Jazz in June Announces 2017 Festival Line Upon
The 34th annual Jazz in June, three-day, free festival is set for June 15-17 and will host over a dozen musical performances, clinics and jams.
“This year’s event has a lot of timeliness… and can I say, “special sauce” to it,” says Jazz In June program chair Jim Johnson. “On the first night, alone, we’ve got Caleb McGee and the Underdogs - fresh from their red hot 2017 performance in Memphis where they turned a ton of heads during the annual International Blues Challenge. And we’ve got a duo (Mike Hosty and Jamie Oldaker) that has formed just for this very event… representing two generations of iconic Oklahoma blues-inspired rock. We also have a 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Award winner in Dr. Lonnie Smith. That’s the nation’s highest honor in Jazz music! And, just as official relations between Cuba and America are warming, we get to hear one of that country’s finest young musicians, Mr. Harold Lopez-Nussa. Yeah, I believe the word that might best describe how I feel about this year’s festival is kismet.”
The Festival musical line-up will feature:
Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio -- Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. This past April, Dr Lonnie Smith received the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest honor in jazz.
Mike Hosty & Jamie Oldaker -- Michael Hosty is a veteran songsmith who is regarded as a key ‘driver’ of Norman, Oklahoma’s roots-music renaissance. His topical and humorous showcases attract thousands to Norman’s historic campus corner each year.
Jamie Oldaker is a legendary drummer & Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame artist who came to prominence while performing with Leon Russell. Oldaker’s work with Russell (and later, Eric Clapton) made him a key component to the so-called ‘Tulsa Sound’, and helped to spark a career as an in-demand drummer for many other musical giants over the years.
Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio w/ Ruy Lopez-Nussa & Alune Wade -- One of Havana’s brightest lights, Lopez-Nussa has mastered the art of jazz piano, by maintaining his individual style, enhanced by an innate sense of rhythm that Cuban pianists possess, thus he does not play or sound like anyone.
Victor & Penny and Their Loose Change Orchestra -- Victor & Penny and their Loose Change Orchestra feature tight vocal harmonies, dazzling guitar work, red-hot reeds and a fiery ukulele. This tight quartet crafts clever original tunes and brings a modern voice to prohibition-era jazz.
Caleb McGee & The Underdogs - Norman, Oklahoma’s Caleb McGee is a blues singer who approaches his genre with a punk rock ethos. In early 2017, the band made it to the semi-finals in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge and put the music world on formal notice.
Claire Piersol Band -- Claire Piersol is a gifted clarinetist and vocalist. She leads a band in her name throughout the greater Oklahoma City metro.
Ardent Spirits -- The Ardent Spirits is a Gypsy Jazz band from Norman, Oklahoma. Mike Ritchie and Ben Hutchens form this duofecta of swingin' jazz gypsy music.
The Festival also includes local Jam sessions, a children’s music clinic and four technical clinics where people can get up close and personal -- learning directly from the artists mentioned above.
Jazz in June Festival runs at different locations around Norman from June 15 – 17. For more information and the full list of artists, events and times, please check out www.jazzinjune.org.
The media is invited to attend.