2006 Inductees

GEORGE DUKE - Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award 
Grammy  and Trumpet Awards winner, producer, arranger, composer, bandleader, recording artist, George Duke, was born in San Rafael, CA, was four years old when his mother took him to see Duke Ellington in concert. Impressed by what he had seen, Duke began his piano studies at the age of seven. Eventually he began playing in the church where he learned that music could trigger emotions in a cause-and-effect relationship.

By age 16, he had played with a number of high school jazz groups. With an appreciation for Miles Davis, Les McCann, and Cal Tjader, Duke attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and majored in trombone and composition with a minor on contrabass.  He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1967 and later received his Masters Degree in composition from San Francisco State University and briefly taught on Jazz and American Culture in Oakland.

At this time, Duke began to release a series of recordings and soon began playing and working with musicians such as Jean-Luc Ponty, Cannonball Adderly, Quincy Jones, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, The Jahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Stanley Clarke, and Dizzy Gillespie.

In 1976 Duke became a solo artist and enjoyed success with a series of fusion-oriented LPs such as his debut LP, From Me to You. It was Reach for It All that elevated his career to an all new level. After that Duke decided pursue a producing career and began with the Brazilian instrumentalist Raoul de Souza. After that was Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jeffrey Osborne, Deniece Williams, Melissa Manchester, Barry Manilow, Smokey Robinson, George Howard, Miles Jaye, Phil Perry, Dianne Reeves, The Pointer Sisters, 101 North, Najee, Take 6, Howard Hewett, Chante Moore, Everette Harp, Regina Belle, Marilyn Scott, Rachelle Ferrell, Gladys Knight, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Winona Judd and Barenaked Ladies,  Keith Washington, Marilyn Scott, Kirk Whalum, Michael McDonald, Gary Valenciano, Johnny Gill and Anita Baker and so many more..

George has also directed for numerous artists and television specials including “Soul Train Music Awards,”  “NBC Sunday Night Show,” and Anita Baker.  He was the director of the largest guitar festival in history held in Spain. He’s been named the R&B Keyboardist of the Year. He has established a reputation for television and film scoring work with The Five Heartbeats film soundtrack, Karate Kid III, Leap of Faith and Meteor Man, and NBC’s Leeza and Marilu daytime talk shows.

Duke’s career has spiraled throughout the years as a producer, arranger, composer, and musician. 2006 is as promising as prior years for Duke.  “T-Jam” from the Duke CD was nominated for a Grammy as “Best Instrumental Pop Performance.” The new jazz CD to be released in June and the Clarke/Duke Project begins touring at the end of May. Also some very interesting production projects are coming up including a foray into the Broadway Musical scene. George and many of his works have been nominated for and received many prestigious awards including the Grammy, Image and The Trumpet awards. 
Duke’s biography can be seen at: www.georgeduke.com/biography.html

ROSEMARY CLOONEY - Living Legend Award 
Born May 23, 1928, in Maysville, Kentucky, Rosemary Clooney’s rich, deep, smooth, distinctively unpretentious voice earned her recognition as one of America’s premiere pop and jazz singers.  Life magazine named her one of “six preeminent singers …whose performances are living displays of a precious national treasure…their recordings a preservation of jewels.”

Her career began in Cincinnati when she and her sister, Betty, won an open singing audition, and became known as the Clooney Sisters. In 1948, the sisters decided to go their own way.  Rosemary continued as a solo vocalist with Tony Pastor and in 1949, she left the band and head for New York City.

Clooney’s arrival in New York City was perfectly timed with the rage for orchestra-backed singers. She was immediately signed with Columbia Records. There she began an important association with Mitch Miller. This was when the Clooney recorded “Come On-a-My House,” which was an immediate and enormous success.  It made Rosemary a star – her household name was “Rosie.”  In 1956, she stared in her own television show, The Rosemary Clooney Show, which was syndicated.

With the pressures of raising a family, a deteriorating marriage, and her career in radio, movie, television and recording star, Clooney fell prey to “the “50s myth of family and career” and soon developed an addiction problem.  However, following many years of treatment, Clooney made a comeback touring with Bing Crosby celebrating his 50th anniversary. From there, she went on to sign a contract with Concord Jazz, and recorded more than a dozen successful recordings, inaugurated with “Everything’s Coming up Rosie.”

