The third annual Oklahoma JazzFest brings smooth jazz tunes to Tulsa on June 27.
Eldredge Jackson and his band, Listening Pleasure, have performed their smooth jazz tunes across the region, and will make their way to Washington, D.C., in June and to Laguna Beach and San Diego, Calif., in August. Although Jackson appreciates the opportunity to share his music with other cities, the New Orleans-born-and-Tulsa-bred musician says he always welcomes an opportunity to come back to Tulsa and perform for a hometown crowd.
So when Chuck Cissel, CEO of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, asked Jackson and his band to perform at the 2009 Oklahoma JazzFest, he didn’t skip a beat, so to speak.
“It gives us an opportunity to come back and play for people who know you and love your music,” he says. “It’s a chance (for them) to mingle and catch up and see what you’ve been up to.”
Jackson will join other featured performers Steve Ham and the Jambalaya Jass Band, Wall Street and J3 at the third annual festival June 27.
Cissel says all the participating acts represent the high level of talent found locally — talent the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame aims to showcase.
“That’s who we are,” Cissel says. “We need to promote our own.”
That includes guitarist Parry Harding, who is performing with his band, Wall Street, at JazzFest for the second time. He says audiences can expect to hear a blend of jazz, R&B, soul and blues from the group, which was formed in Tulsa 15 years ago.
Harding says he enjoys “coming home to JazzFest” and to the historic Jazz Depot, whose transformation from train station to jazz haven he calls “amazing.”
Cissel welcomes the opportunity to showcase the Jazz Hall of Fame’s new home, which opened two years ago. The festival will be held in the street in front of the Depot, located at 111 E. First St., from 6 p.m.-midnight. In addition to the live performances, the event also will include food and beverages for sale.
Cissel says people of all ages are welcome to visit the Jazz Depot and enjoy the festivities.
“Come out and celebrate the art form of jazz and come out and meet new friends and meet new people,” he says.
Pictured: The third annual Oklahoma JazzFest will include appearances from Eldredge Jackson, J3's Rick Gill and Jack Wolfe, Jazz Hall CEO Chuck Cissel and Wall Street's Valarie Collins and Parry Harding.
For more information, call 281-8600 or visit www.okjazz.org.