Proudly in our 35th year, Jazz in June is a volunteer organization governed by a board of directors.
Jazz in June exists to provide the hippest jazz festival around as a gift to our community. The festival remains free to the public.
Jazz in June is a 501C3 non-profit organization.
Board of Directors
Patrick Moore, President
Keith Merckx, Vice President
Doug Stiehler, Treasurer
Jim Johnson, Program Chair
Michael Lewchuk, Past President
To hear Rachel Jacquemain, former director of the Norman Arts and Humanities Council, tell it, the idea began over drinks and coffee at the Service Station Restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1984. There, Thomas Carey of the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company saw the rising popularity of jazz and decided to produce a concert as a fundraiser for CCOC.
The performance drew about 300 people, enough to interest the Norman Arts and Humanities Council in supporting an annual event. The following year, Keisha St. John and Bertha Hope performed at the Sooner Theatre, and the festival got a leg up with the promotional assistance of KGOU Radio, which in later years formally became a sponsor and then partner.
Year three added an evening dinner and performance at Trujillo’s to the day in the park, and crowds responded enthusiastically to the expanded event. Since that time, various formats have been introduced, including a Saturday evening trolley bus to jazz clubs in town and even a dance at Sooner Mall. Crowds grew to about 10,000 – 15,000 when performances at Brookhaven Village were added to the venue.
Originally a partnership between the Norman Arts Council and the Cimmaron Circuit Opera Company, Jazz in June, Inc. was formally created as a separate non-profit in 1990 with the Norman Arts Council, Cimmaron Circuit Opera Company and KGOU as partners with members at large. For the past few years, more than 50,000 people have converged in Norman to enjoy Jazz in June. In 2016, Jazz in June celebrates its 33rd year.