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What to do in Oklahoma on June 19, 2014: Jazz in June begins today in Norman

by Brandy McDonnell Published: June 19, 2014
Samantha Fish
Samantha Fish

Today’s featured event:

NORMAN – Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks will bring a one-of-a-kind sound that fuses swing, jazz, folk and country when headlining the free three-day 2014 Jazz in June music festival, which begins at 7 tonight at Brookhaven Village, 3700 W Robinson.

Throughout his decades-long career, Hicks has combined elements of those genres with influences from Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Waits and others to create a sound he refers to as “folk jazz.” Hicks describes the music as a blend that starts out with a folk music sound to which a jazz beat, solos and singing are added. “It’s kind of light in nature. It’s not loud,” he said. “In a way, it’s carefree.”

The band is slated to headline Jazz in June’s “Jazz in the Park” Saturday at Andrews Park, 201 W Daws Street.

Kansas City blues singer/guitarist Samantha Fish, whose 2011 debut album “Runaway” was honored with the prestigious Blues Music Award, brings her special brand of roadhouse blues for “Blues Under the Stars” tonight at Brookhaven Village. In 2013, Fish released her sophomore CD, “Black Wind Howlin’,” which was heavily influenced by the music of Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow and The Black Crowes.

The Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola Duo, which pairs renowned guitarist Hunter and drummer Amendola, is slated to headline “Jazz Under the Stars” Friday at Brookhaven Village. Known for bringing intense grooves, sensual melodies and ingenuous back-and-forth between strings and sticks, the pair has recorded five albums together, most recently 2013’s “Pucker,” which followed their critically acclaimed 2012 album “Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead.”

Other artists slated to perform at this year’s festival are:

Tonight: Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers, which captures the spirit of the Oklahoma blues scene, from the powerfully soul-drenched vocals to the funky harmonica. The band will kick off this year’s festival with a 7 p.m. performance at Brookhaven Village.

Friday: Edmond Jazz Orchestra, a 25-piece orchestra that features trumpets, trombones, mellophones, saxophones, drums, percussion, bass and piano.

Saturday: Boyd Street Brass, which boasts a blend of New Orleans-oriented blues, jazz and funk; Pidgin, known for its psychedelic approach to afro-soul music with a powerful horn section; and the Norman High School Jazz Combo, a group of next-generation jazz artists.

In addition to the concerts, Jazz in June offers clinics with the artists and after-concert jams. This year’s schedule:

Clinics with the Artists: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, The Performing Arts Studio, historic Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S Jones Ave.

  • “Two = One Very Big Sound (The Non-traditional Jazz ‘Band’),”Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola
  • “History of Hick Jazz,” Dan Hicks
  • “The Cigar Box Guitar: Inspiration Through Limitation,” singer, songwriter, guitarist and guitar-builder Kyle Reid

Blues Jam: 10 tonight, Tres Cantina & Grille, 305 E Main.

Jazz Jam: 10 p.m. Saturday,Hotel Norman (formerly Holiday Inn Express), 1000 N Interstate Dr., hosted by members of Boyd Street Brass and Pidgin.

Jazz in June was founded by the Norman Arts and Humanities Council and Cimarron Opera in 1984 to bring high-quality blues and jazz acts to Norman. The festival has since developed into a much-anticipated annual event attended by some 50,000 people.

For more information about Jazz in June, go to

For more events, go to


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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