Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Charlie's sheen

Charlie's sheen

The legacy of Oklahoma City’s jazz pioneer Charlie Christian endures in the annual music festival that bears his name.

Stephen Carradini May 24th, 2011

Charlie Christian International music festival
Tuesday-June 4
Various locations

Kevin Eubanks

In the past 26 years, the Charlie Christian International Music Festival has grown a great deal.

“It was a grassroots party, if you will,” said Anita Arnold, executive director of festival sponsor Black Liberated Arts Center. “You could even call it a block party.”

Named for the Oklahoma City-raised, influential swing and jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, the event has since grown from an informal party to a nearly week-long festival with a full slate of events. This year’s edition features six events over five days, starting Tuesday.

As the festival grew, it changed locations often, each time preceding a revitalization of the area. From the Zoo Amphitheatre to Second Street to Regatta Park, it has turned people’s thoughts toward a forgotten part of the city.

“Every time we went in with the festival, we cleaned it up,” Arnold said. “We’ve been pointing the way. And Charlie Christian pointed the way for a lot of musicians.”

Christian’s single-note guitar style was a part of the move from the sixstring as merely a rhythm instrument in jazz to a soloing one in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He died in 1942, at the age of 25.

But his legend lives on in the festival. If Christian, who would have turned 95 this summer, could have seen the performers on this year’s lineup, he’d see everything from a jam with the local Jeremy Thomas Band to California-based world/fusion group Tizer. The featured musician is former “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” musical director Kevin Eubanks. The final two days unleash several acts in true festival style at Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch.

While the festival will take place in several locations, organizers are in talks with Bricktown Ballpark to have a permanent home, hopefully in place by Christian’s 100th birthday, five years from now.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5