After years of doing it all, in 1997 Rosemary met and married Dante DiPaolo, a Hollywood dancer, following a 24-year relationship.

Rosemary saw her mission in life to simply be singing. She said, “I just would like to keep singing. Rosemary’s last performance was December 15, 2001 at the Count Basie Theater in Redbank, NJ and she was still singing well.

In January of 2002, Rosemary underwent lung cancer surgery. She remained hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic until early May, at which time she was able to go home to Beverly Hills and share Mother’s Day and her birthday with her five children, ten grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law Nick and Nina Clooney, sister Gail Stone Darley and their and Betty’s children.  She died on June 20, 2002.

She recorded 25 albums for Concord Jazz and maintained a busy touring schedule until her cancer surgery.  “Rosie” will continue to live on through her music and at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame; she will always be our “Living Legend.” www.rosemaryclooney.com

LYNN SEATON - Jazz Inductee 
Lynn Seaton has had a stellar career as a jazz bassist.   Born in Oklahoma in 1957, he started playing the bass at age 9.  By the late 70’s he was performing around the state.  From 1980 until 1984 he was the house bassist at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, accompanying big name guest soloists every week.  In 1984, he joined Woody Herman and in 1985 he played with the Count Basie Orchestra. After a two-year engagement with the Basie Band, he did extended tours with Tony Bennett and George Shearing. Most of 1991 and 1992 was spent touring with Monty Alexander. Lynn spent a lot of time on the road as a member of the Jeff Hamilton Trio from 1995-1999.  Since 1993, Lynn has also had a busy career free-lancing with many of the great jazz musicians from many generations, including: Toshiko Akiyoshi, Monty Alexander, Ernestine Anderson, Buck Clayton, Al Cohn, Kenny Drew Jr., Blossom Dearie, Bob Dorough, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Herb Ellis, John Fedchock, Frank Foster, Freddy Green, Tim Hagans, Jeff Hamilton, Scott Hamilton, Wynard Harper, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Marian McPartland, Jay McShann, Mark Murphy, Ken Peplowski, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jimmy Raney, Emily Remler, Diane Schuur, Maria Schneider, Bud Shank, Carol Sloane, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Maxine Sullivan, Mel Torme, Frank Wess, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, Steve Wilson, Mark Vinci, and Teddy Wilson.  He lived in NY from 1986 until 1998.  That year, he accepted an offer to teach at the world famous University of North Texas, home to one of the largest jazz programs in the world.  He has performed at festivals world wide including Bern, Concord, JVC, Kool, Kyoto, Newport, North Sea, Perugia and Pori. Lynn has performed in 49 of the 50 United States and 35 foreign countries.  He has performed on over 100 recordings, including the Grammy winning “Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra”, and two Grammy nominees, John Fedchock “No Nonsense” and Woody Herman “50th Anniversary”.  He has three recordings as a leader, “Bassman’s Basement”, “Solo Flights”, and “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.   See www.lynnseaton.com

DEBBIE CAMPBELL - Honorary Inductee
From her work as lead singer for a major-label rock band to her forays into musical theatre, and her highly successful stints as a big-band vocalist and cabaret singer, Debbie Campbell spent almost all of her too-short 53 year life captivating and enthralling audiences with her dazzling, infectious smile, her enormity of spirit and her distinctive blues-edged vocal style.  TulsaPeople magazine, name Debbie Tulsa's Best Local Performer for the 4th year in a row, wrote:  “With a versatile voice and engaging stage presence, Debbie Campbell is one of Tulsa's most cherished assets.  Campbell is the entertainer to introduce to out-of-town guests.  Her diverse repertoire and talent keep every show fresh and lively.

