Higher Plains Hip Hop & Jazz Festival

Out of a back alley conversation at a Jazz show,
two cats postulated on the preponderance of folks that would love to see a coalescing of the fine arts of true Hip Hop and Jazz. They contemplated how way way back in the way back whence both disciplines were forged, when the cosmic musical potencies had influence and encouragement, who would have known that, much later in time, out of the plains would emerge an event, so akin to an essence itself, so rich in modus and form that
hoi polloi and aristocracy alike
would make their way from localities near
and far to see the splendor and wonder
that was to be known as
The two cats after intense deliberation
Agreed, they had to “get them some of that”.
And so it began…

Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer, and producer based in Fort Worth, TX. Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lettieri came to Texas via Texas Christian University (TCU), studying advertising and public relations, and competing in track and field. A passionate guitarist since middle school, he began his music career in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area upon graduating from TCU.

Playing in the vibrant Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz/world group Snarky Puppy in 2008, where he contributes as guitarist, as well as arranger and composer. The group has earned three GRAMMY Awards: Best R&B Performance for "Something" feat. Lalah Hathaway in 2014, and twice for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (Sylva in 2016, and Culcha Vulcha in 2017). Snarky Puppy tours constantly, having performed on every continent except Antarctica.

Outside of Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has released three albums as a leader: Knows in 2011, Futurefun in 2013, and most recently, Spark and Echo in 2016 (Ropeadope Records). Spark and Echo climbed to #11 on Billboard's Jazz Albums Chart, and #2 on iTunes' Jazz Chart. Due in large part to Lettieri’s vibrant social media presence, these records have created a sizable buzz among fans of instrumental music worldwide. He performs live as the Mark Lettieri Trio.

As an in-demand session guitarist and touring sideman, Lettieri has logged miles with neo-soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer Anthony Evans, and American Idol: Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. He's also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Nelly, Anthony Evans, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N'dambi, Bilal, and even comedians Dave Chappelle and Harry Shearer.

Recent recording work includes David Crosby, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Adam Levine, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Tori Kelly, Ledisi, Tamela Mann, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, as well as numerous radio and television jingles. Lettieri is also a member of SKP, a production collective led by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Beyonce).

He can also be seen on television, in the house band for the Marcus & Joni Show, a Christian morning talk/variety show broadcast in over 200 countries Daystar Television Network.

Lastly, Lettieri serves as a clinician and gear demonstrator, often on behalf of companies he endorses; namely J. Rockett Audio Designs, Supro, Grosh, Collings, Paul Reed Smith, Jim Dunlop, and TC Electronic.

He resides with his wife, daughter, and two cats.

Dynamo is a Nashville-based, nationally touring band whose music fuses jazz, rock, and funk with elements of soul and R&B. The culmination is a sound that’s both spontaneous and composed—and an energy that’s undeniably infectious.

Formed in late 2012, Dynamo consists of nine core musicians. When they’re not performing or recording in Nashville, the band is on the road, spreading their unique brand of feel-good music to audiences all over the world.

If DIY (do it yourself) was a music award than Steph Simon would be the unanimous winner. From the very beginning he has not only rapped this, but he has embodied this. From putting on festivals, to promoting his own shows, to performing at venues that didn’t traditionally play hip-hop music the hard work speaks for itself.

Stephon Joseph Simon

Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, better known as Steph Simon has embraced his Tulsa roots to help fuel his “do it yourself” mentality. Tulsa is home of the original Black Wall Street, that featured a prospering black community that owned banks, drug stores, and grocery stores. Something that is very much absent to this day. But one thing Steph Simon has proved with his second studio release “Visions From the Tisdale” released in Fall of 2015 is that the legacy of Black Wall Street is still very much alive.

“Out the ashes, from the soil, grew a black wall seed offspring,.(Exert from “We On”).

“Visions From the Tisdale” was helped Steph Simon gain a regional audience, But the recent release of his mixtape “Out to Eat” Steph Simon has taken his regional sound to a world sound which he is also apart of the collective group World Culture Music. The future is bright for Steph Simon and with his hard-work and DIY mentality it’s clear that he’s not waiting on anyone’s help.In 2012, he began to gain local recognition following the release of his 1st studio project titled "So Far So Good." Apart from his solo career Simon is also a member of the World Culture Music Collective, Founders of the World Culture Music Festival, has worked as the lead vocalist for the band "The Rowlands" honoring the late 1921 Black Wall Street catalyst Dick Rowland.
In Sept. 2015, Simon released his 2nd studio project titled "Visions From the Tisdale" that earned him a regional following. Landing him multiple Festival performances, regional tours, Tulsa World Notoriety, as well as The Tulsa Voice Album of the year nomination. After his latest sell out show at the Nightingale theater Nov. 28th Steph Simon & The Rowlands are gearing up to release "Live from the Tisdale" summer 2017.

