The Cameron University Library will host "Oklahoma: All That Southwest Jazz" throughout the month of April in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month. Narrative text and historic photographs trace Oklahoma blues lineage from Count Basie, who began his climb to stardom from The Oklahoma City Blue Devils, to Yale native Chet Baker's contribution to the art form. The photographic exhibit from the Oklahoma Museum Association can be viewed in Room 118 of the Cameron University Library through April 30. The display is open to the public at no charge.
According to historian William Savage, Jr., to trace the evolution of American jazz is to race migration of blacks from the lower South westward, from New Orleans to Texas, through Oklahoma, to Kansas City. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame suggests that Oklahoma jazz musicians were central in the creation of Kansas City jazz. As the Depression and the reform movement shut down clubs and jobs, Kansas City jazz musicians hit the road. At the end of the 1930s, Oklahoma was a significant link in the traveling jazz triangle with major stops in Tulsa, Muskogee and Oklahoma City.
"Oklahoma: All That Southwest Jazz" features legendary jazzmen who staged their early careers in Oklahoma, including Count Basie, Charlie Christian, Jimmy Rushing, Chet Baker, Barney Kessel, Jay McShann, Oscar Pettiford and others.
"Oklahoma: All That Southwest Jazz" is made possible through a grant by Cameron University Lectures and Concerts.
April 2, 2010