The joy of holiday festivities was in the air at the Botanical Gardens, with lights in downtown Tulsa. Put on display were Christmas lights hung from every tree, and a walkway to the garden displayed tributes to Tulsa, such as the Tulsa Driller redone in holiday lights. The event also had ambient music playing from the garden, and the fountains of cascading water provided entertainment for families of all ages.
Drinks such as hot chocolate were served at a dance hall where music was being played in the center of the festively decorated garden. The Booker Gillespie Trio was serenading the audience with seasonal music, and jazz standards, such as “Dancing in the Moonlight.” Booker Gillespie expanded on his history in singing jazz, “I’ve been singing jazz since probably the early nineties.”
The vocalist went onto state “I was living in San Diego at the time, and I knew nothing about jazz music but I had an affinity for it. So, as I was riding the bus to work, I would put my headphones on, and I had picked out a few jazz records from the store, and I would listen to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennet. All those great jazz singers, listening to a repertoire of music up until, singing is what I’m doing now.”
Remarking on his performance, he stated “I think it went well, this is not the normal contingent I had with me but, we worked it out.” Dean Demerit the trio’s upright bassist, had this to say about the musical performance given to the tourists of the Botanical Garden, “I could have played better, but it was okay, considering the three of us have never played together before this time. But I’ve been playing upright bass for 52 years.” The show they gave to their audience was met with rounds of applause and seemed to bring everyone who attended into the cheer of the holiday season. Outside of the jazz ensemble’s hall of music, were fires to keep the visitors warm under the cool night air of Tulsa’s December. And walking back through the garden proved to be a treat for holiday-goers as Christmas decorations such as “Heart Tulsa” in seasonal lights were displayed. Attending the event seemed to enliven the holiday spirits of all those who joined the gathering of people walking through the Tulsa Botanical Garden. ]