Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 6, 2013

Sliding into music

TAHLEQUAH — Acclaimed trombonist Wycliffe Gordon has played in venues around the world, but he felt right at home during a recent visit to Tahlequah.

Gordon was the featured trombonist recently at the 46th annual Northeastern State University Green Country Jazz Festival, held Sunday and Monday.

Having held teaching positions at Juilliard School of Music, Michigan State University and now as a member of the Jazz Arts Program at Manhattan School of Music, Gordon is considered to be one of the country’s foremost educators of music.

His late father was a classical pianist and teacher who introduced Gordon to music. Gordon’s passion for playing trombone was discovered when an older brother began playing the brass instrument in junior high school.

Gordon was born in 1967 in Waynesboro, Ga., which is also known as the Bird Dog Capital of the World. He found a taste of home when he arrived here.

“I’m having a great time in this small town. I wish I could stay here two or three weeks to be away from the rat race in New York,” he said. “This reminds me of where I’m from, back in Georgia.”

Gordon, who is the 2012 Jazz Journalists Association Award Trombonist of the Year, performed as a part of the ninth annual Judges Jam, held Sunday night at the NSU Jazz Lab. He was part of an all-star jazz combo that featured pianist Dr. Robert Larson of the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia; guitarist Dr. James Greeson of the University of Arkansas Department of Music; and three NSU jazz musicians and instructors: drummer/percussionist Jared Johnson, bassist Mikel Combs ,and saxonphonist/woodwin doubler Dr. Tommy Poole.

Poole is the director of jazz studies and an assistant professor of music at NSU. He also performed with the NSU Jazz Ensemble at the Center of the Performing Arts on Monday.

Gordon does a lot of traveling to elementary, high school and college campuses to teach and share his love of music. He has also represented jazz music in other ways, like serving as musical ambassador for the U.S. State Department on a trip to South Africa in 2006.

“I enjoy the interaction with the music departments and the students who are going to be playing,” said Gordon. “They’re going to be my colleagues in a few years, and it’s great to be able to reach some of the upcoming players this way.”

Gordon believes it’s important for students to get hands-on experience.

“I remember what that did for me when Wynton Marsalis came to my university my sophomore year to teach a master class,” said Gordon. “I mean, there were a series of events that happened, but if that event had never taken place - that’s one of the reasons I’m in the position I am now. He was only scheduled to do a lecture and not even perform. That’s where he heard me play, and he asked for my number. It’s important to be in touch with the music community at-large.”

Aside from the evening gig, Gordon taught a master class and critiqued the performances of several high school jazz bands that played during the day on Monday. Jazz festivals like NSU’s offer a chance for students of jazz music to play for and receive feedback from professional musicians like Gordon.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN