Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

On this edition of StudioTulsa, the bawdy humor of Jackie Mason collides -- for better or worse -- with the common-sense politics of Will Rogers as we welcome the one and only Kinky Friedman back to our show. The legendary Texas-based singer/songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician, and former columnist for Texas Monthly was one of two independent candidates in the 2006 election for the office of Governor of Texas; Friedman placed fourth in the six-person race.


Tulsa County leaders get a report on the Jazz Hall of Fame lengthy record of late payments. The non-profit’s history of paying downtown assessments and property insurance months late frustrates county officials. Ron Peters is Chairman of the County Industrial Authority, and asked for a report on the Jazz Hall’s financial difficulties.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the pianist, composer, and bandleader Amina Figarova, who was born in Azerbaijan in 1966 and is now based in New York City. She began to study music as a child, eventually attending the Baku Conservatory, and became a classical concert pianist while still a young girl. Later she was drawn to jazz at the Rotterdam Conservatory --- and later still at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

No Action on Jazz Hall of Fame

Oct 8, 2012
KWGS File Photo

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame remains in the Union Depot, at least for now. The Tulsa County Industrial Authority, which is made up of County Commissioners, held a special meeting today to discuss the Hall’s inability to pay its bills.

The Hall of Fame, however, says it has paid its debts as of last Friday. But, since the banks are closed for Columbus Day, the Commissioners delayed any action until next week’s regular Authority meeting. They want to be sure the checks clear the bank. In the past some Jazz Hall of Fame checks have bounced.

Jazz Hall of Fame

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Facing eviction, directors at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame have announced they will finally be able to pay off some $60,000 in bills the organization has owed for months.

Friday's statement by the Tulsa nonprofit comes two days ahead of a special meeting set by the county to discuss what to do with the museum.

Jason McIntosh, the hall's CEO, says nearly 100 donors from across the country have offered help after learning of the hall's financial struggles last month.

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Problems continue at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. A private school that recently moved into the Union Depot where the Hall is located has been ordered to move out. Asking for an update on unresolved issues involving the Jazz Hall, Tulsa County leaders take a controversial step. Hall directors sublet part of the building to the Deborah Brown School without getting a necessary certificate of occupancy first. It prompted an order to relocate.

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Jazz Hall of Fame board members are given notice of default on their lease agreement. They have 30 days to pay overdue bills or make arrangements to pay them, or else. Members of the Tulsa County Industrial Authority, which oversees the Union Depot Station where the Hall’s located, vote today to send a notice of ‘failure to perform’ terms of the lease. Authority Chairman John Smaligo says trustees are frustrated by a lack of progress in paying what amounts to more than 70-thousand dollars in outstanding bills.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with the French-born, Brooklyn-based, and widely acclaimed guitarist, Stephane Wrembel, who performs this evening (Wednesday the 11th) at 7pm at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in downtown Tulsa.

Our guest on this installment of ST is the widely celebrated NYC-based jazz pianist Aaron Goldberg (born in Boston in 1974), whose playing has been tagged by The New York Times as "versatile and impressive, and he swings hard.... [He's a] sharp young pianist with a superb rhythm section." He has been active on the national/international jazz scene since the early 1990s, playing with everyone from Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Al Foster, and Terry Gibbs, to Joshua Redman, Mark Turner, Ali Jackson, and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

© Ibbob Music Inc. / Photo credit: Oliver Rossberg

[Aired Thursday, March 8th.] While growing up in Philadelphia, Benny Golson (born 1929) --- our guest today on StudioTulsa --- jammed and woodshedded with the likes of John Coltrane, Red Garland, Jimmy Heath, Philly Joe Jones, and Red Rodney. Later, he played alongside the great be-bop composer/pianist/arranger Tadd Dameron --- a major influence, and a mentor of sorts --- before doing stints with such notable bandleaders as Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, and Tulsa's own Earl Bostic.