A catchy quote from a movie, TV show or other source to brighten the beginning of your week:
Gang Boss: I see you like to chew. Then perhaps you should chew… on my fist!
Po: The warrior said nothing, for his mouth was full. And then he swallowed…
Po: …and then he spoke: “Enough talk, let’s fight!”
- Click here to learn the source.
From Monday’s Life section of The Oklahoman. To see my preview story of the event, click here.
2011 Charlie Christian International Music Festival schedule
The 26th annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival, organized by the Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc., bring live jazz, blues, funk and other musical stylings Tuesday-Saturday to various Oklahoma City venues.
Wristbands for Friday and Saturday’s outdoor performances are $10 a day or $17 for both days and available at BLAC Inc., Capitol Square Station, Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, City Cuts and Design Group, Hopkins Haircare, KM66 and Learning Tree Toy Store.
Through noon Wednesday, BLAC Inc. is offering main-floor seats to Kevin Eubanks’ Thursday show at the Civic Center for a discounted rate of $30 as part of its community engagement program.
For more information, call 524-3800 or go to www.charliechristianfestival.com.
At Oklahoma City Council Chambers, City Hall, 200 N Walker:
8:30 a.m.: Festival kick-off with performance by Morris McCraven Trio
At Woody’s Bar & Grill, 2501 NE 23:
7:30 p.m.: Jam session featuring Jeremy Thomas Band
At Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker:
7:30 p.m.: Kevin Eubanks with openers Grady Nichols and Straight Ahead
At Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive:
10 a.m.: Local unveiling and special cancellation of jazz appreciation stamp, with an appearance by Kevin Eubanks and performance by Morris McCraven Trio. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.; admission is free.
At Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive:
6 to 7 p.m.: Kelvin “Mr. Guitar” Drake
7:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Cara Black Band
9 to 10 p.m.: Taylor Made Jazz
10:30 p.m. to midnight: Lao Tizer
At Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive:
2:30 p.m.: Gates open
3 to 4 p.m.: “Amazing Children”
4 to 4:45 p.m.: Brother Enoch
5:15 to 6 p.m.: James Slaw & Friends
6:30 to 7:15 p.m.: Jeremy Thomas Band
7:45 to 8:30 p.m.: Nikki & DA MIXX
9 to 10 p.m.: 411 Band
10:30 p.m. to midnight: All Funk Radio Show
Charlie Christian International Music Festival to feature Kevin Eubanks, “Amazing Children,” stamp unveiling and more
From Monday’s Life section of The Oklahoman. To see the Charlie Christian International Music Festival schedule, click here.
Charlie Christian Festival spotlight’s guitarist’s musical legacy
Kevin Eubanks, “Amazing Children,” a stamp unveiling and plenty of live music will be part of the 26th Annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival this week in Oklahoma City, where the late, great jazz guitarist grew up.
Charlie Christian died at the tragically young age of 25.
If he had survived the bout of tuberculosis he contracted in 1941, “the first important electric guitarist,” as AllMusic.com has dubbed him, might have lived to see his 95th birthday this summer.
Although his life was sadly cut short, the legacy of the trailblazing Oklahoma City-bred jazz guitarist continues to live on, especially this week during the 26th Annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival.
“I’m glad that such a pioneer like Charlie Christian gets a festival and gets it named after him. Anything that brings some more respect to jazz guitar, I’m a big fan of, so I’m very honored to be honored that banner,” said guitarist Kevin Eubanks, former bandleader of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” who will be playing Thursday at the Civic Center as part of the festival.
Along with Eubanks’ performance, the festival will feature a 10-band lineup that will play live jazz, blues, funk and other musical stylings at various venues around Christian’s hometown. Organized by the Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc., the event kicks off Tuesday morning in the Oklahoma City Council Chambers and culminates in a full afternoon and night of music Saturday at Bicentennial Park.
With Christian, “finally the guitar gets some respect. You know, we’re like the stepchild in jazz,” Eubanks said with a laugh. “It’s like, ‘Oh well, we don’t know if we need a guitar player, oh well, guitar doesn’t blend with anybody. Do you play piano? I heard you play piano?’
“If it wasn’t for Charlie, we’d all be trying to play piano or something. We’d all be, I don’t know, changing oil,” he added, still laughing. “What would we be doing without Charlie Christian?”
Born July 29, 1916, in Bonham, Texas, Christian grew up in Oklahoma City and became immersed in the Deep Deuce neighborhood’s thriving jazz scene. According to AllMusic.com, Christian actually started out playing the piano locally and began to utilize an amplified guitar in 1937, after becoming a student of Eddie Durham, who invented it.
