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Oklahoma City – Page 2

Oklahoma City chosen among other cities for Mary Mary’s Christmas tour

Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. presents gospel group Mary Mary on Dec. 11 at Frederick A. Douglass High School Auditorium in their first performance in Oklahoma City.
Anita G. Arnold, BLAC Inc. executive director, said the concert is part of an eight-state tour for Mary Mary.  Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.  The musical group “Committed” will open for Mary Mary.


Ever since siblings Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell broke through in 2000 with pioneering crossover hit “Shackles (Praise You),”  the chart-topping sister act has never waived from defying convention to fulfill its mission: sending uplifting messages through music and words that are relatable to everyone.

“It’s about making music that touches both adults and young people,” says Erica.  Tina adds, “It’s about spreading good news for the world but doing it in the “Mary Mary” way: banging beats and melodies, intertwined voices and messages of hope.”

Now 10 years later, having earned three Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, an NAACP Image Award and a BET Award, the “Mary Mary” way sounds just as fresh and innovative on the duo’s sixth album, Something Big.  Well-known for singles such as “God in Me,” and R&B/hip-hop crossover hit, “Walking,” the sisters strike out anew with a Christmas album that is designed to appeal everyone.



Tickets are on sale online through BLAC Inc.’s website, www.blacinc.org; at BLAC Inc.’s office at 4915 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City; and other locations including Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Hair Care, KM66, Learning Tree Toy Store and Urban Roots.


The concert is made possible through funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council.  For more information, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800.

“Oklahoma Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” is subject of research project

Evelyn Larue Pittman

According to Oklahoma City author Anita G. Arnold, research is being conducted by researchers on radio in the 1940s, and included in the information being collected is the 1940s WKY radio program, “Southern Rivers.”
The program featured Evelyn Larue Pittman of Oklahoma City. Pittman had an active career in composing, teaching and choral composition during the 1930s and 1940s. A book, “Oklahoma Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond,” written by Arnold, led researchers to Oklahoma seeking information. Pittman was mentioned in Arnold’s book. Researcher Karl Schadow stated in a letter that he has been able to find only one copy of Pittman’s show in the NBC Collection at the Library of Congress.
“Here is another example of the rich music history of Oklahoma City’s African Americans that is highly valued and sought after by others outside our state. It has been my pleasure and joy to have documented some of this history in this book,” Arnold said in a news release.
“Oklahoma Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” was published and released in June 2010. Arnold continues to accept invitations to speak about history and sign books. Her next book signing will be Sunday, August 28, 2011, at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, 5700 N. Kelley, Oklahoma City, OK, before and after the morning worship service.
Books may be purchased at Black Liberated Arts Center Inc., Barnes & Nobles bookstore, Borders bookstore, Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, Dean’s Typesetting Service, Full Circle Book Store, Hastings Books, Music & Videos, Walgreen’s and online through Arcadia Publishing or Amazon.com.
For more information, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800.

Jazz saxophonist Grady Nichols, others highlight Charlie Christian International Music Festival on May 31-June 4


Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols has been added to the lineup of a concert featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks. Eubanks, the former band leader for the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, 2011, at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker, in Oklahoma City, OK.
Anita G. Arnold, Executive Director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC), Inc., said that the 2011 Charlie Christian International Music Festival will feature fresh, new talent in the almost week-long event along with some familiar faces.  The outdoor festival that runs June 3 and 4 at Bi-Centennial Park will showcase the musical talents of 10 bands playing continuous music throughout the weekend.

