Detroit Jazz Festival’s 32nd season on Labor Day weekend

Voted one of the top three jazz festivals in North America in national jazz publications this year, the 32nd annual Detroit Jazz Festival continues to demonstrate how much jazz shines as a symbol of freedom and democracy during Labor Day weekend.

Subtitled “We Bring You the World,” artists from Benin, Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Japan and the Netherlands will convene in Detroit. Performers include: Toots Thielemans, Dave Holland, Luciana Souza, Gary Burton, Ivan Lins, Paquito D’Rivera, Angélique Kidjo, Kevin Eubanks, Vijay Iyer, Vinicius Cantuária, Joe Lovano, Mandrill, Chuck Jackson, Deacon Jones Blues Revue, Steve Wilson, U.S. Airforce Airmen of Note with Joe Locke, Anthony Wilson, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sammy Figueroa, Tony Monaco, Richie Goods, Rahsaan Patterson, Sean Jones, and Christian McBride with Ernie Andrews and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, this year presented by MotorCity Casino Hotel.

While artists are visiting from across the globe, some of native Detroit jazz artists will be coming home. The Detroit-born Dianne Reeves, Geri Allen, Regina Carter, Curtis Fuller, Robert Hurst and Karriem Riggins will prove once again that, based on the talent that comes from southeast Michigan, there must be something in the water. The festival will also recognize Detroit’s big band tradition with a J.C. Heard tribute band led by Walt Szymanski, and the music of Detroit’s Jean Goldkette played by Josh Duffee & his Orchestra.

With the drum being the most universal instrument, 2011 artist-in-residence Jeff “Tain” Watts will beat the drum on the JPMorgan Chase Main Stage opening night. He will be joined by his newly created project “The Drum Club,” featuring percussionists Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Tony Allen, Pedro Martinez and, Susie Ibarra, along with vibraphonist Joe Locke and bassist Robert Hurst. The freedom theme will be further celebrated opening night with “Sing The Truth!” featuring Dianne Reeves, Angélique Kidjo and Lizz Wright performing the songs of the legendary Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Odetta. The festival’s closing concert on the same stage aptly features another important drummer, Karriem Riggins, collaborating on a special jazz-based performance with hip hop artist Common. His ensemble will feature Robert Hurst, Perry Hughes, Mike Jellick, Roger Jones, Mic Holden and DJ dez.

For more information on the Detroit Jazz Festival, go to

Gospel artist Israel Houghton to kick off tour on April 23 in Richmond, VA

According to a news release, Grammy winner worship leader, songwriter and recording artist Israel Houghton will kick off his “Power of One” concert tour at 8 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2010, at The Richmond Outreach Center (ROC), 5501 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA. Houghton’s latest CD “Power of One” won him his third consecutive Grammy in January during the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. He won the award for “Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album” for the project and was honored with a “Best Gospel Song” nomination for “Every Prayer” from “Power of One.” Previously, Houghton and the New Breed won a 2008 Grammy for the CD “A Deeper Level” and in 2007 for “Alive in South Africa.” This year’s Grammy win marks Houghton’s first one as a solo artist. 
In addition to his career as a recording artist, Israel Houghton is a worship leader at Houston’s Lakewood Church and a spokesman for international relief agency World Vision. He is also the recipient of six Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Award. 
The program will also feature an appearance by comedian Mike Washington of BET’s “Comic View” TV program. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at The Roc’s bookstore (804) 675-4101 or online at  
The Richmond Outreach Center is lead by Pastor Geronimo Aguilar and his wife Samantha. It is the tenth fastest growing ministry in the nation according to Outreach Magazine Report.The Power of One Tour is sponsored by Bailey Productions in conjunction with Allen Management Group.

Abundant Harvest Entertainment showcases talent in concert at Bethany Baptist Church

According to a news release, Abundant Harvest Entertainment will showcase some of gospel music’s dynamic future superstars in concert on Friday, April 16, 2010, at the Bethany Baptist Church’s Harvest Hall in Lindenwold, NJ.
The company has signed Cherry Hill, New Jersey’s homegrown rapper, Christawn; Long Island, New York, vocalist Karen Orlando; and Delaware-based female group known as His Own.
The purpose of the concert is to introduce the tri-state area of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware to these exciting new artists who will release new CDs sometime this year. 

Hip-Hop minstrel Christawn’s debut CD “Life Story” will debut May 18, 2010. The guitar-
driven radio single “Save Me” features Micah Stampley’s dramatic wail and retells the real-life story of the day that Christawn escaped getting arrested for drug possession. $10 pre-orders of his CD will be sold at the concert.
Although, she was diagnosed with brain damage at birth and was tone deaf until age 14, Karen Orlando has defied the odds. Through her faith, she triumphed over the diagnosis and was rewarded with a beautiful singing voice. She’s recorded several praise-and-worship CDs,
is a conference speaker and hosts a local Christian TV show “Straight Talk.” Her next project is expected to drop in late summer 2010. 

The seven-member female vocal group, His Own, met at Delaware State University and is working on their debut CD. The group will perform songs from their forthcoming projects at the concert, as well.
Abundant Harvest Entertainment (AHE) is a recording label founded by Bishop David G. Evans, pastor of the 27,000-member Bethany Baptist Church in Lindenwold, NJ. Evans co-founded Sweet Rain Records, the company that made Grammy winner Hezekiah Walker a star. AHE is
distributed by the Universal Music Christian Group. The label is enjoying success with the Top 20 Billboard smash “This Joy” from the Automatic Praise CD and the CD “Pure Love” that features several radio hits.

