On Friday evening I went to the 11th Annual Ladies in Red Galla. Rick, one of my hosts in New Orleans, chaired the event, and was kind enough to invite me along. The invitation read, “Wear Jazz (red) cocktail attire.” Sadly, I do not own anything red, so I opted to wear a solid blue dress in hopes of complimenting the sea of red dresses that I was going to wade through throughout the night. When I first arrived at the party, I was the only one not wearing a red dress. Opps. Throughout the event, more and more women in non-red dresses arrived.
The Ladies in Red Galla was held at Generations Hall in the warehouse district. The event was organized to honor jazz musicians and intuitions who support New Orleans jazz artists. This year Maynard Chatters, Thais Clark, Wendell Eugene, and Daniel Farrow were honored for their musical talents. While Jan Ramsey of OffBeat magazine, Preservation Hall and Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro were recognized institutions. Miss Thais was a character. Boy, did she have a voice!! She sang "Wild Women," and I was blown away by her charisma. Another woman named Germaine Bazzle sang a few songs, and she had a wonderful jazz voice! Youtube her! In addition to these women, The George French Band as well as The Brass-o-holics performed a few sets. Bravo!
We danced, and danced some more (Germaine Bazzle has some moves!) There were a few New Orleans-style parasols that were passed along with scores of red boas. Everyone was having a great time, and Rick taught me how to Cha-Cha and Jitterbug! While I was dancing with the huge crowd of passionate New Orleanians, I definitely had one of those moments where I thought, I love New Orleans, I really really love New Orleans.
The food was great too! Many of New Orleans' finest establishments donated food including Dooky Chase’s, The Praline Connection on Frenchmen Street, and Pralines by Jean…and Cupcakes Too. I was so lucky to be introduced to Dooky Chase himself (as in, the son of Leah Chase), as well as Carol Allen, the woman who wrote Leah Chase’s biography. She was super kind and wants to introduce me to Leah this week!