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COMMENTARY
Jazz in June festival
Blues night headliner Eric Gales has a career that includes being a touring guitarist for Lauryn Hill. (Doug Hill)
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Norman’s annual Jazz in June festival celebrated its 35th anniversary iteration June 14 through 16 with three evenings of shows at Brookhaven Village and Abe Andrews Park.

It’s an easy-access festival that’s free and otherwise generally low-key in terms of attending, listening and socializing. The shows have been on ThursdayFriday and Saturday evenings for several years.

During afternoons, some of the performing artists present educational clinics at the west-side public library. Blues guitarist Eric Gales turned in a memorable one this year in that he told his life story along with a mini concert in 90 minutes.

Later, Chebon Tiger Blues Band reformed for a stellar set. Tiger began his career here in central Oklahoma over 20 years ago. He now resides in Washington state but comes home frequently to perform and visit family here.

Tulsa and Brooklyn, New York, were over-represented at the 2018 Jazz in June. Ryan & Ryan’s family-piano duo and funk outfit Smoochie Wallus came from T-Town. Meanwhile, The Big Apple exported festival-best Huntertones as well as headliner Tauk.

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Doug Hill earned a double-major undergraduate degree in English and East Asian Studies from the University of Kansas and a master's in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. He's been a freelance journalist and photographer in central Oklahoma since 1997.