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Musician

Randall Thomas Coyne

Born:

A native of West Springfield, Massachusetts, Randall Coyne earned a music degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a law degree from Georgetown University. After teaching law at the University of Oklahoma, he devoted himself full time to music and plays drums and percussion for Susan Herndon's Bella Counsel, Miss Brown to You, The Red Devils, Highway 66, The Crosspointe Vintage Band, and The Randall Coyne Jazz Cartel. Coyne studied percussion with Dr. Peter Tanner, drum set with Johnny Vidacovich and John Martinez, and vibraphone with Mike Dillon. He currently is on the teaching staff of the Norman Music Institute in Oklahoma

Musician

Max Ridgway

Born:

Max Ridgway is a 1990 graduate of Berklee College of Music, Summa Cum Laude, and holds a Masters degree in Music Education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he currently teaches as an adjunct instructor. The Max Ridgway Trio formed in 1993 with Max Ridgway on guitar, Richard Martin playing bass, Tony Swafford on drums. The trio performed that year at the 1993 Jazz in June festival in Norman, Oklahoma. Since that time they have appeared at a variety of venues in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa area, including the Norman Music Festival, the OKC Festival of the Arts, Live Music on the Canal, the Post Oak Jazz Festival, and the Oklahoma State Fair

Musician

Billy Yeager

Born:

BIO Billy Yeager is a self-taught musician. He has written and recorded over 2600 musical compositions. In his early 20s, he won several National Songwriting contests. He produced his first album, What’s It Gonna Take, in 1983. Over 22 of South Florida’s top musicians, such as Dennis Noday, Rex White, Jay Drake, Alan Layton and Diane Sherrow, recorded on the album. On his second album, Be My Valentine, produced in 1985, Billy played every instrument. The album was recorded at Circle Sound Studios, which is the private recording studio of the Inner Circle Reggae Band. Yeager was the guitar player for the Grammy Award winning band from 1985 to 1986

Musician

Maurice Johnson

Born:

Milwaukee born guitar veteran, Maurice Johnson first gained notice in 1985 shortly after forming the Oklahoma City based, “After Five” band. Considered the young lions of jazz, “After Five” gained a great deal of popularity, sharing the stage with major acts including, George Benson, George Howard, Norman Brown, Nancy Wilson, Al Green, Alex Bungon, Stanley Turrentine, Little Melton, Mary Wright, Ronny Laws, Jennifer Holiday, Freddy Jackson, Larry Coryell, Barney Kessel and many others. In 1991 the group signed with New York label, Warlock Records and released the EXPRESSIONS CD. After a nearly ten-year stint, “After Five” would ultimately disband. As the early 90’s unfolded, Maurice found himself at the helm of a unique industry as co-founder of D’Leco Acoustic Instruments with luthier / partner James W

Musician

Max Vasquez

Born:

An Award Winning Composer(Los Angeles Music Awards Best Jazz Album and Best Lounge Artist 2006), since 1978, Max embraces all styles of music with a keen instinct for the nuances of each genre he excels in. At the age of nine, he performed with choirs, in musicals and plays, taught himself how to read and write music by the time he was 13, and by age 14 he worked professionally playing trumpet in horn sections of bands all over L.A. and bass with members of punk band Verbal Abuse, which was a favorite of Rodney Bingenheimer. He also played with Black Flag members Sam and Henry and met and hung out with The Doors Ray Manzarek and John Doe of X and many others at the Whiskey Agogo

Musician

T. Nathan Mickle

Born:

T. Nathan Mickle grew up in a plane and in a car. As of right now, he is based in Oklahoma City. He is the pianist and a vocalist for the Oklahoma City University Jazz Band. Right now, he is currently booking shows in the greater Oklahoma City area with the T.J. Holliday combo, a jazz/blues/pop group comprised of Nathan Mickle, piano/vocals; Sam Holliday, bass; Ryan Steadley, guitar; Jeremy Schroeder, drums. Much inspired by Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr., singer- songwriter Nathan Mickle’s voice is reminiscent of classic crooners.

Musician

Wardell Gray

Born:

Wardell Gray was one of the truly great, yet by now almost obscure, bebop tenor saxophonists. With a smooth mellow and consistent tone, he created a tenor style that veered from swing to bebop, a style that was elegant, sure-footed, mature and distinctive. His premature death under mysterious circumstances in 1955, robbed the jazz world of another unique player, and cast him into distant recollection, though his talent deserves greater recognition. Born in Oklahoma City, Gray grew up in Detroit, playing locally as a teenager. He was a member of the Earl Hines big band during 1943-1945 before moving to Los Angeles in 1945

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Article: Year in Review

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

Musician

Justin Pierce

Saxophonist Justin Pierce began his musical career in the musically diverse region of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. After beginning saxophone studies at age 12, he developed a passion for music in the middle school jazz ensemble. Since that time, he has performed across the United States and internationally, earned degrees in both classical and jazz styles, and taught at the secondary and college levels. Justin currently serves as Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where he directs the jazz ensemble and touring band, in addition to teaching saxophone, clarinet, and improvisation lessons

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Article: Interview

Cecil McBee: Masterful, And Always Equipped

Read "Cecil McBee: Masterful, And Always Equipped" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Cecil McBee is one of the finest bass players on the scene, a status he's held among musicians for many years, even if the public is slower to pick up on the achievements of this 79-year-old musician extraordinaire. A natural, he was quick to connect with musicians in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. But ...


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