Jazz in June and Winter Wind announce the third showcase of the joint 2016-2017 American Heritage Concert Series featuring The Claudettes with their own fanatical fusion of jazz, blues and soul. Tickets are $20 for the March 19 concert in The Depot, 200 S. Jones. Music begins at 7:00 pm.
Seeing a name like The Claudettes on a marquee might lead one to expect a 1940’s vocal harmony group fronted by several sisters with an odd last name… not a four-piece, piano-driven group led by a colorful fella named Johnny Iguana, who takes a punk-like approach to roots music. But the name is just one of surprises in store for the uninitiated.
The Claudettes officially began in 2010 as a two-piece instrumental group that served as the house band for an Illinois restaurant and club run by the equally colorful and unique Miss Claudette. The name stuck, and since those early days, so too has The Claudette’s reputation for upending tradition and bucking expectations.
The Claudettes has recently expanded to feature Miss Berit Ulseth on vocals, Zach Verdoorn on bass guitar and vocals and Matt Torre on drums. But Iguana, who is also a member of two Grammy-nominated blues groups, Chicago Blues--A Living History, and the Muddy Waters 100 Band, still propels this talented group via his venerated piano prowess and showmanship.
The Chicago Tribune calls The Claudettes “A revelatory blend of jazz and blues, stirred with punk brio and topped with French cream. There are also dashes of classical and world music, and enough stops, starts and hairpin turns to suggest the giddiness of Raymond Scott's cartoon music...How do they do it?” Truly one of the most refreshing musical experiences of the year.
Winter Wind / Jazz in June collaborative concerts are made possible in part by grants from the Norman Arts Council and the Oklahoma Arts Council, and by numerous corporate and individual sponsors.
The Depot, located in the historic Santa Fe Train Depot, produces Summer Breeze, Winter Wind and Whistle Stop Concerts, Gallery Exhibitions, Second Sunday Poetry Readings, and manages the rental of the Norman Depot for weddings, meetings, parties and other events. The Depot, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to creating and presenting excellent and innovative fine arts programming for the enrichment and education of the community.
Jazz In June Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of jazz and related musical forms. Jazz In June was founded in 1984 by the Norman Arts and Humanities Council and Cimarron Opera. The Jazz in June festival has since developed into a much-anticipated annual event, featuring three evenings of outdoor concerts, related artist clinics, public radio programs and public jazz and blues jam sessions attended by a total of some 50,000 people per year. Past performers include David Sanborn, Chuck Mangione, the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and Duke Ellington Small Band.