This week, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame pays tribute to our country's armed services and its veterans with its Annual Memorial Day Salute to Veterans.
Playing Sunday night, May 27 at 5pm, the show closes out the Jazz Hall's 2012 season and will serve as a salute to those who have served our country and to those presently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
"We've done this in prior years," Jason McIntosh, chairman of the Jazz Hall of Fame board, said recently. "It's got a USO-style feel to it."
Featuring the music of Irving Berlin, The Andrews Sisters, and many others, the show boasts some big names in Tulsa music, among them the venerable Thea Hill and renowned pianist Chuck Gardner to name but two.
"We've got more people who want to play and sing than we have the stage for," McIntosh said, perhaps setting up next year's festivities already.
That's actually probably the case, given last year's reception and this year's looming success.
"We did it last year to a packed house," McIntosh said. "We'll be doing it this year in conjunction with the Honor Flight Network."
This organization is dedicated to serving and honoring the veterans of World War II by getting them to the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC.
"Honor Flight works to make sure that anybody who is a vet of WWII has an opportunity to see it," McIntosh said. "They raise money to pay their way to go to DC. It's an amazing group, and that's a story in and of itself."
There's a trio standing in for the actual Andrews Sisters, and songs will include such gems as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "White Cliffs of Dover," and "I'll Be Seeing You." And since Berlin's name is attached, one would be shocked were one not to hear "God Bless America,' arguably his most famous work.
Reserved table seating is $20, general admission tickets are $15. Senior admission is $10, and veterans get in free. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is located at First St. and Cincinnatti. Purchase tickets online at okjazz.org or by phone at 918-281-8609.
Tulsa Is, Itself, a Seasoned City
Tulsa artist Heathyr Chenoweth brings her art to the Circle Cinema this week for a showing called "Seasoned City." The collection, based on Tulsa signs and architecture, showcases the 23-year-old upstart's engaging style -- influenced, she says, by Andy Warhol, Will Rogers and Mr. Rogers.
Chenoweth calls her work "electric impressionism," a term her father coined, and she's since stuck with a term she rather enjoys, actually.
"I'd definitely consider that my artistic identity," Chenoweth said. "I use a lot of color, and there aren't a whole lot of really straight lines. I do feel like some of it is kind of like Monet, but then I also use spray paint and markers and things."
Her work is brightly colored and vibrant, and she matter-of-factly lays it out there.
"I want the world to be as colorful as possible," she said. "Lately, when my painting is finished, I add bright-colored paint markers which add movement to the pieces."
The latest in an evolution of shows for Chenoweth, "Seasoned City" grew out of past shows that were less focused in nature.
"The first show that I did was at the Oklahoma Equality Center. It was pretty eclectic. I did a Mr. Rogers with Kanye West sunglasses. Stuff like that," she said.
Deciding to begin working toward a more theme-based show, Chenoweth settled on the Tulsa-centric material of "Seasoned City" while working with a local non-profit.
"When I was a senior at Rogers State, I got an internship with the Kendall-Whittier Main Street program," she said. This put her in the right area of town for a creative spark to strike. "Eventually, it just made sense to tie it all together. I love Tulsa. This show has about 20 pieces in it, but I could do a whole other set of 20 pieces because there's so much great stuff in Tulsa."
A look at some of the works in this upcoming show reveals her signature bright colors and funky sensibilities applied to the Nelson's Buffeteria sign, the exterior of the Circle Cinema, and of course, the Tulsa Driller (which my two youngest children still think is a statue of me).
"I really feel that lovers of Tulsa will enjoy this exhibit," she said.
She's got more than just her time invested in this, too. The showing will benefit the Kendall-Whittier Main Street non-profit, to which Chenoweth will donate 25 percent of the showing's proceeds. The Main Street program is helping with the revitalization of that neighborhood, something lots of Tulsans are interested in. Among those is Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
"The Kendall-Whittier Main Street program is a perfect example of dedicated Tulsans interested in revitalizing their neighborhood and promoting job growth in a historic part of our city," Bartlett said recently when speaking about the city's decision to kick in $25,000 for the project.
What's Chenoweth's connection to the district -- enough to cause her to donate from her show?
Hers is a succinct answer:
"I believe the program is important," she said.
Well, okay then.
We'll be there.
"Seasoned City" takes place Thursday, May 24 at the Circle Cinema at 5:30pm. Admission is free. Find more information at heathyrchenoweth.com, circlecinema.com, or by phone at 918-592-FILM.
Sister City Sights Settle In
You might not know it, but Tulsa has a sister city in Taiwan, and while you may not be able to visit Kaohsiung any time soon, you can get a sense of our sister on the other side of the world by taking in "The Beauty of Taiwan," a photo exhibition on display at Central Library through May 31.
Taiwan's second largest city, Kaohsiung, and Tulsa have enjoyed a sister-city relationship for more than 30 years.
One of the more striking photos shows the exterior of Fo Guang Shan, the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. It sits in a suburb of Kaohsiung, and while the main shrine itself is beautiful, its Great Buddha Land features 480 golden Buddha statues. The scope and magnitude of the site really comes through in a photo of a seemingly endless line of Buddhas. It's a fascinating photograph.
But there's more than just gee-whiz sights in this show. There are stunningly beautiful photographs of the Taiwanese landscape, and perhaps something like this should be required viewing for members of Kaohsiung's sister city. I know I had no idea something as beautiful as these landscapes was just sitting over there asking to be looked at.
There are also shots of folk dancers, showing both the power and bold nature of Taiwanese folk dancing, as well as the fluid beauty of a single dancer, her red dress flowing around her airborne form.
There's the obligatory shot of cherry blossoms, but there's much more here too. "The Beauty of Taiwan" runs the gamut of Taiwanese culture, the country's landscape, its traditions and all manner of Things That Make Taiwan Neat.
The exhibition comes to our fair city courtesy of the Taiwan Academy in Houston and the Kaohsiung-Taiwan Sister City Partnership through Tulsa Global Alliance.
In case you don't get to Central Library by the 31st, you'll get a second bite at the apple, as the photos will be on display again at the Tulsa City-County Library's Asian-American Festival on Saturday, June 2 from 10:45 a.m. to 2pm at the Martin Regional Library, 2601 S. Garnett Road. The exhibition will be a part of the Kaohsiung-Taiwan Sister City booth in the Martin auditorium.
More information about the exhibit and the Asian-American festival can be found at tulsalibrary.org or by phone at 918-549-7323.
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