MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

February 27, 2014

Jazz great coming to NSU festival

When Thomas “Tommy” Poole meets saxophonist Joel Frahm on Sunday, it will be like a Catholic meeting the pope, he said.

That’s how inspirational the legendary New York jazz musician is to Poole, the director of jazz studies at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Frahm will entertain at the 47th annual Green Country Jazz Festival on Sunday and Monday at NSU.

The festival kicks off at 8 p.m. Sunday in the NSU Jazz Lab.

Since the release of his 2004 duo CD, “Don’t Explain,” Frahm has been on the forefront of the New York City jazz scene. His following release as a leader, “We Used to Dance” (2007), shows his ability to combine the lyricism of the late great Stan Getz with today’s more complex rhythmic and melodic vocabulary, Poole said.

Frahm will perform with an all-star jazz combo featuring Scott McQuade of Tulsa, James Greeson of Fayetteville, Ark.; Jordan Hehl of Tulsa; Jared Johnson of Muskogee; Jason Kush of Slippery Rock, Pa.; and Poole. The show costs $5 and is expected to be a sellout.

The festival continues at 7 p.m. Monday in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts as the NSU Jazz Ensemble features Frahm.

The Green Country Jazz Series is presented with support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council. Tickets are $12, with half off for NSU students who show ID.

“Don’t miss the opportunity to hear one of the great jazz musicians of our time perform,” Poole said. “I’m in such awe of this guy.”

He called Frahm one of the best saxophonists in the world. It will be his first time at NSU.

Sunday’s jam session is expected to draw a lot of people from out of town.

“We get high school and college kids and seniors that are long-term jazz fans,” Poole said. “What draws people to jazz music is the material is improvised. The audience knows they are listening to something special that won’t happen the same way twice.”

If you go

WHAT: The 47th annual Green Country Jazz Festival at Northeastern State University.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday.

WHERE: Sunday at NSU Jazz Lab, 315 N. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah; and Monday at NSU Center for the Performing Arts, 605 N. Grand Ave., Tahlequah.

TICKETS: $5 on Sunday; $6 with student I.D. and $12 for the general public on Monday. For reservations, call Michael Lutz at (918) 444-4603 or send email to lutzm@nsuok.edu.

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