Performance artists of just about every hue will flock to four stages for this year's Festival of the Arts in downtown Oklahoma City. Nearly 300 performers will command the spotlight throughout the six-day festival, which begins Tuesday.
The diverse lineup includes:local blues mainstays like The Snakeshakers and Shortt Dogg, modern-pop piano duo Simple Tree, the quirky Grandpa Griffith, barbershop chorus The OK Chorale, and orchestras, dance troupes and poets.
Tony Ong, a Festival of the Arts veteran, boasts that he's played all but two years of the event since the mid-Eighties. Ong and his eponymous rock band will grace the Deck Stage at 4 p.m. April 24 and will also appear on the Water Stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as its lounge alter ego, Jackson's Brew.
"Jackson's Brew will probably do best because it's laid-back " not as loud and offensive to old people," Ong said. "With a festival crowd, you can't just say, 'Get off your ass and dance.'"
The Highlanders of OKC, a Scottish bagpipe and drum band, will appear on the Café Stage at 1 p.m. April 27. Pipe major Robert Bruce said The Highlanders try to woo audiences of all ages by infusing familiar songs into the group's set list.
"We'll play tunes like 'Wooden Heart,' 'Waltzing Matilda' " ones that aren't traditional, but the crowd will recognize and enjoy," he said. "In OKC, one tune we have to play is 'Boomer Sooner,' and the crowd always goes nuts." "Charles Martin