LAWTON — In its 29th year, the Annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival is moving from Oklahoma City to Lawton, where it is set for May 21-26 at Fairmont Creamery, 411 SE Larrance St., and other venues.
The lineup includes Chester Thompson, Lao Tizer, Grady Nichols, Matt Stansberry & The Romance, TaylorMade Jazz, Brothers Dupree and more.
The festival, which pays tribute to one of Oklahoma City’s pioneering musicians, will include a diversity of music including jazz, blues, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, soft rock, world fusion and more.
Dubbed “the first important electric guitarist” by AllMusic.com, Christian was born July 29, 1916, in Bonham, Texas, but grew up in Oklahoma City and became immersed in the Deep Deuce neighborhood’s thriving jazz scene.
He actually started out playing the piano locally and began to utilize an amplified guitar in 1937, after becoming a student of Eddie Durham, who invented it.
Christian earned a reputation as a gifted player and found a job with Benny Goodman. With his remarkable licks and solos, Christian helped establish the guitar as a lead instrument instead of just part of the rhythm section. He also became one of the pioneers of the bebop style of jazz before his death of tuberculosis on March 2, 1942, at the age of 25.
For more information on the Charlie Christian International Music Festival, call 524-3800.
The music festival will include a diversity of music including Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Soft Rock, R& B, Rock & Roll, World Fusion Music, and more. The