NIKKI & DA MIXX and Brother Enoch are first timers at the festival.  NIKKI & DA MIXX, a hip, swinging group from Broken Arrow promises to “light your fire” with the sultry vocals of Nikki Washington Givens.  Brother Enoch whose founding members are Timothy Haverkamp, John Carter, and Boris Connally met and formed their musical trio at the University of Central Oklahoma in the spring of 2010.  Timothy is an accomplished pianist and composer who completed a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies.  John is an established and experienced percussionist and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  Brother Boris is a saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist with a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies.  Their eclectic style is a combination of jazz, R&B, soul, classical, hip-hop, gospel and blues.
Familiar faces at the festival include Taylor Made Jazz, Kelvin Drake (Mr. Guitar), James Slaw & Friends, Jeremy Thomas Band, Cara Black Band, 411 Band, and the two headliners, Lao Tizer on Friday Night and All Funk Radio Show on Saturday Night.
The Charlie Christian International Music Festival adds a new family friendly performance piece, Amazing Children on Saturday afternoon.  From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., the festival attendees will have a rare opportunity to see gifted children from Oklahoma City perform amazing feats during “friendly” student competition in solving rubrics cube puzzles in approximately one minute from the Dove Science Academy Elementary School, martial arts performed by championship students from M. L. King, Jr. as well as ballroom dancing.  Wilson Arts Integration School students will showcase their excellent talents in instrumental and vocal music.  Ms. Arnold said, “Too often the public has a negative perception of students today and they never get to see the amazing things that students can do.  We are delighted to put the spotlight on such talent.”
Wristbands for the two-day event may be purchased now for $10 per day or both days for $17 at the following locations: BLAC Inc., Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, City Cuts and Design Group, Hopkins Haircare, KM66 and Learning Tree Toy Store.  For more information, call (405) 524-3800 or go to http://www.charliechristianfestival.com/.
BLAC Inc. is running a week-long special discounted ticket sale from Thursday, May 26 – noon Wednesday, June 1 on main floor seats.  This is the highlight of the Community Engagement Program.  All $40 and $60 tickets to the Kevin Eubanks concert will sell for $30 each.  
Sponsors for the festival include BancFirst, Friends of the Oklahoma Historical Society Archives, Oklahoma Centennial Commission, OG &E and The Oklahoma City Chapter of the Links, EMSA, The City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Arts Council.



2011 Charlie Christian International Music Festival features new talent, events in Oklahoma City

Brother Enoch
In a recent news release, Anita G. Arnold, executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC), Inc., said that the 2011 Charlie Christian International Music Festival will feature fresh, new talent in the almost week-long event along with some familiar faces.  The outdoor festival that runs June 3-4, 2011, at Bi-Centennial Park in Oklahoma City will showcase the musical talents of 10 bands playing continuous music throughout the weekend.

NIKKI & DA MIXX and Brother Enoch are first timers at the festival.  NIKKI & DA MIXX, a hip, swinging group from Broken Arrow,OK, promises to “light your fire” with the sultry vocals of Nikki Washington Givens.  Brother Enoch, whose founding members are Timothy Haverkamp, John Carter, and Boris Connally, met and formed their musical trio at the University of Central Oklahoma in the spring of 2010.  Timothy is an accomplished pianist and composer who completed a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies.  John is an established and experienced percussionist and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  Brother Boris is a saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist with a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies.  Their eclectic style is a combination of jazz, R&B, soul, classical, hip-hop, gospel and blues.

Familiar faces at the festival include Taylor Made Jazz, Kelvin Drake (Mr. Guitar), James Slaw & Friends, Jeremy Thomas Band, Cara Black Band, 411 Band, and the two headliners, Lao Tizer on Friday Night and All Funk Radio Show on Saturday Night.

The Charlie Christian International Music Festival adds a new family friendly performance piece, “Amazing Children” on Saturday, June 4.  From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., the festival attendees will have a rare opportunity to see gifted children from Oklahoma City perform amazing feats during friendly student competition in solving rubrics cube puzzles in approximately one minute from the Dove Science Academy Elementary School, martial arts performed by championship students from Martin Luther King Jr. school as well as ballroom dancing.  Wilson Arts Integration School students will showcase their excellent talents in instrumental and vocal music. “Too often the public has a negative perception of students today and they never get to see the amazing things that students can do,” Arnold said. “We are delighted to put the spotlight on such talent.”

Wristbands for the two-day event may be purchased for $10 per day or both days for $17 at the following locations: BLAC Inc., Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, City Cuts and Design Group, Hopkins Haircare, KM66 and Learning Tree Toy Store.  For more information, call (405) 524-3800.

Sponsors for the festival include BancFirst, Friends of the Oklahoma Historical Society Archives, and The Oklahoma City Chapter of the Links, EMSA, The City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