The Sativa Prophets are an art and hip hop collective based in Oklahoma City. Full of Producers, Emcees, Visuals Artists, and Musicians, the Prophets Utilize their skill sets to push one another to the next level. The abstract that is their music is definitively depicted within their individual artwork. A new age Tribe Called Quest or a suburban Wu Tang? Whatever you want to call the Sativa Prophets they leave you wanting to hear more. The crowds of The Norman Music Festival, the Center of The Universe Festival, World Culture Music Festival, and the Indigo Fest had their party pants on. A long list of touring acts like Waka Flocka, Designer, and Stalley have had the Prophets loosen up the fans. Wherever they go they will give you full blown energy and catchy soundtracks.

Banding together in late 2013, the Prophets have released a number of projects and haven't looked back since. New member Mars Deli got together with producer Igloo Panda for his debut "Dogs Can Totally Smile" album. Igloo Panda has released a few Instrumental EPs and albums including "Doom Hop". With his crafty sound selection, Panda's influence comes from J Dilla, Flying Lotus and those alike. Rodrick Malone introduced himself with "My Name is Rod" in 14' and is set to release his follow up "Dreams". HuckWheat has few solo projects under his belt with the most recent being "Buddha Leaf". Huck's next project "I Wanna Huck Right Now" is in the vault. Singer/Songwriter Aaron Joseph Newman brings in the Top 40 feels with singles like "Ultraviolet". Located in Denver, CO Aaron gives the Prophets a third arm with how to reach the people. After the release of his "Roomful Of Elephants" in 2015 Aaron has been thrown in the loop of majors and continues to gain momentum.

With banging Igloo Panda beats providing smooth and heavy drops during records, the Prophets are able to keep the crowds energy on edge. Huck provides raspy soul vocals to go along with a technical pun filled flow. Malone's suburban hippy rap style and demeanor give them charisma and charm. Aaron Joseph Newman pours his soul into his production with Apollo Lane creating the sub duo "Why Awake". Topped off with Mars Deli's high octane performances and urban space trap vibes. The Prophets are quite the spectacle on any medium of stages as well as air waves.

Chris Combs, guitarist, composer and member of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey since 2008, offers his debut solo project, “Combsy”. Based out of Tulsa, OK, Combs has written, arranged and produced his solo effort. Combs has made a name for himself over the last 10 years touring the world and joining legends like George Porter Jr, Mike Dillon, Matt Chamberlain, Jeff Coffin, and Skerik on stage and in the studio.
With influences like Charles Mingus, Madlib, George Harrison, James Blake, J Dilla, Radiohead, & Marc Ribot, “Combsy” is a lush, groove-heavy album that under the careful watch of Combs shows a tremendous amount of emotional depth and maturity as an artist. “Combsy” may be a debut, but there’s nothing amateur about it. Combs deftly sources jazz, hip-hop, electronic and rock genres in creating a sonic landscape that is all his own.

“Combsy” layers horns and rhythm instruments in a rich, nuanced fashion that allows space for Combs’ guitar work. At times, the bandleader and architect of this project uses his playing to give direction or cues for change, while at others, he takes the opportunity of the space created to spread out and explore. Although far from careful, “Combsy” comes to the ear as curated and intentional and with a healthy sense of both the history and future of the genre.

Primarily tracked in October 2016, the core tracks were recorded live as a trio to 2" tape at Fellowship Hall in Little Rock, AR with Aaron Boehler (bass) and Andrew Bones (drums, vibraphone).

Combs then took those recordings on a swampy journey to New Orleans where horns were added. At Marigny Studio, Combs added Brad Walker (tenor sax, Sturgill Simpson), Dan Oestreicher (bass and bari sax, Trombone Shorty), Carly Meyers (trombone, Roar). With all components in place, Combs finished the project in his home studio.

The core of Henna Roso is based out Tulsa, OK but they are comprised of a collective group of musicians from around the U.S. dedicated to raising food and awareness for hunger related issues.

Tulsa Hip-Hop Collective. Students of the culture in all its forms. We've come to contort cerebellums.

$10.00 - $100.00


Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
The Vanguard

  • Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.