TULSA Tulsa is famous for its own musical sound, a potent blend of rock and blues made famous by JJ Cale, Leon Russell and Eric Clapton.
So, including Tulsa in a list of jazz hotbeds New Orleans, Memphis, Kansas City, Chicago seems arrhythmic.
That jazz reputation, or lack thereof, is one of many hurdles the 24-year-old Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame must clear in its struggle for survival, as the nonprofit is faced with paying down tens of thousands of dollars in debt after years of questionable budgeting practices and a souring economy.
After several reprieves from Tulsa County to get its finances order, the jazz hall has been given an ultimatum: Pay the roughly $60,000 in back assessments and utility bills it owes by the first week of October or face eviction.
"We're done, we really are," County Commissioner Karen Keith said in a recent interview. Keith is one of three commissioners who serve as trustees of the county's industrial authority, which has oversight of the jazz hall. "It just is not working. There have been too many promises made and too many promises broken."
Keith said she wants it to survive because of its importance to the city's cultural history, but "not with its current list of players," a stern rebuke of the top management, which recently went through a shakeup.