Jazz Day - Charlie Christian

Today we’re grabbing our saxophones and guitars to play some jazz music! We love all kinds of music, but today we’re celebrating the bluesy and swing sounds of jazz.

Today’s theme is inspired by Oklahoma Hall of Fame Member Charlie Christian. His hometown is Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Christian came from a musical family and the group used to perform in neighborhoods to earn extra money. He first played the trumpet, but was playing a cigar box guitar that he made by himself when he was 12! At 23, Christian moved to California and began touring the country with the Benny Goodman Band. Christian passed away at a young age due to an illness, but he had already changed the sound of jazz forever! You can learn more by reading Charlie Christian’s Oklahoma Hall of Fame biography.

Want to learn more about Jazz music? This is a fun resource on the history of Jazz music and here you can learn about Jazz instruments. You can also learn about Oklahoma Hall of Fame Member Wayman Tisdale who was a Jazz musician (and basketball star!).

Fun fact about the Museum: We are fortunate enough to have Charlie Christian’s guitar on display in our Pioneer Spirit Exhibit! We can’t wait for you to see it when we open again!


Movie Time! This fun classic has all kinds of music in it: The Aristocats! You can rent and stream it here. Here’s a fun game you can play to learn about the sounds of Jazz and other styles of music.


Storytime! We love a book with sounds for all of us to make so we can read together! Squeak, Rumble, Whomp, Whomp, Whomp is one of our favorites to do just that. Here’s another fun one, Jazz Baby, for everyone to read together.


Arts & Crafts! This awesome kazoo craft is fun to make and you get to make your own music after you make it! You can also make a tambourine!

watermelon salsa.jpg

Make & Eat it! To listen to Jazz music, we just need a light treat while we sway to the tunes. Try this yummy and fresh watermelon salsa! Oklahoma Hall of Fame Member Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, has recipes for all kinds of tasty snacks and treats.

Listen to it! There are so many wonderful Jazz songs out there that we couldn’t pick just one! Here is a compilation of Jazz music just for kids. We’d be remiss if we didn’t share the music of Charlie Christian and Wayman Tisdale!

Chip Henderson Honors Charlie Christian

Keep learning more of Oklahoma’s Story! We hope that you have a fun time at home making your own music! As always, there’s more to this Oklahoma story, come back tomorrow and we’ll have more for you to explore! Please post pictures of your Jazz Day and share them with us: #ohofathome

We'd love to see the art you make! Share with us by emailing your name and a picture of your project to We can't wait to see your awesome crafts!

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