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Press Release

May 2, 2013

Anita Arnold405-524-3800

Charlie Christian Music Festival Partners with the the Oklahoma Historical Society

Mark Temple, Chairman of the Charlie Christian International Music Festival, announced today that the 28th annual Charlie Christian Festival will partner with the Oklahoma Historical Society to present, "Ralph Ellison Understood Through Charlie Christian" at the Oklahoma History Center on June 4th at 7:00p.m. in the Chesapeake Room. The event is part of the Ralph Ellison Centennial Celebration.

"This first event is a program of music and narrative that tells the story of another aspect of Ralph Ellison's identity that is often missed by Ellison scholars. Little is said by Ellison scholars and critics about his love of jazz and blues music and Ellison's literary expressions using these two genres," Temple said. "We are excited about the program and early indications suggest that it will be well attended," Mr. Temple concluded.

The program will feature Taylor Made Jazz providing music integrated with some Charlie Christian Music, Jimmy Rushing and other memorable jazz and blues tunes throughout the story. James Johnson, President, of the National Frederick A. Douglass Alumni Association of Oklahoma City, will narrate the program. Both Ellison and Christian attended Douglass High School in Oklahoma City and were taught by Zelia N. Page Breaux, famous Oklahoma City music educator who was known nationally for her outstanding music programs. Dr. John Rhea, scholar and historian will provide interpretations and understandings often missed or misunderstood by others that add clarity and insights to the Ellison persona. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and those interested in attending should RSVP at 405-524-3800 by May 27, 2013.

This event is made possible by funding from the Oklahoma Humanities Council, Oklahoma Arts Council, Friends of the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society Archives, "Oklahoma City University's Ralph Ellison Centennial Fund" and the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society.

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