John Taylor- International Jazz Day Global Organizer

John Taylor is an artist manager, booking agent, digital media entrepreneur and impresario with a passion for spreading awareness of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s abiding relationship with jazz music. As Taylor notes, “When someone mentions Oklahoma or Tulsa, it brings to mind country, rock, or indie music, but jazz has deep roots here.”

Tulsa Jazz, Taylor’s nonprofit jazz promotion organization, began as an online calendar to help local artists get the word out about their performances. Since then, has expanded to include directories of active area musicians and music venues, and promotes gigs in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City through social media and regular e-blasts. The site touts its positioning at the forefront of Tulsa’s recent jazz renaissance, which saw the city move from only “a few places that regularly offered live jazz to now having 20-30 live events per week and a growing, active, vibrant jazz environment with national recognition.

Taylor sees International Jazz Day as an opportunity to educate his community – and the world – about his state’s often overlooked jazz heritage: “There have been several influential jazz performers from Oklahoma such as Hal Singer, Barney Kessel, Jay McShann, Chet Baker, Jimmy Rushing, Howard McGhee, and Frank Mantooth, just to name a few. Jazz is a big part of our state and our heritage, and we believe being involved in events like International Jazz Day will help keep it that way.”

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