The nonprofit OK ROOTS MUSIC (formerly Tulsa Roots Music) presents an eclectic array of music—alt-country, folk, Cajun, zydeco, rock, reggae, blues, bluegrass, jazz and world music—through live performances and educational programming. Festivals make up the core of our programming, including:
Global BASH: 2nd weekend of April: One of the most popular long-running annual events on Guthrie Green (with evening programming at Duet Jazz club), this global/ethnic-oriented bash has boasted the likes of Michael Franti, Los Lobos, The English Beat, Los Lonely Boys & The Wailers. The multi-genre event also features bellydancing, African drumming, family activities, local cuisine, OK craft brews & wines. Free at Guthrie Green & ticketed at Duet Jazz, Tulsa, OK. Estimated attendance: 4,000.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION: 3rd week of April: Tulsa’s biggest Earth Day Celebration finds OK Roots Music teaming with the Sierra Club, Tulsa Earth Coalition, Tulsa Talks Climate, and Carrie Dickerson Foundation to host several days of environmental activities. Saturday’s big event at Guthrie Green features prominent environmental speakers, educational booths & demos, touring music and arts, youth activities, healthy farm-to-table cuisine and more. The event is free at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green, an award-winning urban park utilizing solar panels and geothermal wells. We expect Earth Day to grow into our biggest annual event. Free at Guthrie Green & participating venues, Tulsa, OK. Estimated attendance: 2,000.
Wine, Jazz & World FETE: First weekend of October: Featuring internationally touring jazz & world music artists, wine tastings & local cuisine, kids & family activities, performance & circus artists. Public Radio Tulsa’s “All This Jazz” host Scott Gregory MCs. Past artists include Delfeayo Marsalis, Christian Scott, John Scofield, Tiempo Libre, Fidel Nadal, The Bad Plus, Sofia Viola & Yemen Blues. Free @ Guthrie Green, with ticketed night events at Duet Jazz. Estimated attendance: 2,000.
IndigeNOISE: Third week of November: This annual Native-themed event features Native music, dance, cuisine, crafts & activities. Blues-rock band Indigenous headlined last year. A mix of free & ticketed events at Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK. Estimated attendance: 1,500.
MICHAEL KOSTER (Director) founded and ran the Thirsty Ear Festival, New Mexico’s premier roots music event, for 13 years. He continues to work in both Santa Fe and Tulsa in all aspects of music promotion. He has worked with hundreds of internationally touring artists and dozens of venues over two decades. He regularly writes performing arts grants, and has written many articles on arts & culture for the likes of Stereophile, ARTnews, Art & Antiques, Magnet, AP, Mountain Living, and many others. Koster earned an M.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Select artists we’ve worked with over the years: MICHAEL FRANTI, LOS LOBOS, ROSANNE CASH, THE ENGLISH BEAT, LOS LONELY BOYS, KEB’ MO’, TAJ MAHAL, JOAN BAEZ, DOC WATSON, TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, BELA FLECK, THE WAILERS, RALPH STANLEY & THE CLINCH MOUNTAIN BOYS, DAVE ALVIN, ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL, THE BAD PLUS, BEAUSOLEIL, BE GOOD TANYAS, BLACK JOE LEWIS, GREG BROWN, JUNIOR BROWN, BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO, BURNING SPEAR, RL BURNSIDE, SAM BUSH, HAYES CARLL, DON CARLOS, NEKO CASE, GUY CLARK, ROCKY DAWUNI, IRIS DeMENT, TOUMANI DIABATE, ANI DiFRANCO, BO DIDDLEY, DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND, DR. JOHN, DUMPSTAPHUNK, HONEYBOY EDWARDS, RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT, JOE ELY, FANTASTIC NEGRITO, FISHBONE, THE FLATLANDERS, T-MODEL FORD, RUTHIE FOSTER, FRIGHTENED RABBIT, TONY FURTADO, JIMMIE DALE GILMORE, GOV’T MULE, PATTY GRIFFIN, NANCI GRIFFITH, KNOX HAMILTON, BUTCH HANCOCK, JOY HARJO, COREY HARRIS, ALVIN YOUNGBLOOD HART, RICHIE HAVENS, RAY WYLIE HUBBARD, INDIGENOUS, RICKIE LEE JONES, VALERIE JUNE, ROBERT EARL KEEN, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO, POKEY LaFARGE, ROSIE LEDET & THE ZYDECO PLAYBOYS, DAVID LINDLEY, DELFEAYO MARSALIS, LEYLA McCALLA, DEL McCOURY, JAMES McMURTRY, SHANNON McNALLY, MONTE MONTGOMERY, IAN MOORE, THE MOWGLI’S, FIDEL NADAL, NAHKO & MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE, NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS, ODETTA, PINETOP PERKINS, PO’ GIRL, REVEREND PEYTON’S BIG DAMN BAND, PETER ROWAN, BOB SCHNEIDER, JOHN SCOFIELD, CHRISTIAN SCOTT, DARRELL SCOTT, BILLY JOE SHAVER, SIERRA LEONE’S REFUGEE ALL STARS, SLY & ROBBIE, THE SKATALITES, THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS, JOAN SORIANO, MAVIS STAPLES, STEEL PULSE, BILLY STRINGS, NINET TAYEB, RICHARD THOMPSON, TIEMPO LIBRE, SOFIA VIOLA, CEDRIC WATSON, YEMEN BLUES, YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND, YOUNG DUBLINERS, and many more.