Oklahoma Historical Society Presents an OKPOP Concert: Black Town Blues and North Tulsa Jazz
TULSA — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) and OKPOP will host a concert, “Black Town Blues and North Tulsa Jazz,” on Wednesday, April 26, at historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the music will begin at 7 p.m. The concert will feature Ernie Fields Jr. and his all-star band, with a performance by Dr. Harold Aldridge. Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ will be open and available from 6 to 8 p.m.
The event is part of the OHS Annual History Conference and the Woody Guthrie Center’s fourth anniversary celebration. The history conference is hosted by the Cherokee Nation and will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Catoosa. To see other events related to the OHS conference or to register, please visit www.okhistory.org/about/conference. To see the schedule associated with the Woody Guthrie anniversary, please visit woodyguthriecenter.org.
Tulsa native Ernie Fields Jr., the son of legendary big band leader Ernie Fields, has had a long and successful career in the entertainment industry. Ernie Jr. began playing in his father’s orchestra before becoming the leader of his own band. Ernie has worked with B. B. King, Bobby Bland, Stevie Wonder, Rick James, Marvin Gaye, Fred Wesley, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, The Four Tops and many more great artists. He is a successful music contractor in Los Angeles and has provided talent for “The Voice,” “American Idol,” “X Factor” and many award shows and productions. In 1996 Ernie Fields Jr. was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
The all-star band performing with Fields is a Who’s Who of Los Angeles musicians. Drummer and Oklahoma native Bill Maxwell has played with Elton John, T-Bone Burnett, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and others. Bassist Rickey Minor was the music director for the GRAMMY Awards, “American Idol,” “The Tonight Show,” and worked with Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Ray Charles, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder. Some highlights of guitarist Errol Cooney’s career include The Today Show Band, “American Idol,” Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé Knowles, En Vogue, Willie Nelson and John Mayer. Keyboardist Herman Jackson has performed with Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and Steve Baxter. A few of the singers that saxophonist Miguel Gandelman has worked with include Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Williams, Michael Bolton and Janet Jackson. Trumpeter Ray Monteiro’s resumé includes stints with Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Williams and Prince. Trumpeter Andy Weiner has performed with Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Chaka Khan and Patti Labelle. Industry giant Fred Wesley, a trombonist, also will be in the band. He was in James Brown’s band, the Funkadelics and Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s. He has worked with Count Basie, Natalie Cole, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Marvin Gaye, Usher, Jay Z, Kanye West and a number of others.
Dr. Harold Aldridge hails from the All-Black town of Taft, Oklahoma, and learned traditional blues from the older residents of the town. A retired professor from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Aldridge will perform and discuss the history of blues, from field hollers to electrification.
Tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 with registration for the OHS Annual History Conference. They can be purchased on the Cain’s Ballroom website, www.cainsballroom.com.
OKPOP is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
Editor’s Note: Photos are available upon request by contacting Larry O’Dell at email@example.com.