Saxaphonist Alex Thompson is one of the 17 members of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra.
If it’s October, it must be time for one of the most enjoyable fundraisers of the season. “Evening Under the Stars” is a night of great music, great food and great camaraderie. And, as a big bonus, here’s what it DOES NOT have: a silent auction, a live auction, speeches or heart-tugging videos. Isn’t that refreshing?
The super fun and low-key event is held at the beautiful lakeside home of Sherri Lee and features the music of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, which is the beneficiary of the soiree. Nancy Kendrick of Creative Catering does the delicious food, and the wine is generously provided by Randy Burleson and Bistro by the Tracks.
The big news for the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra right now is the recording of a new CD to celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary. The collection includes some of the orchestra’s favorite arrangements from throughout the years and some of its favorite guest artists. A release party is set for next week.
Vance Thompson and his family. From left, daughters Maria and Sophia and wife, Emily. Thompson, a trumpeter, arranger and composer, founded the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra in 1999. Moxley Carmichael is honored to be a sponsor.
Susan Seymour, left, with Alan Carmichael and Jan Bechtel, the chair of the orchestra’s board of directors.
R.J. Hinde, left, with Sara Rose and John Winemiller. Sara and John are on the board.
Mingling before dinner, from left, Michael Searcy, Carolyn Leahy, Cheryl Light and Dr. Doug Leahy.
Other guests enjoying the gathering time were, from left, Lolita Kressin, Townsend and Connie Collins, Kay Clayton and Bob Lederer, a board member.
Here’s our generous hostess, Sherri Lee, right, with Dr. Jack and Sylvia Lacey.
My awesome dentist (and friend), Dr. Jan Henley with John Diasmore.
Evelyn Shaw with her cute granddaughter, Olivia.
Vance Thompson’s parents, Don and Janet Thompson.
Board member Cindy Hassil was in charge of photographs. Here she poses with fellow board member Tom Shaw.
Great seeing our friends Rebecca and Nick Cazana.
And Bob and Becky Paylor.
Miles Davis and Nancy Kendrick of Creative Catering of Knoxville. I always smile when I see that company’s name on an invitation because you know the food will be excellent.
And here’s my very favorite appetizer they offer: mini crab cakes with lemon aioli!
Others raved about the charcuterie display.
I always like to take a little walk around Sherri’s fantastic yard. Here’s the pool and pool house in the back.
And a view of the cove.
These young people were doing the same thing. So I had them pose in front of the lovely back of the house. From left, Ben and Karly McMurry, Aline Thaller and Andrea Redman.
Back under the tent, dinner was being served. First course was arugula with an encrusted goat cheese crouton and lemon thyme vinaigrette. Delish.
Awaiting the next course were, from left, Carolyn and Ron Lawrence with Spencer and Karine Smith.
And Lisa and Dr. John Shanahan.
It was a great crowd.
Including Glo Klarich, center, with Elisabeth and William Rukeyser, a longtime board member.
Entree was a fabulous filet with tri-color roasted carrots and purple Peruvian potatoes with chopped chives.
Orchestra members Stewart Cox, left, and Keith Brown taking a break.
Two hundred creme brulees being assembled.
They were topped with fresh berries, which makes them healthy, right?
Singer Kelle Jolly rocked it.
A little dancing.
A little more dancing. Here are Mark and Cathy Hill.
And, good night! A perfectly fun evening.
I leave you with a little Kelle Jolly: