the Jeremy Thomas Quartet at the Norman Santa Fe Depot.
All Jazz in June events are free and open to the public.
Jazz in June was founded by the Norman Arts and Humanities Council and the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company in 1984 to bring high-quality blues and jazz acts to Norman. The festival has since developed into a much-anticipated annual event attended by some 50,000 people.
The estimated total Jazz in June economic impact exceeds $3 million annually, while the total state and municipal sales tax collected each year as a direct result of the festival is estimated at more than $250,000.
Jazz in June is supported, in major part, by grants and donations from: Festival Underwriters: Oklahoma Arts Council/Organizational Support Grant Program with the assistance of the National Endowment for the Arts; Festival Funders: Brookhaven Village, Bob Moore Cadillac Saab & Bob Moore Porsche Audi, The Friends of Jazz in June, Republic Bank & Trust, Norman Arts Council Transient Tax Grant Program; Major Funders: Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Kirkpatrick Foundation, Tyler Media; Day Funders: MidFirst Bank, Embassy Suites of Norman, Sooner Legends Inn & Suites, Target Stores, Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Café Plaid, Shevaun Williams & Associates, E. Frank Gilson, Glen Brown, Jaci McAfee Williams, Liquecolor, Big Foot Creative, Massive Graphics; Additional Funders: Norman Chamber of Commerce, Transcript Press, Coach’s Brewhouse, Performing Arts Studio, Nancy McClellan, Abbey Road Catering, Brockhaus Flowers & Gifts, Mark and Becky Wilson; Legacy Founders/Donors: Bob and Judy Felder, Ron Arvine: Arvine Pipe & Supply Company, Greg Heiple, Joan Goth, Charlie and Linda Nicholson, Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
JAZZ IN JUNE SCHEDULE
Thursday, June 23
Blues Under the Stars, Thursday, June 23, Brookhaven Village, 3700 W. Robinson St.
· Margo Valiante, 7-8:30 p.m. Valiante, a blues and alternative country singer/songwriter, has been compared to Bonnie Raitt and Patty Griffin. Her songwriting earned her invitations to compete in such prestigious songwriting competitions as The Telluride Troubadour Competition, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest and Mountain Stage New Song Competition. The Austin Chronicle lauded Valiante’s second album, I Can’t Pray, as having “an overall soulfulness that buys her a ticket into the ranks of Austin’s established female vocalists.” After two years of performing in Austin, Texas and multiple cross-country tours, Valiante currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she is working on her next album.
· Murali Coryell, 9-10:45 p.m. Coryell, a triple-threat contemporary blues artist who sings, writes and plays guitar, grew up around such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Carlos Santana. Coryell frequently has toured as a featured artist with his father, legendary jazz guitarist and 2011 Jazz in June performer Larry Coryell, and Joe Louis Walker. He has appeared many times as a supporting act for B.B. King. Coryell’s latest CD, Sugar Lips, reached No. 5 in 2010 on the Living Blues Radio Chart. Recorded in Nashville with Tom Hambridge, who produced Buddy Guy’s latest Grammy winner, Sugar Lips has been called “one sweet triptych across the musical map” (Billboard).
Blues Jam Session, 11 p.m., Coach’s Brewhouse, 110 W. Main St.
The session will be hosted by The Dan Danger Band. The Bethany, Oklahoma-based band is known for its energy, soul and originally storytelling songs.
Friday, June 24
Jazz Under the Stars, Friday, June 24, Brookhaven Village, 3700 W. Robinson St.
· 145th Army Big Band Jazz Ensemble, 7:15-8:45 p.m. The jazz ensemble, a division of the 145th Oklahoma Army National Guard Band, performs such diverse forms of jazz as swing, big band, Latin, funk and blues. For Jazz in June, the ensemble will perform modern jazz classics, as well as standards from WWI and WWII, when soldiers relied primarily on big band jazz for respite from battle.
· Larry Coryell, 9:15 – 10:45 p.m. Coryell, called “a true pioneer of rock-jazz fusion” by The New York Times and “the Godfather of Fusion” by Down Beat Magazine, has recorded more than 75 albums as a bandleader, soloist and featured accompanist. In the 1960s, Coryell brought to jazz electric guitar playing a hard-edged, cutting tone, phrasing and note-bending influenced by blues, bop, rock and country. He was inspired by Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry, John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery as well as the Beatles, The Byrds and Bob Dylan. A true eclectic with a brilliant technique, Coryell is comfortable in almost every style, from decibel-heavy, distortion-laden electric work to delicate, soothing and intricate lines on acoustic guitar.
Saturday, June 25
Jazz and Blues Clinic, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave.
· Jeremy Thomas, organ, 11 to 11:50 a.m.
· Murali Coryell, songwriting, noon – 12:50 p.m.
· Larry Coryell, jazz guitar, 1:15 t0 2:05 p.m.
· Poncho Sanchez, Latin jazz/percussion, 2:20 – 3:10 p.m.
Jazz in the Park, Saturday, June 25, Andrews Park, 201 W. Daws St.
· Norman North High School Jazz Choir, 6 – 6:45 p.m. Led by director Tony Gonzalez, the NNHS Jazz Choir has performed at Jazz in June for more than a decade. Its 14 members are selected by audition and held to rigorous standards to maintain a high level of professionalism and performance. The jazz choir has performed at many prestigious Oklahoma events, including the American Heart Association Benefit Gala and Oklahoma City’s State Art Awards, and plays engagements for service and community organizations.
· Jeremy Thomas Quartet, 7:10 – 8:35 p.m. The Jeremy Thomas Quartet – Jeremy Thomas (Hammond organ), Mitch Bell (guitar), Willie Lee Peterson Jr. (drums) and Lee Rucker (trumpet) – made its debut in 2004 at the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab as the opening act for jazz pianist Kenny Warner. Two years later, the group got its big break playing at the renowned Charlie Christian Jazz Festival in Oklahoma City. The quartet has recorded two CDs, Jeremy Thomas Quartet: Live at the UCO Jazz Lab and Live at the Jazz Lab, Series Two.
· Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band, 9 – 10:45 p.m. Sanchez is a Grammy-winning percussionist famed for his unique sound that blends Latin jazz, soul, swing, bebop, salsa and other musical styles. Self-taught on guitar, flute, drums, timbales and congas, his early musical consciousness was solidified by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. In 1975, Sanchez landed a spot in Cal Tjader’s band, where he remained until the bandleader’s death in 1982. This experience helped Sanchez learn his trade under the guidance of one of jazz music’s biggest names and helped pave the way for a label deal and the beginning of his solo career. Sanchez’s Psychedelic Blues was a 2011 Grammy nominee for best Latin jazz album.
· Norman High School Jazz Combo, 6:45 – 7 p.m., 7:45 – 7:55 p.m., 8:35 – 9 p.m. The Norman High School Jazz Combo is a student-led group in its second year as a part of the NHS instrumental music program. The group performs many jazz standards, as well as pieces created by its members. It frequently plays at private parties, business openings, charity events and Norman Public Schools district events.
Jazz Jam Session, 11 p.m., Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave.
The session will be hosted by the Jeremy Thomas Quartet.