In what is sure to be a heated “Battle of the Bands,” internationally renowned saxophonist Grady Nichols and his band will take on Detroit’s best known all-female quintet, Straight Ahead, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 4, 2010, at Regatta Park located just south of downtown Oklahoma City.
From small-town Midwest beginnings to the big time, Grady Nichols enjoys an audience as broad as his musical taste. The recording star has opened for artists such as Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Jay Leno, The Temptations, The Righteous Brothers, Al Green, O’Jays and so many more including Wayman Tisdale, Roy Clark, Kim Waters, and Bob James.
Out of Detroit’s lively jazz scene, an all-female quintet, Straight Ahead, emerges and they have shown themselves to be powerful and imaginative composers and arrangers. The Straight Ahead sound ranges from mainstream jazz, R&B, ballads, avant-garde to Brazilian funk. The group has opened for many greats including Nina Simone and Nnenna Freelon. In 1990, the group recorded their first album for Atlantic Jazz, “Look Straight Ahead” which made the Billboard Contemporary Jazz top 20 list. Two other albums followed, “Body and Soul” and “Dance of the Forest Rain.”
Mark Temple, president of the board of directors of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. said in a news release, “It will be a lot of fun and a great way to continue the celebration of our 25th annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival.”
Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Hair Enterprises, KM66 and Learning Tree Toy Store in Oklahoma City. For more information call (405) 524-3800 or visit www.charliechristianfestival.