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“The Wayman Tisdale Story” to premiere at Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame will be the host of the Tulsa premiere of “The Wayman Tisdale Story” at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5, 2010, at the Jazz Depot, 111 East First St. Upper Level in Tulsa, OK. 
“The Wayman Tisdale Story” is a documentary celebrating the life and legacy of Tisdale, who was a Tulsa, OK, native, three-time all-American, gold-medal Olympian, former NBA basketball player and world renowned jazz musician. The film is directed by Emmy-nominated Brian Schodorf and produced by Hunter, Seamons, Linda Mensch and Rahman Ayi. 
Doors will open at 7 p.m., reception/live music by Tulsa group WALLSTREET (winner of the Wayman’s Challenge held at the Depot in 2008) at 7:30 p.m. and finally, the showing of the film at 8:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. For more information, call the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8603, (918) 281-8605, (918) 281-8609 or go online to

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Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame announces summer concert series

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame announced two upcoming special musical events for the summer.
“We are thrilled to present three top jazz ensembles and The Wild Women of Oklahoma Jazz for our Summer Concert series on Sunday afternoons at the Jazz Depot,” said Chuck Cissel, executive producer of the Summer Jazz Concert Series and the free JazzFEST 2009. “In addition, it is always exciting to announce our stars for JazzFEST, including Jazz Hall 2005 Legacy Award recipient, the incredible saxophonist, Eldredge Jackson, and his smooth jazz ensemble, Listening Pleasure. ElJack will headline our annual Oklahoma JazzFEST for 2009.
“Also on the bill with Eldredge will be Wayman Tisdale Challenge 2008 Winners, R&B sensation and local favorites WallStreet. WallStreet had the special privilege of traveling and performing with Wayman as his special musical guests on a jazz cruise around the Bahamas this past Spring. Opening the JazzFEST 2009 concert is one of Tulsa’s musical favorites, J3 Jazz and Blues Band, under the leadership of guitarist/vocalist, Rick Gill. JazzFEST will take place on Saturday evening, June 27 beginning at 6pm and concluding at 11pm at the Jazz Depot, 1st St. & Cincinnati (Upper Level) – inside the Jazz Depot – in the Great Performance Hall. Food, beverages and snacks will be available for purchase at JazzFEST.”

All Summer Jazz Concert Series performances will be held at the Jazz Depot at 5 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, college students and Jazz Hall members and $5 for students. Participants may also reserve a seat at $20 per person at one of the tables of eight.
Reserved seating and table reservations must be purchased in advance of the concert date(s). For tickets or more information, call the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8600 or visit Gift shop and concessions are available. All major credit cards are accepted.

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Wayman Tisdale Fundraiser on Thursday, May 21 in Tulsa

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and drummer Arthur Thompson will host a Special Music Celebration honoring the life and music of former NBA star and jazz great Wayman Tisdale at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s Jazz Depot, 1st Street and Cincinnati (Upper Level), in Tulsa. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will go to The Wayman Tisdale Foundation.
Special guests include Dave Koz, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Najee, Tom Braxton, Everette Harp, Kim Waters, Raphael Saadiq, Marvin Saap, Fred Hammond, Mike Philips, Arlington Jones, Bernard Wright, Lenny White, Cornell Morell, Arthur Thompson and so many more.
For tickets or more information, contact the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8600 or online at Gift shop and concessions are available. All major credit cards are accepted.

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Mitch’s Reflection: Saying Goodbye to Wayman Tisdale

It is with a heavy heart this morning that I learned that former NBA basketball player and jazz great Wayman Tisdale has died after a long battle with cancer. Ironically, I was playing his latest release “Rebound,” and I was speechless. I have followed Tisdale professionally since 2003 when he performed at the 15th annual Juneteeth Music Festival at the Tulsa Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tisdale again in 2005 when he headlined Jazz on Bell Street in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I was nervous about interviewing him that day, but his friendly, jovial spirit set me at ease. It was apparent that he loved jazz and playing the bass guitar. He has been instrumental in acting as a mentor and has collaborated with many jazz notables such as Jonathan Butler, Peter White, Dave Koz, Dallas saxophonist Tom Braxton, Tulsa saxophonists Grady Nichols and Eldredge Jackson.
Tisdale was all about having a good time, and one of the things I will remember most about him is his love for old-school R&B music. In each album release, Tisdale always included a favorite track. For example, he collaborated with Oklahoma country star Toby Keith, who offered an interesting perspective to the Barry White classic tune, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
“I got this call from Toby, and he says, ‘I got the song we need to redo: ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,'” Tisdale said in an interview I had with him last year. “We got to the studio, and Toby started singing. My mouth fell wide-open. We were just blown away. I could not believe what I was hearing! It was great. This guy can sing.”
There’s so much more I could say, but one thing is certain: Tisdale’s contributions both on and off the court will be missed. Rest in peace.