Stillwater News Press

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September 12, 2013

Jazz performer to be topic of historical presentation

STILLWATER, Okla. — Payne County residents will have the opportunity to learn about one of their own at the next Payne County Historical Society meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Internationally-known jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker will be the topic of an address by guest speaker Bruce Guthrie.

Society President Mary Jane Warde said she heard Guthrie’s presentation at the Oklahoma Historical Society’s annual meeting a few years ago in Miami. The theme had been “popular culture.”

“Chet Baker was from Yale and it may have been somebody that people in Payne County knew,” Warde said on her reasoning for asking Guthrie to speak.

Baker was a talented individual known within the U.S. and in Europe, but dealt with personal demons. Warde said YouTube videos of his performances can be searched for and enjoyed.

“He had a rather difficult life, but he did make some good music,” Warde said.

She said it’s important that residents of Payne County know that others like them have gone on to be very prominent in different fields.

“One of the things that I would like to do and am trying to do as I serve as president is to talk about topics from a lot of the different communities in Payne County to bring more people in by trying to appeal to people from Cushing, Yale and folks who may not know about the Iowa Tribe; to say that everyone’s history is important,” she said. “Every community is part of Payne County and they have something to offer.”

Guthrie is also a musician and works with Baker’s son and family to protect his music and reputation as a performer.

The meeting is free to attend.

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