Featured Inductee

Washington Irving Rucker was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on March 5, 1937 and attended local schools through graduation from Booker T. Washington High School, developing a talent for the drums along the way. By his teens, Washington was playing with bluesman Jimmy “Cry Cry” Hawkins and was soon off to UCLA to study and work his way into the Los Angeles music scene. A man of many talents, Washington got a degree in history and had side careers in acting and cosmetology while playing drums with bands in a variety of genres.

Rucker has worked with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, gospel artists Reverend James Cleveland and Shirley Caesar; jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Hampton Hawes, and Freddie Hubbard; and singers Nancy Wilson and Linda Hopkins. He has an active career as an educator, teaching a master class at USC on the “Art of the Brushes” in drumming and a well-regarded program on jazz history for young students called “Jazz for Wee People.” He has also appeared regularly in film and television as a character actor, most notably in Martin Scorsese’s “New York, New York” and Clint Eastwood’s “Bird.”

Drummer Clarence Dixon once told him “this pair of sticks will take you all over the world if you want to go,” and those words became Washington Rucker’s reality.

He is a 1998 inductee of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

read more



Champian Fulton: Christmas With Champian

Pianist/vocalist Champian Fulton may be the only kindergartner in history to take a Charlie Parker CD into school for show and tell. The effect of her presentation on her classmates is uncertain, but  she fought the good fight.

... read more


Saying Goodbye to Sonny Gray

With a heavy heart and happy memories we say goodbye to our dear friend and Oklahoma Jazz Hall inductee, Sonny Gray. He will surely be missed by many.

... read more


Bartlesville Musical Ensemble to Play Historic Jazz Venue in Downtown Tulsa

Bartlesville, OK - Tulsa’s celebrated Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is hosting the Johemian Jazz Syndicate the second Sunday in September as part of its Sunday Concert Series.  Bartlesville’s own jazz foursome is performing with guest vocalist Stephanie Oliver on September 10 at 5 p.m.

... read more

read more

newsletter SIGN UP

Weekly Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter about upcoming events at The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.