By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
On Friday and Saturday April 24 and 25, special guest conductor Jeff Tyzik and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will take big band music lovers on a trip back to the heyday of New York’s Cotton Club.
Shows will take place at 8 p.m. both days at The Civic Center, 201 N. Walker, in Oklahoma City.
The evening is a salute to the “Hi De Ho” swing of Cab Calloway and the elegant “Satin Doll” sheen of Duke Ellington.
The show honors the iconic performers of the Cotton Club. Performances will feature the award winning trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling, Count Basie Band vocalist Carmen Bradford and Broadway hoofer Ted Louis Levy.
“We at the OKC PHIL take great pride in bringing excellent and diverse programming to our growing and vibrant city,” said Executive Director, Eddie Walker. “The electricity created in A Night at the Cotton Club will range from sultry to swinging when the Phil joins with featured Boston Pops trumpet player Byron Stripling, jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford and Tony award winning tap dancer Ted Louis Levy.
“Beckoning back to the days of Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington who helped define the musical standard in the golden age of The Cotton Club in Harlem, this show will make you want to jump out of your seat and join in the fun” said Walker.
“Come early, enjoy a ‘Cotton CLUB SPECIAL’ in the lobby, and enjoy the Pre- show jazz combo featuring Maurice Johnson and Company. Be transported without ever leaving the city, in a way only great music from the OKCPHIL can provide,” Walker added.
In the 1920’s Broadway was booming, prohibition pushed parties into speakeasies and juke joints, and midtown audiences looking for more adventure, found themselves in Harlem’s Cotton Club!
During this Harlem Renaissance, the Cotton Club emerged as one of the most famous nightclubs in history, known for its lavish stage shows and talented musicians. Its glittering revues provided a medium for performances by the most prominent jazz musicians of the day. Frequent broadcasts brought the club’s activities to a wide audience.
The Cotton Club helped shape musical history, launching the careers of many jazz greats including Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Lena Horne.
The Philharmonic also announces a special add on concert event-VIDEO GAMES LIVE on Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m. The evening provides an exciting concert experience that features some of the most famous video games of all time. Performed by Oklahoma City Philharmonic and OKC Philharmonic Pops Chorale, the music will create the fiery energy of a rock concert.
The Oklahoma City Philharmonic is rapidly gaining recognition as one the nation’s premier orchestras.
Tracing its roots to 1924, The Oklahoma City Philharmonic, was formed in 1988 under the musical direction of Joel Levine and has remained dedicated to its mission to “provide inspiration and joy for the community through orchestral music”.
Through its commitment to excellence, The Oklahoma City Philharmonic Society, Inc. works to enrich lives, expand cultural development, educate future generations, and provide audiences with diverse and inspirational performance experience.
Extending its reach beyond the concert hall, The OKC Phil enjoys a close, collaborative relationship with Oklahoma’s colleges and universities as well as the city’s other premier arts organizations including The Oklahoma City Ballet, and the Canterbury Choral Society.
The Philharmonic additionally presents the annual Red White and Boom concert, attended by thousands from across the city each July.
To purchase tickets, call 405-TICKETS (842-5387) or tickets are now available online.
For more information, visit www.okcphilharmonic.org.