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Kevin Eubanks to perform at OKC’s Charlie Christian music festival

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Since leaving "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" a year ago, Kevin Eubanks has refocused on music, with a new album and Thursday show at the Civic Center as part of Oklahoma City's Charlie Christian International Music Festival.
Kevin Eubanks
For 18 years, Kevin Eubanks and his guitar came right into America's living room through the television set.

On Thursday, the former music director of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" will bring his eclectic musical interests, tight-knit band and, yes, his guitar to the Civic Center Music Hall to perform as part of the 26th annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival.

“Our concert is probably more energetic than people think, and we like to play. And I think it shows," Eubanks said with a laugh during a phone interview last week from California's Central Coast, where he was getting ready to take a walk on the beach. “We have a lot of fun and the music can get pretty intense."

At the same time, Eubanks, 53, said fans can expect him to get “kind of romantic" on some of his solos. “I think that's creeping more and more into my playing, too, or just more into my life in general, just appreciating things like ocean walks," the musician/composer said. “I like seeing that in the music, too, because that just means I'm more a part of it all."

He has more time for strolls on sandy shores since he left “The Tonight Show" a year ago, though not enough to make his isolated coastal getaway his full-time home.

“Oh, it was just 18 years," he said with a laugh, explaining his departure from television. “I just wanted a different pace in my life. It was just kind of a natural thing to have happen. It wasn't a big traumatic thing, (but) it was a really difficult decision to make. And I miss it to this day. But you know, people go through different times in their lives, and you just have to the answer the call sometimes."

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