Born Deborah Ruth Vorhies on November 28, 1950 in Forth Worth, Texas, Debbie received her first guitar as a Christmas gift from her parents when she was 12 years old.  Receiving the guitar marked the beginning of a love affair with singing and performing that would last her entire life.  Over the years, Debbie sang with a number of bands including the Picket Fence of L.A.; Buckwheat, a Southern rock band; and a Tulsa group, Kandy Kanes.  In the 70's, Debbie decided to move to Tulsa and thanks to the success of such Tulsa-based musicians as Leon Russell and J.J. Cale the music scene in Tulsa was rapidly becoming national in scope.  Debbie quickly began making her own contribution to the Tulsa Sound as a top club singer, and before long she was opening for and touring with a wide range of artists, from country greats like Don Williams and the Oak Ridge Boys to top blues and rock acts, including B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and fellow Tulsan J.J. Cale.  Debbie's vocals have been heard on many local, regional and national radio and television spots for a variety of businesses and organizations, including Sonic Drive-In, Greyhound, CITGO and The United Way.  In 2000, Debbie performed at the Betty Ford Center Anniversary Banquet, with a musical presentation to President and Mrs. Ford.  She composed a special song for this occasion.

Debbie recorded CDs “Back 2 Basics” with long time collaborator, Spencer Sutton, and followed up with a spiritual-based CD, “Come as You Are,” with production credits to Pat Savage. In 2001, Debbie's last CD, a collection of jazz and pop standards entitled “Some of These Days” was released to rave reviews. In 2003 Debbie began work on her third and final CD filled with her spiritual compositions and traditional gospel tunes, but before she could complete the CD, tragedy struck our beloved Debbie Campbell. The new CD will be released in late 2006.  To know Debbie or simply to hear her sing was to love her, and as deeply as every one of us surely misses her, we also know that our lives have been immeasurably enriched by having had her presence, her smile and her voice in our lives.

DONALD RYAN - Jazz Inductee 
A stunning and exuberant pianist, Donald Ryan has thrilled audiences across the USA.  Carnegie Hall included – and in major performance halls throughout Europe since he received the Madeyska award at the Ninth International Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland.  Born in Trinidad, W.I., he has been playing the piano since he was three years old.  In the intervening years, he has mastered such a wide range of musical styles and expressions that he is regarded by many as this area’s premier pianist having been chosen to play for President Bush, Vice-President Quayle, and other American and foreign dignitaries.

His degrees were earned from Oral Roberts University and the University of Tulsa.  At present he is a faculty member at ORU, and an accompanist for the world-renowned bass/baritone, Simon Estes, with whom he has recorded on the Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin label.    

Jim Bates is arguably the foremost and most easily recognizable bassist in the area because of his skill and experience in varied styles of music. He was the principal bass for three seasons with the Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Oklahoma Sinfonia.

Ken Leverette, drummer, gained an international reputation as a drummer and percussionist even before he was out of high school’ this was by touring Europe with the All-American Band. He subsequently spent nine years in various command bands of the U. S. Air Force. His versatility in jazz, rock, country/western, even symphonic music, brought hi to Tulsa to be the house drummer at the now defunct Ziegfield’s.

The Donald Ryan Trio performs often in and out of the Tulsa area and has several CD’s to his credit.

JOSEPH BIAS - Gospel Inductee
Tulsa First UMC is the 5th Largest United Methodist Church in the United States.  More than 8,500 members gather each Sunday for worship in four services.

As minister of Worship Mr. Bias has primary administrative responsibilities for the Worship/Music Ministry Program and oversees a staff of 20 full-time and part-time employees and volunteers. 

In his capacity as Minister of Worship, he administrates a program which involves nearly 600 volunteers, with nearly 200 children in the various Children’s Choirs.  Each choir has its own director and accompanist. He oversees The Cathedral Choir, Sanctuary Choir and the five Handbell Choirs. He is responsible for planning all of the musical elements of the Sunday services. The Worship Committee, (the Senior Minister, two Associate Executive ministers and I).

He also conducts the Cathedral Orchestra, made up of members of the Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Symphonia Orchestras and leads the Contemporary Worship Singers and Band.
A graduate and music major of Morehouse College, Joseph has also studied at M.M. Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, where he received his Performer's Certificate with emphasis on vocal music.   He has recorded a number of solo albums and recorded with numerous gospel greats, Amy Grant, Patti Sandi, Bill and Gloria Gaither and with the great Johnny Cash, and so many other stars.  Bias hosted the half hour weekly Gospel Music Television Show “I Choose Life” - Trinity Broadcasting Network. Joseph has also sung with chamber and symphony orchestras all across the United States.  He also sung in operas and handled Solo and Back-up Vocalist chores on various album projects, jingles, station IDs and voice-overs (Nashville, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles).  Joseph Bias has the kind of history and background that boggles the mind (from gospel to opera, to conducting, recording and as minister of music), we at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, are thrilled to congratulate you as our Gospel Inductee of 2006.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Mr. Bias is also the founder of the Crescendo Music Awards of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, where he is an active member.