Christian earned a reputation as a gifted player and gained the attention of talent scout John Hammond, who helped Christian get a job with Benny Goodman. With his remarkable licks and solos, Christian helped establish the guitar as a lead instrument instead of just part of the rhythm section. He also became one of the pioneers of the bebop style of jazz before his death on March 2, 1942.
Songs and skills
This year, the event that bears Christian’s name will mix up familiar favorites with promising newcomers. Along with Eubanks, first-timers playing the festival include Brother Enoch, a trio formed at the University of Central Oklahoma in spring 2010, and Nikki & DA MIXX, a swinging group from Broken Arrow featuring sultry singer Nikki Washington Givens. Both groups will play during the outdoor festival Saturday.
“Brother Enoch, I happened to listen to them perform earlier this year, and they are just tremendous. … I think festival-goers will just really love Brother Enoch,” said Anita G. Arnold, executive director of BLAC Inc. “And Nikki has just the greatest voice you ever want to hear. So they will be really, really good.”
On Saturday, the festivities will open at 3 p.m. with “Amazing Children,” a new showcase of “gifted and talented young people right here in our community, right under our noses, that we don’t even know about.” The Oklahoma City schoolchildren will perform feats such as solving a Rubik’s Cube in one minute, martial arts, ballroom dancing and instrumental and vocal music.
“Too often these days, all the emphasis is on student performance and ‘they’re not doing anything’ and our children in our public schools kind of have a negative image out there in the public domain,” Arnold said. “These are amazing children … people just simply don’t know.”
For the second year, Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols and Detroit-based all-female quintet Straight Ahead will engage in a friendly musical competition, but this time, their face-off will warm up the crowd for Eubanks’ show.
Returning favorites at the festival will include Taylor Made Jazz, Kelvin “Mr. Guitar” Drake, James Slaw & Friends, Jeremy Thomas Band, Cara Black Band and 411 Band, along with Friday headliner Lao Tizer and Saturday closer All Funk Radio Show.
Stamp of appreciation
Festival mainstay Morris McCraven Trio will open the event Tuesday and play Friday morning at the local unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service’s Jazz Appreciation Forever Stamp at the Oklahoma History Center. Eubanks also will make an appearance at the stamp event.
The Postal Service is marking the festival by offering a special pictorial postmark designed to commemorate the event and recognize Christian’s legacy. People can buy the 44-cent stamps and have them canceled for free with the special postmark at Friday’s unveiling or Saturday’s outdoor events.
“Jazz is a great pastime. It brings people together, regardless of their race, their background,” said Sonya Dulan, Oklahoma City-based customer relations coordinator for the Postal Service. “And stamps are just a little pane of history.”
More to come
Read more of my interview with Kevin Eubanks Wednesday in the Life section of The Oklahoman, on the A&E section of NewsOK and here at BAM’s Blog.
Today’s featured event:
Take in more than 80 artists and their wares, live music, festival foods, children’s activities and more on the final day of the 35th Annual Paseo Arts Festival in the Paseo Arts District, from NW 30 and Dewey Avenue to NW 28 and Walker Avenue. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. Admission is free.
To read my story highlighting the festival’s attractions, click here.
To see the live music lineup, click here.
For more information, call 525-2688 or go to www.thepaseo.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
What to do in Oklahoma on May 29, 2011: Hear Motley Crue, Poison and more close out Rocklahoma 2011 in Pryor
Today’s featured event:
PRYOR – Hear Motley Crue, Poison, Black Label Society and many other modern rock and ’80s hair bands on the final day of Rocklahoma. Music begins at noon=at the “Catch the Fever” Festival Grounds in Pryor.
“We’re the originator,” Poison frontman Bret Michaels told The Oklahoman’s Gene Triplett in a recent phone interview from his Scottsdale, Ariz., ranch.
“The first year they did it, when everyone (in Poison) was a little reluctant to do it, I said I think we need a festival like this. In other words, we need a fun festival; we can all go play, have fun. And Poison was the first band to headline. We were the headliner for the first Rocklahoma, and it was hugely successful.
“And then we came back the second year, and I came back solo. … And that was unbelievably great. And I did a big dedication to the military that night, and it was awesome, and then I believe we skipped last year, and then we’re back this year with Motley on the closing night.”
For more information, go to www.rocklahoma.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Oklahoma native Kristin Chenoweth has performed for two extremely influential women this week.
