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Charlie Christian Jazz Festival

The Black Liberated Arts Center Inc. (BLAC) will host the 18th annual Charlie Christian Jazz Festival on June 6-7, 2003 at Remington Park infield, 1 Remington Place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The event, formerly known as the Deep Deuce Jazz Festival, will feature up to 16 local and regional jazz artists as well as headliners Branford Marsalis and Isaac Hayes. The festival will begin from 6 p.m. to midnight June 6 with mostly local and regional music, and noon to midnight June 7 with concluding performances by Marsalis and Hayes.

The oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, Branford Marsalis has had an impressive career.

After attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Marsalis joined the Art Blakely band in 1980 as a baritone saxophone player, later switching to alto. In 1982, Branford joined his younger brother Wynton’s band, playing tenor and soprano sax with the group for three years. He later joined Sting’s backup band in 1985.

The following year, Marsalis formed his own jazz quartet, recording a string of albums for Columbia. He was a former bandleader on Jay Leno’s "Tonight Show" (1992). After two years, Marsalis left the show, forming the Buckshot LeFonque project that merged jazz with hip-hop, R&B and rock.

Some of his compilations include "Dark Keys" in 1996 and "Music Evolution" in 1997.

Few figures exerted greater influence over the music of the 1960s and 1970s than Isaac Hayes. After laying the groundwork for the Memphis soul sound through his work with Stax-Volt Records, Hayes began a highly successful solo career that predated not only the disco movement but also the evolution of rap.

After two 1970 releases, "The Isaac Hayes Movement" and "To Be Continued," Hayes reached his commercial zenith in 1971 with the release of "Shaft," the score from the Gordon Parks film of the same name. Not only did the album win Hayes an Academy Award for best score (the first black composer to garner such an honor), but the single "Theme From ‘Shaft,’" a masterful blend of prime funk and pre-rap monologues, became a No. 1 hit.

These days, Hayes is most visible with the animated cartoon "South Park," in which he provides the voice of Jerome "Chef" McElroy, the main characters’ favorite school cafeteria worker.

Event sponsors include Chrysler, Bank of Oklahoma, Remington Park and the City of Oklahoma City. Event chairman is Bruce Fisher, curator of Cultural Diversity at the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Tickets for the event are $5 for Friday only (to be sold at the gate), $40 for Saturday or $40 for both days. They are available at (800) 511-1552,; Homeland stores; and the following venues in Oklahoma City: Charlie’s Jazz Rhythm and Blues Records Store, 5114 Classen Blvd.; KM66, 931 NE 36; Learning Tree Toys, Books and Games, 7646 N Western; Rainbow Records, 2401 Classen Blvd.; Verna’s Showoff, 1515 NE 23; Shiral’s Ultimate Look, 4330 SE 29 in Midwest City; or Capital Square Station, 950 NE 23.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Unknown
  • Event Date: June 6-7, 2003
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