JAMES “JUNIOR” MARKHAM - Blues Inductee
Markham landed his first record deal in Los Angeles with Capital Records; rocker Icon Billy Lee Riley who helped him get the contract and later produced and sat in on harmonica for Markham’s “Chuck Meets Bo” which was and album filled with six Chuck Berry tunes and six Bo Diddley tunes…James Burton (Elvis Presley) played guitar on these sessions Donnie Cotton (drums) and Glen Cass (bass).  At age 62 Trumpeter, Harpist, Singer, Guitarist and Songwriter extraordinaire; Junior Markham has had 40 plus years of musical entertaining with R & B and Blues specifically.  Having performed with the likes of Russell Bridges (a.k.a. Leon Russell), J.J. Cale and Carl Radle who played with Eric Clapton amongst others he has also worked with Ace Moreland who before he passed produced “Wound up Tight” in 2000 this CD underlined songs by Markham and Tulsans Leon Russell and Johnny “J.J.” Cale. 

Having left Tulsa in the early “60’s” he returned in “69” and opened the Paradise Club in 1972 a 200 seat night club that catered to Blues, Jazz, and Country music. The Paradise Club would host the talents of Jimmie Vaughan’s Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mose Allison, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Musslewhite, Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Barney Kessel, Joe South, Albert Collins, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown.  When away from the “Paradise Club” Junior found time to open, record and hang with Jimmy Reed, Albert King, Buddy Holly’s Crickets, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Jerry Lee Lewis, A.C. Reed, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Rolling Stones Pianist Bobby Keyes.

Markham has been back and forth from Tulsa a few times thru the years.  He has continued to work with the music of his heart and some construction here and there... it helps to make end meet. Ultimately he believes there is a terrific venue to open another Blues Club in Tulsa as there is an audience that respects the music; he believes that time, patience, effort and money will eventually allow it. In the words of Rusty Miller “He is an institution; I have learned a lot from him, his approach to blues is relaxed. He has the right attitude and it is contagious. He is a spark and pulls the best out of anyone who plays with him.”  The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame congratulates Junior Markham as our Blues Inductee for 2006.

MABLE RICE - Maxine Cissel Horner Spirit of Community Excellence Award
Mrs. Mable Rice, founding member of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and long-time board member, recipient of the Maxine Cissel Horner Spirit of Community Excellence Award for 2006, is being honored for her determination – past and present – and her special interest in music, the arts, cultural enrichment for the community of Tulsa and philosophy and politics.

Mable graduated from Tulsa Public Schools and attended higher education classes at Tulsa Junior College and the University of Tulsa. Although her career evolved around arts and health, Mable was project director for the Minority Women Employment Agency and she was the first black woman to own a retail shop in the Williams Center Forum.    Mable worked side-by-side with Maxine Horner who later became Senator for District 11 in the development of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, North Tulsa Heritage Foundation, the Greenwood Cultural Center and the Business and Industrial Development Corporation in an effort to preserve the rich history of the Greenwood District, known then as the “Black Wall Street of America.”

Before retirement, Mrs. Rice was the executive director for the Oklahoma Chapter of The National Association for Sickle Cell Disease, a position that she held for more than 12 years.  During these years, she was one of the directors of the Tulsa Performing Arts and a Mayors appointee to the Tulsa Arts Commission.   She lectured throughout the city and state primarily regarding problems minorities face in our society. She developed Tulsa’s first Black Arts Festival and was named Oklahoma Family Magazine Woman of Influence in 2000.  The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame loves and honors Mable Rice for her continued dedication and support of the Jazz Hall.  Congratulations Mrs. Rice from all of us in Tulsa.