Chenoweth, who hails from Broken Arrow, appeared Tuesday on the multi-part finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The Broadway star surprised the talk-show maven by performing “For Good” from the musical “Wicked.” Her performance was in honor of the men who have received Oprah’s scholarship at Morehouse College, and it made Winfrey cry. To view the video, click here.
On Wednesday, President and Mrs. Obama asked Chenoweth to entertain Her Majesty the Queen of England at a dinner in Queen Elizabeth II’s honor at the Ambassador’s official residence Winfield House in London. According to BroadwayWorld.com, the dinner was protocol following the Queen’s dinner in honor of the President Tuesday night at Buckingham Palace.
The Oklahoma City University graduate was invited as a guest to sing some songs she is known for and some of what are said to be the Queen’s favorite show tunes, including “People Will Say We’re In Love” (from “Oklahoma!”), “Till There Was You” (“The Music Man”) and “I Could Have Danced All Night” (“My Fair Lady”) amongst others. Chenoweth received a royal standing ovation.
It’s a busy, exciting time for Chenoweth: She recently announced that she will return to her country music roots with her new album “Some Lessons Learned,” to be released on Sony Masterworks on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Her debut single, “I Want Somebody (Bitch About)” is a tongue-in-cheek song about finding unconditional love. The single will be available for sale Tuesday.
The music video for “I Want Somebody (Bitch About),” which takes place in a retro hair salon makes its debut on Country Music Television on June 6. Chenoweth also is set to appear on the 2011 CMT Music Awards and perform on the finale of “CMT’s Next Superstar.”
Also, ABC announced earlier this month that Chenoweth’s new TV pilot, “Good Christian Belles,” has been picked up for the 2011-12 season. “Good Christian Belles” is described as a soap opera-type drama centering on Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), once the ultimate high school “mean girl,” who is forced to return home to Dallas in disgrace after a scandalous end to her marriage.
Although Amanda isn’t like the girl she was 20 years ago, will her hometown welcome her back or seek revenge? Amanda and her teenage children try to adjust to their new lives as the women from her past alternate between being sympathetic and scheming. Also starring in “Good Christian Belles” are Annie Potts, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols, Brad Beyer, Mark Deklin and David James Elliott.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson has confirmed on Facebook that British heartthrob Orlando Bloom will reprise his breakthrough “Lord of the Rings” role in the prequel “The Hobbit”:
Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas. I’m excited to announce today that we’ll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older—and he doesn’t! I guess that’s why he makes such a wonderful elf.
Bloom is the latest “LOTR” alumnus to join “The Hobbit.” While Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), and Gollum (Andy Serkis) actually appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, Jackson has stretched the story to bring back the characters Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), old Bilbo (Ian Holm) and Frodo (Elijah Wood) for the two-part film version.
But Jackson doesn’t have to do much adjusting to bring Legolas back to Middle Earth for “The Hobbit”: Bilbo and the dwarves have a run-in with the elves of Mirkwood in the novel. In “LOTR,” Legolas is called the son of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood. Thranduil is part of “The Hobbit” storyline and will be played by Chickasha-born actor Lee Pace.
Interestingly, Pace actually is younger than Bloom: Bloom is 34 and Pace is 32.
The two-part 3D adaptation of “The Hobbit” is set for December 2012 and December 2013 release.
The three-day Memorial Day weekend is finally here!
Stillwater-based art-rockers Colourmusic are spending the holiday gigging at the Dot to Dot Festival in the U.K. But they left us with a little gift before they left, the music video for “Beard,” from the band’s new album “My ____ Is Pink.” Warning: It’s going to get you an extreme close-up of the band, so get into that headspace before you watch.
Today’s featured event:
Celebrate the release of the Pretty Black Chains’ new CD with a potluck cookout and live music from The Non, The Burning Hotels, Chrome Pony and more at 4 p.m. today at Warpaint Clothing, 1710 NW 16. Information: 602-1581 or www.warpaintstore.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Interview: Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire raise $500,000 through tornado relief shows, featuring guests Kelly Clarkson, Susie McEntire-Eaton
A version of this story also will appear in Saturday’s The Oklahoman.
Blake Shelton and Reba raise $500,000 for Atoka Country tornado relief
The country music stars, who both hail from southeastern Oklahoma, played a pair of sold-out shows to help tornado-torn Tushka this week. Reba’s sister and fellow singer Susie McEntire-Eaton and “American Idol” champ Kelly Clarkson performed as special guests during Thursday’s show.
