Brad Walker, the leader of The Brad Walker Orchestra, dances with Christina Bancroft at Jazz Under the Stars.
Last year, every single one of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra‘s six major concerts was a sellout. So get your tickets now! And, in addition to the big shows, if you want even more jazz, plan on attending the jazz lunches at The Square Room on the first Wednesday of each month. Or the Tuesday night concerts by band leader Vance Thompson and The Marble City 5 every Tuesday night starting at 6:30, also at The Square Room. Wow. I can’t believe there is so much jazz. It’s just awesome.
The Jazz Orchestra season typically kicks off with a fun outdoor dinner-dance at the beautiful riverside home of Sherri Lee. Sometimes the weather gods are not kind and guests end up crammed into Lee’s garage to avoid the downpour. But this year, the early autumn evening was beautiful. The food was top-notch, catered by Nancy Kendrick. And the music was, of course, amazing.
Click here for a list of upcoming performances. Keep scrolling for a look at the Jazz Under the Stars party.
I love these hedges on the approach to Sherri Lee’s patio. Don’t they just say “fall” in this photograph?
Here’s what we came for: The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
Dr. Jan Henley, left, with John Diasmore and Susan Tate during cocktail hour.
Ben and Karly McMurry
Our host, Sherri Lee, left, with Jackie Wilson and Sheila Hill
From left, Joan Cronan, Betsey Bush and Cheryl Massingale
Barbara Bernstein, left, with Lisa Rukeyser Burn
Elisabeth and Bill Rukeyser with Coach Johnny Majors, right
Beautiful brie, fig and walnut tartlets were passed during the cocktail hour.
Alan Carmichael, left, and Richard Ford
Peter Acly and Ellen Robinson
My favorite canapes were these smoked salmon cheesecake bites!
From left, Kate Burn, Michelle Rukeyser and Chrissy Rukeyser
Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout
Caterer Nancy Kendrick also provided herb mushroom turnovers as a passed appetizer.
Melinda Meador and Milton McNally
Rev. Lillian Gaula, Rev. Charles Fels, center, and Bishop Given Gaula
Cathy and Mark Hill
From left, Cindy Hassil, John and Jenny Burns, Dawn Ford
Sid and Jo Blalock
After a salad of red and green leaf lettuce with roasted beets, pistachios, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette, this arrived: herb crusted filet, crab cake, roasted pepper compound butter, potato gratin and roasted asparagus with lemon. Yum.
It was a lovely scene at sunset.
Milton McNally displays the second most popular fluid of the night — after the wine, of course!
Dessert was flourless chocolate torte and fresh raspberries.
Which, of course, was the highlight of the night for my husband.
And then, dancing! Here are Barbara and Bernie Bernstein.
Lloyd and Betty Rose Adams
Dawn and Richard Ford after the sun set.
Jazz Orchestra leader Vance Thompson thanked the hosts.
Sheena McCall, here with Ken Levine, is the chair of the Jazz Orchestra’s board of directors.
The Jazz Orchestra’s concert season officially starts tonight with “A Big Bad Helping of the Blues with James Carter” at 8 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre downtown. As of this afternoon, there were a few tickets left. Get them while you can! Click here to order tickets. Or call 656-4444.
Big, Bad Helpin’ of the Blues with James Carter