Don Hough is the leader of the Don Hough Octet.
It wasn’t just the temperature that was hot on a recent Sunday afternoon in West Knoxville! It was the vibe and the excitement as supporters of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra got together at Maple Grove Estate for a fundraiser for the organization.
The Don Hough Octet threw down for two sweltering hours and, I swear, despite being drenched in sweat, the attendees could not get the silly grins off their faces. It was a combination of being together with friends in a beautiful outdoor location and the delight in some darn fantastic music.
Members of the Jazz Orchestra’s board of directors brought desserts and wine to the event, and I appreciate my friend Tom Shaw going to extra trouble to be sure my favorite libation was available! In addition to Don Hough, other members of the octet include Stewart Cox on trumpet, Will Boyd and Tom Johnson on saxophones, Ben Dockery on piano, Larry Vincent on guitar, Dave Slack on bass and Keith Brown on drums. Kelle Jolly dazzled, as usual, on vocals.
Maple Grove Estate, located at 8800 Westland Drive, was built in 1799 by Rev. Samuel Graham Ramsey. It includes 10,000 square feet and is situated on 15.5 acres.
The performance was on the back patio.
We, like these folks, were fortunate to snag some seats in the shaded interior.
From left, front row: Larry Vincent, Don Hough, Stewart Cox, Will Boyd and Tom Johnson. From left, in rear: Keith Brown, Dave Slack and Ben Dockery.
Standing, from left: Harvey and Karen White with Chris Hill. Seated: Sheena McCall and Jon Agazzi.
Vance Thompson is the founder and leader of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. He is joined here by daughter, Sophia, and wife, Emily.
From left, Ron Lawrence, Jan Bechtel, Carolyn Lawrence, Tom and Evelyn Shaw.
Rebecca and Nick Cazana.
Judy Morman, left, and Glo Klarich.
Haha. I asked Nancy Voith and Kenneth Stark to get close together for a picture and he hopped on her lap!
And then he hopped on the lap of Natalie Dowling, who was sitting with Gayle Bustin!
More goofiness! Baron Bustin, left, and Kevin Grimac.
Knox County Commission Chairman Larsen Jay, left, with Bob Lederer.
Laura Pippin was a knock-out!
From left, Victoria Daniel-Cape, Kathy “Chappy” Brennan, Annelle Neel and Pandy Anderson.
Edie and Gil Volk.
Elisabeth Rukeyser and my hubs, Alan Carmichael.
Her hubs, William Rukeyser, with Will Boyd.
Stewart Cox, left, with Keith Brown on drums and Will Boyd.
It was a wonderful day that gave great hope for a thrilling artistic season ahead in Knoxville. Please get vaccinated, everybody, so we can keep having good times like these!
Here’s a sample of Kelle Jolly as she wraps up a rendition of “The A Train:”