DURANT — Quick-witted country singer Blake Shelton often seemed in awe of co-star Reba McEntire during their sold-out tornado benefit concerts this week.
“She’s been … doing movies and TV. She’s an astronaut, she’s a doctor, she’s every freaking thing, I guess,” Shelton quipped from the stage Wednesday night during the first of their two shows benefiting the Tushka Disaster Relief Fund.
Add dynamic fundraiser to the list, too: Between the two charity concerts, Reba and Shelton raised $500,000 for Atoka County’s ongoing relief efforts. The co-headliners closed their set Thursday night by presenting a check to local officials.
“People were just happy, and it was a great show. … There was just lots of excitement and a lot of people pulling for that part of the state,” said Reba’s sister and fellow singer Susie McEntire-Eaton, who along with Texas native Kelly Clarkson performed as a special guest during Thursday’s show.
On April 14, an EF3 tornado ripped through the tiny Atoka Country town of Tushka, killing two women, injuring more than 40 people and destroying 150 homes, businesses and public buildings, including the local school. Two weeks later, Shelton and Reba, who were both born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, announced that they would perform a benefit show to aid those affected by the twister.
When Thursday’s show sold out in just two hours, they busy stars added the Wednesday concert.
“We’re thrilled to give you a little relief from all the hard work you’re doing cleaning up,” Reba told the crowd Wednesday night.
During both shows, Reba, the flame-haired farm girl from Chockie now known worldwide by her first name, and Shelton, the white-hot rising star born and raised in Ada, came out singing the lively duet “Oklahoma Swing.” The stars and their bands shared the stage their entire set and took turns playing their hits: Reba’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” and “Consider Me Gone” were on the set list with Shelton’s “All About Tonight,” “Hillbilly Bone” and “Some Beach.”
The co-headliners often backed each other on vocals and then traded quips and compliments between songs. During Thursday’s show, they also shared the stage with their guests. Reba and her sister sang together on “Big Blue Sky,” from McEntire-Eaton’s 2010 album “Passages.
“It was wonderful. I used to tour with Reba in ’80 to ’82, when I graduated from Oklahoma State, and it was awesome. I just enjoyed the heck out of it. We’ve both grown a lot in our music. And it was just relaxed and it was so much fun,” said McEntire-Eaton, who still lives on the family ranch in Chockie, about 30 miles from the greatest damage caused by the April tornado.
She also enjoyed watching her famous sibling, who was inducted Sunday in the Country Music Hall of Fame, perform with Clarkson. Reba and the “American Idol” champ belted
their hit duet “Because of You” as well as “Does He Love You,” Reba’s 1993 Grammy-winning collaboration with Linda Davis. In addition, Clarkson performed a few of her hits with Reba providing harmony vocals.
Both Clarkson and McEntire-Eaton performed in honor of Reba at Sunday’s Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony. Although many fans hoped to see Shelton’s new bride Miranda Lambert, who has lived the past few years in Tishomingo, at the benefit shows, she did not appear at either Durant concert. Lambert entered the studio Monday to record her new album.
Even before the $500,000 check was presented, McEntire-Eaton said, fans were excited about the benefit shows.
“They even applauded when they were gonna say the prayer,” she said.
After Shelton and Reba announced the fundraising total Thursday, they played their signature songs as solo encores: Shelton crooned his evocative prison-break tale “Ol’ Red,” while Reba powered through her southern Gothic hit “Fancy.”
Tushka Public Schools Superintendent Bill Pingleton said the stars’ efforts were a great pick-me-up. The elementary, middle and high schools, library and cafeteria all were destroyed in the tornado. The students finished school May 20, attending classes in the Kiamichi Technology Center, Tushka First Baptist Church and the sole surviving classroom building, which houses pre-kindergarteners through third-graders.
“We’re still pretty beat up, but we’re digging out. We’re making a lot of progress,” he said before Wednesday’s show. “We’re gonna rebuild.”
Contributing: The Oklahoman columnist Bryan Painter.
How to help
In addition to the proceeds raised from Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire’s benefit shows, a special mobile fundraising campaign has been set up with The mGive Foundation to raise funds for Atoka County relief efforts. Fans can text “OKGIVE” to 27722 to make a one-time $10 donation which will be added to their monthly cell phone bill. Funds will be donated to The mGive Foundation for the benefit of the Tushka Disaster Relief Fund.
Checks can also be made out to the Tushka Disaster Relief Fund and mailed to: 101 SE First Street, Tushka, OK 74525.