The nonprofit OK ROOTS MUSIC promotes and encourages an eclectic array of music, arts and culture through public performances and educational activities. Several free Tulsa-based festivals make up the core of our programming:
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION: 3rd weekend of April: Tulsa’s most ambitious Earth Day Celebration finds OK Roots Music teaming with the Sierra Club, Tulsa Earth Coalition, Carrie Dickerson Foundation and other environmental and arts organizations to host prominent environmental speakers, educational booths & demos, music and arts performances, youth activities, farm-to-table cuisine and more. Saturday’s big event is free at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green, an award-winning urban park utilizing solar and geothermal power. With satellite events at ahha and other Tulsa Arts District venues, Tulsa, OK. Estimated attendance: Up to 1,500.
Global ROOTS BASH: 4th weekend of April: One of the most popular annual events on Guthrie Green (with evening programming at LowDown Jazz club), this global-oriented bash has boasted the likes of The Wailers, Michael Franti, Los Lobos, The English Beat, Los Lonely Boys and Ninet Tayeb. The multi-genre event features bellydancing, African drumming, family activities, local cuisine, OK craft brews & wines. Free at Guthrie Green & ticketed at LowDown, Tulsa, OK. Estimated attendance: Up to 3,000.
Wine & Jazz FETE: 1st weekend of June: Featuring internationally touring jazz & world music artists, wine & craft brew tastings, and tantalizing cuisine. Artists have included Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Delfeayo Marsalis, Christian Scott, John Scofield, Anat Cohen, Tiempo Libre, Jazz in Little Africa, The Bad Plus, Sofia Viola, Yemen Blues and A TASTE OF LOUISIANA featuring Jourdan Thibodeaux, Cedric Watson & Joel Savoy. Public Radio Tulsa’s “All This Jazz” host Scott Gregory is the emcee. Ticketed events at LowDown & participating Tulsa Arts District venues, as well as free virtual performances. Estimated attendance: Up to 1,000.
MICHAEL KOSTER (Executive Director) founded and oversaw the Thirsty Ear Festival, New Mexico’s premier roots music event, for 13 years. He continues to work in both NM and OK on all aspects of music presentation. He has worked with hundreds of internationally touring artists and dozens of venues over two decades. He regularly writes 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 holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.
OKCATE SMITH MCCOMMAS (Associate Director, Muscogee) has years of marketing and event management experience producing major events with Tulsa’s Guthrie Green venue, the Bob Dylan Center and Archive, and Cain’s Ballroom. She works on all aspects of our events and oversees our marketing and social media. She holds a degree in Theatre Performance and a minor in Women’s And Gender Studies from the University of Tulsa.
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, BILL FRISELL, 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, CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS, NEKO CASE, GUY CLARK, ANAT COHEN, EMMET COHEN, SAMANTHA CRAIN, 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, FEUFOLLET, FIRE IN LITTLE AFRICA, FISHBONE, THE FLATLANDERS, DOM FLEMONS, T-MODEL FORD, RUTHIE FOSTER, JEFFREY FOUCAULT, 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, AMY HELM, RAY WYLIE HUBBARD, INDIGENOUS, EILEN JEWELL, RICKIE LEE JONES, VALERIE JUNE, ROBERT EARL KEEN, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO, POKEY LaFARGE, ROSIE LEDET & THE ZYDECO PLAYBOYS, DAVID LINDLEY, CHARLES LLOYD, 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, MARC RIBOT, PETER ROWAN, JOEL SAVOY, 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, JOURDAN THIBODEAUX, TIEMPO LIBRE, T SISTERS, SOFIA VIOLA, CEDRIC WATSON, YEMEN BLUES, YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND, YOUNG DUBLINERS, and many more.