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Lineup announced for Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival

The Black Liberated Arts Center Inc. has announced jazz band BoneSoir, featuring Oklahoma City natives Maurice and Louie Spears, and bluesman Little Milton will perform June 4-5 at the 19th annual Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival, at corner of NE 36 and Lincoln Boulevard.

Other headliners include Detroit, Michigan, female quintet Straight Ahead, Tulsa, Oklahoma native Grady Nichols, Naima Shambourguer and Company, 411 Band, Phil Mitchell and Quartet, Russell Malone and others.

Maurice and Louie Spears, who are brothers, was born into a family of music aficionados. They both played trombone throughout their school years, and Louis later became interested in the bass after joining the Army. Louis Spears has since become known worldwide for his accomplishments as an acoustic bassist, cellist and bass guitarist.

Maurice Spears was recognized as the "first call" bass trombonist on the West Coast. His career spans a wide spectrum of entertainment, including movie sound track, Broadway shows and television series.

Maurice and Louie Spears will be inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame on June 16 during the Juneteeth Festival in Tulsa, BLAC Inc. executive director Anita Arnold said.

Inverness, Miss., native Little Milton is well-known to many blues enthusiasts. He is best known for the song, "The Blues is Alright," which is heralded as a national anthem. Milton initially found an connection of country and western music and later fused it with other genres - gospel and blues.

Milton has obtained such honors as the 1988 W.C. Handy Blues Entertainer of the Year and a 2000 Grammy Awards nomination. He is also an inductee of the Blues Hall of Fame.

The 19th annual Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival honors the legacy of Oklahoma City resident and famed jazz guitarist Charlie Christian.

For more information about the event, call (405) 524-3800, go online to or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: BoneSoir and others
  • Event Date: June 4 - 5, 2004
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