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January 8, 2015
Media Contact:
Alex Weintz, [email protected], 405-518-5133

Entertainment Announced for Governor Mary Fallin's Inaugural Ball & Cultural Showcase
Larry Gatlin, reprising his role as Will Rogers, will emcee a star studded event

OKLAHOMA CITY – The list of performers for next week's Inaugural Ball and Cultural Showcase has been released, and attendees can expect a star-studded lineup of entertainers with Oklahoma ties.

A limited number of invitations to the event are still available and can be requested by emailing [email protected].

The Inaugural Ball co-chairs, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and his wife, Terri; Karen and Fred Hall; Lee Allen Smith; and Becky Switzer have worked to assemble an event that honors Oklahoma's unique culture and history. The event, which begins at 7 PM on Monday, January 12, will showcase Oklahoma's unique heritage by highlighting: Oklahoma history, art and music; Western and Native American culture; sports; fishing and wildlife; cuisine; and Oklahoma industries like energy, agriculture, and aerospace and defense.

Larry Gatlin will be back in character as Will Rogers when he emcees the event. Gatlin, a successful singer/songwriter best known for teaming up with his brothers and becoming one of country music's most successful acts of the 1970s and '80s, received rave reviews when he starred as Oklahoma's favorite son in the Broadway production of the "Will Rogers Follies." He serves on the Will Rogers Memorial Commission, based in Claremore.

Gatlin will be in character as the famed humorist and performer as he introduces musical performers and acts ranging from opera and jazz to country and pop.

Those scheduled to perform are:
  • Justin Adams, a Bixby native known for his high energy performance of country-meets-rock 'n' roll songs. His latest self-titled recording hit climbed to No. 4 on the iTunes country chart and reached the Top 50 in all genres.

  • Byron Berline, of Guthrie, has earned the title of national fiddle champion three times. He has recorded with many performers, including The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, John Denver, Bob Dylan, Vince Gill, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Willie Nelson.

  • Oklahoma City Ballet has been the city's professional ballet company for more than 40 years. It is the resident dance company of the Civic Center Music Hall and in 2014 had 30 dancers from around the world.

  • Kyle Dillingham, a native of Enid, is a violinist and 2009 recipient of the Oklahoma Governor's Arts Award. He also works as the "Ambassador in Residence" at the University of Central Oklahoma, using his musical diplomacy to help develop and strengthen new overseas relationships for the university.

  • Justin Echols Quartet, headed by the nationally and internationally recognized jazz musician. Echols, of Oklahoma City, was discovered by music legend Wynton Marsalis and is the youngest inductee in the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

  • Hanson, made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac, stormed to the top of the singles chart in 1997 with "MMMBop," which eventually attained No. 1 status in 20 countries. After starting their own label, Tulsa-based 3CG Records in 2003, Hanson released "Underneath," which became one of the most successful self-released albums in history.

  • Wanda Jackson, the "first lady of rockabilly," was America's first female rock 'n' roll singer. The Maud native charted 30 country hits from 1954 to 1974. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Music Association in 2010.

  • Leona Mitchell, an operatic soprano born in Enid, has performed for 18 seasons as leading spinto soprano at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has performed before four U.S. presidents at the White House, and at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. She is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and was named Oklahoma's cultural ambassador in 2004.

  • Timothy Nevaquaya is a Comanche flutist who crafts his own flutes. He lives in southwest Oklahoma and has gained a national reputation as a spectacular visual artist.

  • Matt Stansberry & The Romance is a high-energy 10-piece, 1950s and '60s soul-, blues- and rock-inspired band from Oklahoma City. Their debut EP, "Let's Brighten It Up," was released in 2012.

  • The Thunder Girls are the dance team of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The gifted athletes and performers charm fans on and off the court and represent the NBA team across the nation and around the world.


P.O. Box 590 | Oklahoma City, OK 73101

Paid for by
Fallin for Governor 2014

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