PAULETTE MILLICHAP - Maxine Cissel Horner Spirit of Community Excellence Award
Soon after Paulette Millichap, Michael Hightower and Sally Dennison started Council Oak Books in 1984 local artist, Alice Price, introduced them to Cleora Butler, a well-known Tulsa chef. Cleora came to the offices of Council Oak, then a bedroom in Paulette’s house, and started telling stories about Tulsa and about Oklahoma. She told of coming to Muskogee as a child in a covered wagon then of moving as a young woman to the big city of Tulsa and the exciting Greenwood Avenue, the Black Wall Street of America.

“My brother, Walter Thomas, had started playing the saxophone and was with a band called the Cab Calloway Orchestra.” Cleora said, “It was becoming famous because of radio broadcasts from the Cotton Club in New York.  Every year Cab and the stage show came to town, and when they did they stayed at our house. Cab Calloway said there never was a finer meal than the chicken dumplings we cooked for him.”

Millichap agreed about the dumplings when Cleora cooked them for her and the others at Council Oak. They decided to publish her cookbook replete with the fascinating personal stories about the glory days of Tulsa. Cleora was then eighty-four years old. She lived to finish the book but died the day it came from the printer. That’s when Paulette met Mable Rice, Shirley Johnson and Maxine Horner. They wanted to honor Cleora for the achievements of her life and the book she had left behind. Together they planned a celebration at the Rudisill library. After that event the women started meeting to talk about Cleora, the book and the jazz history of Greenwood and Tulsa. Cleora’s Kitchens became a big national hit and was picked as one of the best cookbooks of 1985. A call came from the Today Show to do a special feature about it.  Mabel, Shirley, Maxine and Paulette put their heads together to try to find a way to persuade Cab Calloway to go on the Today Show and cook those famous chicken dumplings. Cab’s agent said he would let Cab do it if we’d pay him to play in Tulsa.  People were already talking about the possibility of a Tulsa Jazz Festival and Paulette blurted out an invitation to Cab Calloway to be a headliner. Well, Cab did go on the today show and ate, if not cooked, chicken dumplings from Cleora’s recipe. Tulsa did start a Jazz Festival and Cab Calloway did come to play although it was several years later.  Paulette says she likes to think Cleora’s book and those meetings with Mabel, Shirley and Maxine talking about Tulsa’s jazz history were part of the energy that helped awaken Tulsa to its musical roots.

Paulette Millichap and Council Oak went on to publish other important Oklahoma books including Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored by Clifton Taulbert. Taulbert and Millichap were Associate Producers on the movie of the same name. Council Oak Books has been in Tulsa for more than twenty years. Paulette continues to be its publisher. Cleora’s Kitchens continues to be an important book of history and of food and was recently named by the country’s foremost cookbook library, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliff, the favorite cookbook in the collection.

Last year Paulette Millichap introduced Maurice Kanbar and Henry Kaufman to Tulsa. They fell in love with this interesting and unique city and have since made a major investment in its future. It is easy, says Millichap, to overlook the value of what lies at our feet. When we see what we have through fresh eyes we come awake again to what is possible. Maurice and Henry, who have traveled the world, have come here with eyes freshened by experience and are amazed by what we have the potential to become.  The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame honors Paulette Millichap for her contribution to the Jazz Hall in the early days and for her continued support and affection.  We also thank Henry Kaufman and Maurice Kanbar for bringing a fresh vision and positive energy to our city.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY QUARTET - 2006 Legacy Tribute Award
The Christopher Wray Quartet was created in 2002 and has quickly become one of the most popular jazz quartets in the state of Oklahoma.  Blending the sounds indicative of their individual backgrounds, guitarist and vocalist Christopher Wray, pianist T.J. Haverkamp, bassist Jeff Mims and drummer Jemar Poteat have achieved a sound bursting with classic influences like Herbie Hancock, Donny Hathaway, Mile Davis and gospel music, while fusing modern styles of the likes of The Roots, Roy Hargrove and Erykah Badu.  Determined to push the limits and create innovative music that not only challenges the norms of traditional jazz, but challenges the ideas that the average listener has about jazz as well.  With their unique soul-jazz stylings and mind-bending instrumental runs, the Christopher Wray Quartet has not only set the bar higher for fusion jazz and soul in Oklahoma, but has redefined the sound completely.  This jazz-inspired quartet hails from Norman, Oklahoma – the University of Oklahoma.