TIZER comes to Charlie Christian International Music Festival in June

Lao Tizer

In a recent news release, Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. in Oklahoma City, OK, announces one of three headliners for the 26th annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival. The nearly week-long event runs May 31 through June 4, 2011, in various venues in Oklahoma City. 
Keyboardist and recording artist Lao Tizer will headline the Friday, June 3 outdoor concert at Bi-Centennial Park located in front of the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker Ave. in Oklahoma City. Lao, a “Best New Jazz Artist” nominee, a Yamaha-endorsed pianist and keyboardist and his all-star band (called TIZER) have graced the world stages alongside well-renowned artists including Isaac Hayes, Boney James, Wayne Shorter, George Benson, The Commodores, The Rippingtons, The YellowJackets, and Spyro Gyra.
In 2001, his band TIZER released Golden Soul through Frat House Records. The single, “Her
Poetry,” received accolades from all sectors of the industry and charted on both the Gavin
Charts and Radio & Records’ reports and reached Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart.
In 2006, TIZER returned to the studio to record Diversify for Yse Records. Two singles from the album charted on both Radio & Records Jazz Indicator and SmoothJazz.com charts. Diversify continues to appear on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album charts thanks to airplay and Lao’s very busy concert schedule.
Lao Tizer’s concert tour includes performances at Joy of Jazz, Johannesburg, South Africa; Dubai Jazz Fest; Barbados Jazz Fest, Java Jazz Festival- Jakarta, Indonesia, The Caribbean Sea Jazz Fest, Aruba and club performances in Seoul, South Korea.
Other bands performing on Friday, June 3 are Mitch’s Brew, Kelvin Drake “Mr. Guitar,” Cara Black Band, and Taylor Made Jazz.
For more information, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800 or go online to http://www.charliechristianfestival.com.




Ailey II performance to bridge gaps in Oklahoma City

In a recent news release Anita Arnold, executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC), Inc. announced that the 8:00 p.m. Ailey II performance on Saturday, March 26, 2011, at Douglass High School Auditorium in Oklahoma City has become a family engagement activity.  
“One of the common complaints we hear about lack of success in schools is that there is little or no parental involvement,” Arnold said. “As we contacted principals at Douglass High School, M. L. King, Wilson, and Highland Park Elementary Schools, for distribution of complimentary tickets to students made possible by one of the local foundations, it was suggested that this event could engage children and parents to bridge the gap between family and school.  We embraced the idea.” 
 The idea caught on quickly and the request for tickets quickly outpaced available tickets.  BLAC Inc. immediately extended their fundraising campaign to provide tickets to fill the requests.
 Hundreds of children and two members of their families will have an opportunity to see and meet the artists that perform with this world renowned dance company, in their community and in one of the local high schools.  
“It gives children a chance to dream and see new possibilities that they never imagined.  In some cases, it may be the light in a life filled with hopelessness,” Arnold said.  “We are happy to step forward to provide this service to our community.  It just might inspire a student to go on to a better future with parental support.”  
Family packets of 3 are available for $75, and 10 tickets may be purchased for $250 by persons or organizations interested in making a tax-deductible donation to sponsor families in the family engagement project.  Donors will be acknowledged in the printed program and by letter.
Ailey II will perform several well-known pieces such as “I Been Buked,” “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel,”  “Fix Me, Jesus” “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham” and “I Wanna Be Ready.”  General admission is $30, and tickets are on sale at Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Haircare, KM66, and Learning Tree Toys and Books.  $60 tickets for reserve seating and VIP reception may be purchased through BLAC Inc.  For more information on family packets, students, seniors and groups discounts, call BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (405) 524-3800      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
This performance is made possible through funding from the Inasmuch Foundation and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Black Liberated Arts Center Inc. closes 40th anniversary season with Ailey II Dance Company

Ailey II’s Solomon Dumas. Photo by Eduardo Patino, NYC

Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. closes its 40th anniversary season with the renowned Ailey II Dance Company from New York City at 8 p.m. March 26, 2011, in the Douglass High School auditorium, 900 N Martin Luther King Ave. in Oklahoma City, OK. 
The Ailey II Dance Company, a 35-year-old company under the direction of artistic director Sylvia Waters, will perform the several well-known performances such as Revelations and Take Me to the Water.
Ailey II embodies Alvin Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people using the beauty and humanity of the African-American heritage and other cultures to unite people of all races, ages and backgrounds.
While in the city, the company will conduct two master classes at Oklahoma City University and the University of Central Oklahoma.  Tickets are available at BLAC Inc. or the following ticket outlets: Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Haircare, KM66, or Learning Tree Toy Store.  For group discounts, senior and student discounts contact BLAC Inc. at (405) 524-3800. General admission is $30, and $60 for reserved seating and VIP reception.
This event is sponsored in part by Inasmuch Foundation and the Oklahoma Arts Council.  

