Aug 13, 2015 - MUSICIANS THANK YOU CONCERT RETURNS TO JAZZ HALL FOR SECOND YEAR
Last year at just about this time, vocalists Annie Ellicott and Pam Van Dyke Crosby co-produced and performed in a big show studded with area jazz and blues stars, all of whom were donating their time and talents to benefit the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
“It's a little funny, but Pam and I each came up with this same idea,” Ellicott told writer James D. Watts Jr. for a story in the August 14, 2014 Tulsa World. “We both wanted to do something to show our appreciation for all the things the Jazz Hall has done for musicians in Tulsa.”
“It's quite a feat to keep a nonprofit jazz hall open,” she added. “And they've been able to do it for so long. I know a lot of musicians are grateful for all this place provides.”
Several of those musicians – including some on last year's show – plan to perform in this year's event, set for Friday, August 21 at 7 p.m. at the Jazz Hall of Fame's Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St. in Tulsa.
“It's an all star cast of Oklahoma musicians but even bigger than the first one, a thank-you benefit for the Jazz Hall,” says Crosby, often referred to as the First Lady of Tulsa Jazz. “Annie's coming back to sing, and there'll be a lot of other people doing their sets. It'll probably go two hours.”
“The concert produced last year was an incredible night-the support from the musicians in our community was overwhelming,” notes Jazz Hall CEO Jason McIntosh of the initial concert. “We're grateful to all the musicians, and to all the supporters who make this evening one of the best music events of the year. Annie and Pam are special people, and this is a special event for the Jazz Hall. It's going to be another memorable night that music lovers won't want to miss. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall is an incredible place that provides a nurturing environment for music students and a place where musicians can be free to create, perform and learn from each other.”
For more than a year now, Ellicott has been pursuing her entertainment career in San Francisco. However, she still makes trips back to her hometown of Tulsa, where she continues to be an in-demand performer and recording artist.
“I'll just be in town for a little bit this time, working on my album and then this amazing show for the Jazz Hall,” she says.
According to Pam Crosby, following the success of the first Jazz Hall benefit, both she and Ellicott began thinking about doing the shows annually. “She was going to be back in town this month, so she brought the idea back up,” Crosby recalls. “It sounded like a good idea to me.”
“We decided it would be fun to make it an annual event,” adds Ellicott, “because we all had such a good time last year. We thought it seemed like something that would be enjoyable and easy to do and would become a fun occasion for people to look forward to each year. I've had a good relationship with the people at the Jazz Hall for many years, and they've provided me with a lot of really invaluable opportunities. I love all the folks up at the Jazz Hall and really wish them well.”
Although the roster of acts will undoubtedly grow by showtime, Ellicott said that she and Crosby already have commitments from several performers, including Dr. Joey Crutcher and The Tulsa Chapter of the Gospel Workshop Choir, vocalists Olivia Duhon, Stephanie Oliver and Prentice Vincent, pianist-vocalist Amy Cottingham, guitarist Frank Brown, drummer Tony Yohe, bassist Rod Ellicott and bassist Jordan Hehl, for the first time on the Jazz Hall stage saxophonist Dr. Clark Gibson, the new Director of Jazz Studies at NSU, along with Annie and the Crosbys. She also plans to bring in several of members of the Jam’bassadors, the Tulsa-wide high-school jazz ensemble sponsored by the Jazz Hall, to play on a couple of tunes.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to work with some of the best musicians and educators in the country. Watching them put together such an incredible show, with amazing passion, in support of the Jazz Hall demonstrates once again that we live in one of the most creative places in America” says McIntosh.
To enjoy the Second Annual Musicians Thank You Concert, call 918-928-JAZZ or visit www.jazzhalltickets.com to purchase limited reserved table seating, at $20 per person. General admission will be by donations at the door; patrons are asked to pay what they can to support the programs and educational outreach of the Jazz Hall. All of the proceeds from both reserved seating and general admission will benefit the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is 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 preservation, education, and performance of jazz, our uniquely American art form.