“From The Tulsa Sound to the British Invasion” on Feb. 5 and 6 at Jazz Depot

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, in collaboration with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, presents “From The Tulsa Sound to the British Invasion” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at the Jazz Depot, 111 E. First Street (Upper Level), in Tulsa, OK.
There will be live cabaret entertainment highlighting music from the Tulsa Sound to the music of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Groups performing include the Jambalaya Jass Band, vocalist Jack Brady, Brady Orchestra with Tulsa Symphony Orchestra strings and horns. 
The Friday night show includes drinks and a buffet, catered by Just Catering by Orr. Tickets for this event are $85.
The Saturday night show has the same great music, but with drinks and a buffet available at an additional cost. Tickets for Saturday are $25 per person.
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee John Wooley will emcee both evenings.  

To purchase tickets, call (918) 584-3615 or go to

Westside Community Center presents “All That Jazz” on Feb. 20 in Bartlesville

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee and Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols will perform at the Westside Community Center’s annual fundraiser “All That Jazz” at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Hillcrest County Club, 1901 Price Road in Bartlesville, OK. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for dinner.
Nichols, best known for several CD releases including “Sophistication” and “Take Me with You,” presents a kaleidoscope of  smooth jazz, pop, adult contemporary and even a dance mix. “My influences are so varied and I try to reflect that in my music,” Nichols said. “As I’ve matured as a songwriter, that growth has allowed me to infuse more of myself into each record. Using this mixture of flavors has helped me to create a sound with widespread audience appeal. As a result, you’ll see people of all ages at my shows.”  
Nichols has collaborated with notable artists such as Grammy nominated producer and keyboardist Jeff Lorber, trumpeter Chris Botti, guitarist Paul Pesco, the late  bass guitarist Wayman Tisdale, producer Zac Maloy and Grammy nominated songwriter Toni Estes.
“All That Jazz” features Cajun-style cuisine and opening entertainment by the Bartlesville High School Jazz Band. A cash-bar is available, and door prizes (1 ticket per admission) will be given away.
Tickets are $100 and must be purchased in advance by calling the Westside Community Center at (918) 336-6760. Proceeds from “All That Jazz” benefit local community programs at the Westside Community Center, a United Way agency since 1951.

New Concert Date: Pam Crosby swings the classics at the Jazz Depot on March 28

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Pam Crosby will be singing well-known standards from the 1920s to the 1990s at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Jazz Hall, 111 E 1st St. (upper level) in Tulsa, OK.
Crosby, who is considered one of Tulsa’s music treasures, will present special musical arrangements in her own swinging style. She will be accompanied by a trio of top-notch jazz musicians – pianist Scott McQuade, bassist Bill Crosby and drummer Anthony Yohe. 
Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, college students and Jazz Hall members, and $5 for students.  Attendees may also reserve a seat for $20 per person at one of the front tables. For tickets or more information, call Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8600 or go online to Gift shop and concessions are available. All major credit cards are accepted.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to weather conditions, concert has been postponed to March 28.

Annie Ellicott and Nathan Fifield to open jazz concert series in Tulsa

Tulsa jazz singer Annie Ellicott and composer/pianist Nathan Fifield opens the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s concert series on Sunday, Jan. 24. The duo will present songs from their new CD release “Something Tells Me,” a compilation of music composed by Joseph and Nathan Fifield, two brothers who grew up in Idaho and later lived together in New York City.  Joseph died tragically in 2006 in the Utah Mountains at age 27. 
The performance is at 5 p.m. at the Jazz Depot, First and Cincinnati (upper level). Doors open at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 seniors, college students and Jazz Hall members; $5 for youth over 12 years old. For tickets, contact the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8600 or purchase online at

Final musical tribute to ragtime for Tulsa

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee pianist Donald Ryan and Barron Ryan, a recent piano graduate of the University of Oklahoma, will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4 at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s Jazz Depot, 111 E. First Street (Upper Level), Tulsa.
The concert is dedicated to the memory of David Sahler, friend and Ragtime board member. Concert tickets are $15 adults; $10 for seniors, Jazz Hall members and college students; and $5 students older than 12 years. Limited seating is available. For more information, call (918) 281-8600. Also, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame will host Argentinean group Viento Sur Trombone Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Wed. Oct. 7. Ticket prices for this engagement are same as Sunday concerts.

Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols to perform Sunday

Saxophonist Grady Nichols will make his Autumn Jazz concert debut at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 E. First Street (Upper Level), in Tulsa. Performing with Nichols is his outstanding band, with guest vocalist, Krista Branch, of American Idol fame.
Tickets are $15 adults; $10 seniors, Jazz Hall Members and College Students; and $5 students older than 12 years old. Attendees can purchase tickets at the door
or call the Jazz Hall to make table seating reservations ($20 each). Call on/before Friday each week by 5pm at (918) 281-8609.
There is free parking in the Grand Central Parking Lot (across from the entrance
of the Jazz Depot).

VaShawn Mitchell To Record Live CD in Atlanta

Gospel artist VaShawn Mitchell is gearing up for a summertime live CD/DVD recording in Atlanta for his fourth project “Triumphant.”
The project is the Chicago native’s first live recording in his newly adopted home town of Atlanta, Ga. Mitchell describes “Triumphant” as “about victorious living whether it’s in your finances, your personal life, your spiritual life or your overall being. It is imperative to understand that you are more than a conqueror.”

Singers making cameo appearances include: Lowell Pye of Men of Standard, Lisa Page Brooks of the group Witness, and singer Lecresia Campbell.

“Triumphant” recording will take place at 6:00 p.m. August 8 at Higher Living Christian Church (formally New Birth South) at 2455 Mount Carmel Road. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (678) 479-4990.