“Kirk Whalum Plays Donnie Hathaway” on January 22 at Soul Food Dinner Theater in Oklahoma City

Kirk Whalum, smooth jazz saxophonist, music educator and songwriter, will perform on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2010, at the Petroleum Club in downtown Oklahoma City, OK.  A soul food buffet begins at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.
“It is not everyday that one has an opportunity to have a scrumptious meal and see an 11-time Grammy nominee perform live at the most elegant restaurant in their city,” Anita Arnold, executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC), Inc. said in a news release.  Whalum is the opening act of BLAC Inc.’s 2011 season opener.

Whalum, born in Memphis, Tenn., grew up surrounded by music.  

“He was the son of a preacher man, Rev. Kenneth Whalum and wife, Helen,” Arnold said.  “Memphis was known as the R&B capital of the South during those days.”
In addition to singing in his father’s church choir, Whalum also learned to love music from his grandmother, Thelma Twigg Whalum, a piano teacher and two uncles, Wendell Whalum and Hugh “Peanuts” Whalum, who performed with jazz bands across the country.  
These influences proved lasting, as Kirk Whalum once told magazine “Ebony” in a 1994 profile: “The music I like to play and write encompasses the four elements I grew up with: Memphis R&B, gospel, rock and jazz.  The emphasis, though, is on melody, period.”  
In recent years, Whalum’s musical genius and experiences have led to him obtaining 11 Grammy nominations, becoming chief executive officer of Soulsville Foundation and other honors.  The Soulsville Foundation includes oversight responsibility for the STAX Museum of American Soul Music and the Soulsville Charter School of Memphis.
Cost is $70 for the dinner and show.  Tickets can be purchased at Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz Rhythm and Blues Store, Hopkins Haircare, KM66, and Learning Tree Toy Store or through BLAC Inc., all in Oklahoma City.  For more information, call (405) 524-3800.  The Oklahoma Arts Council and the Ad Astra Foundation are sponsors of this event.


“Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” presented to Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry

From left: Gov. Brad Henry and author Anita Arnold

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry was presented a copy of the recently published book, “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” by Anita Arnold, author and executive director of Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. in Oklahoma City. 
Gov. Henry was pleased to receive the book that covers more than 70 years of music history from the late 1920s to the late 1990s. Henry said he was interested in this history that has contributed so much to Oklahoma.  
According to Emily Higgins, publicist of Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, S.C., “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” was also selected to compete with 10 other books in the region as part of a national sales competition within Arcadia.
“We have already had a number of book signings in and around Oklahoma City that have been fun,” Arnold said.  “Each audience is different and raises new questions each time.
Arnold will participate in other book signings scheduled through February 2011 at various locations in the Oklahoma City area.  “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond” is available at Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, Dean’s Typesetting, Hastings Books, Music and Videos, Hopkins Haircare, Learning Tree Toy Store and Walgreens.

Famed African Children’s Choir to perform in Oklahoma City in November 2010

According to a recent news release, the world-renowned African Children’s Choir will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010,  at the Frederick A. Douglass High School auditorium, 900 N Martin Luther King Ave. in Oklahoma City. The event marks the opening performance of the 2010-11 season of performing arts presented by Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc.  As BLAC Inc. nears the end of its 40th anniversary, the choir that started in 1984 will be the first performance of the season but will end a year-long celebration of the arts as presented by BLAC Inc.
The African Children’s Choir performances are a fundraiser to help orphans on the continent.  Funds from performances support projects that provide food, medical assistance and education.  Through the music of choir members, many of whom are homeless, millions of dollars have been raised to start schools, fight diseases such as AIDS and establish centers where children are fed.
Good Morning America” featured the choir in 2009 in concert following a magnificent performance on “American Idol.”  The African Children’s Choir have also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and at the White House in August 2008 as former President George W. Bush signed the H. R. 5501, or the Global AIDS Initiative Renewal bill, to greatly increase foreign aid for those in Africa suffering from AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Children’s Choir performed for Her Majesty the Queen of England and former South African President Nelson Mandela.  
 “It is a way that Oklahoma can make a contribution to these projects while enjoying a performance fit for a Queen or President, for that matter,” said Anita Arnold, BLAC Inc. executive director.  “This is one of many ways, Oklahoma can make an impact felt around the world, through BLAC Inc. and its programs.  The performance is open to the public, and we encourage you to come.” 
The performance is made possible through funding provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased at the following Oklahoma City locations: Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, KM66 and Learning Tree Toy Store.  For more information, call (405) 524-3800 or to sample some of the choir’s music, go online to http://africanchildrenschoir.com/.