2007 Library News

Take a Jazz Journey At Your Neighborhood MLS Library

When asked to define “jazz,” Louis Armstrong replied, “If you have to ask,

you'll never know.” But if you want some hints given through live performances and discussions of the history of jazz, your Metropolitan Library System in February is the place to be. Whether your taste in jazz is for ragtime, Dixieland, boogie-woogie, swing—hot or sweet—scat, bebop or fusion, take A Jazz Journey all month long. “Jazz and Oklahoma may not seem like a logical pair,” said Dana Morrow, MLS Director of Outreach Services, “but central Oklahoma gave the jazz world two of its best known personalities. Novelist Ralph Ellison was a big jazz enthusiast and he wrote about the music with real understanding. And jazz guitarist Charlie Christian lived and played in Deep Deuce. He is considered the first great soloist on the amplified electric guitar, and a major influence on T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix.”

A Jazz Journey begins at the Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23 rd , on Thursday, Feb. 1, 6:30 to 7:30 pm , with a concert by Mitch's Brew. Mitch's Brew will perform a varied jazz concert ranging from cool jazz ballads to explosive bebop, to spirited jazz -- a favorite of the man, Ralph Ellison.

If you find yourself on the north side of town, The Village Library, 10307 N. Pennsylvania , will be presenting Brian Gorrell and The Jazz Company on Feb. 1 from 7:00 to 8:00pm . The band will perform traditional and contemporary jazz numbers. Although their music focuses on original compositions by Brian Gorrell and Shane Conaway, they also perform music from composers as diverse as Billy Strayhorn, Victor Young, Marcus Mill and Pat Metheny.

On Sunday, Feb. 4, A Jazz Journey moves to the Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave. , for a performance by Peter Krauss and Lisa Turci as they bring their piano and vocal renditions of jazz favorites to the 4 th floor auditorium. Krauss and Turci will perform from 2:00 to 3:00 pm . A Jazz Journey continues with John Williams, University of Oklahoma professor of jazz and jazz musician, as he leads discussions on the history of jazz at the Downtown Library from 7:00 to 8:30pm every Monday evening in February. His topics will be:

Monday, Feb. 5: The Birthplace of Jazz

Monday, Feb. 12: The Jazz Age and the 1920s

Monday, Feb. 19: The Jazz Swing Era

Monday, Feb. 26: Women of Jazz and Jazz Vocalists So if your CD collection includes discs by Jellyroll Morton, Meade Lux Lewis, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong or Dizzy Gillespie—or you wish it did— there's a destination you'll like in Metropolitan Library System's A Jazz Journey.

Other Jazz Journey performances will take place in February and March at Untitled [ArtSpace]:

Friday, Feb. 9: Opening: George Bogart exhibit, with the Larry Moore Quartet at 5:00pm .

Friday, Feb. 16: Vintage Ninja

Friday, Feb. 23: The Larry Moore Quartet

Friday, Mar. 2: Beatrice Cole

Take the “A” train. A Jazz Journey is co-Sponsored by Untitled [ArtSpace], Oklahoma Humanities Council and Friends of the Library. All events are free. For more information, call 606-3879.

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries. Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres. Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City . You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.