Cool Gala

Da Camera mixes Mozart and Miles Davis at 'Birth of the Cool' gala

Da Camera mixes Mozart and Miles Davis at 'Birth of the Cool' gala

Andrew Thorington and Jennifer Spivack; Katherine and James Ormand at Da Camera Gala
Andrew Thorington and Jennifer Spivack, Katherine and James Ormand. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Collin Cox, Jacquelyn Cox at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Collin and Jacquelyn Cox. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Mimi Del Grande, Robert Del Grande at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Mimi and Robert Del Grande. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Kathryn McNiel; Ab Sengupta at Da Camera Gala
Kathryn McNiel, Ab Sengupta. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
David Hatch, Sarah Rothenberg at Da Camera Gala
David Hatcher, Sarah Rothenberg. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Garfield Johnson, Jakeen Johnson, Keisha Phillips. Felix Phillips at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Garfield and Jakeen Johnson, Keisha and Felix Phillips. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Heidi Gerger, David Gerger at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Heidi and David Gerger. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Callie Denbigh performs at the 2017 Da Camera Gala
Callie Denbigh performs "Darn That Dream." Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Eddie Allen, Chinhui Allen at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Eddie and Chinhui Allen. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Ginne McConn, Tim McConn at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Ginne and Tim McConn. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Ingrid Hunter; Luc Messier; Nico Roussel; Teresa Procter at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Ingrid Hunter, Luc Messier, Nico Roussel, Teresa Procter. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Bill Toomey, Courtney Toomey at Da Camera gala 2017
Bill and Courtney Toomey. Photo by Roswitha Vogler/Photos by Rovo
Andrew Thorington and Jennifer Spivack; Katherine and James Ormand at Da Camera Gala
Collin Cox, Jacquelyn Cox at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Mimi Del Grande, Robert Del Grande at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Kathryn McNiel; Ab Sengupta at Da Camera Gala
David Hatch, Sarah Rothenberg at Da Camera Gala
Garfield Johnson, Jakeen Johnson, Keisha Phillips. Felix Phillips at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Heidi Gerger, David Gerger at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Callie Denbigh performs at the 2017 Da Camera Gala
Eddie Allen, Chinhui Allen at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Ginne McConn, Tim McConn at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Ingrid Hunter; Luc Messier; Nico Roussel; Teresa Procter at 2017 Da Camera Gala
Bill Toomey, Courtney Toomey at Da Camera gala 2017

When Jacquelyn and Collin Cox moved to Houston 11 years ago from Washington, D.C., Jacquelyn recalls that she googled "jazz" and "Houston," and Da Camera popped up. "I breathed a sigh of relief," she said.

As the event chairs for the 2017 Da Camera Gala at The Astorian, the couple paid tribute to the organization's jazz roots by noting the 60th anniversary of the classic Miles Davis Birth of the Cool album, along with Da Camera's strong commitment to classical music.

As part of the evening's entertainment, Ingrid Hunter and Wesley Ducote performed Mozart's Violin Sonata No. 18 in G Major while Callie Denbigh sang the classic Miles Davis jazz song, "Darn That Dream," accompanied by David Connor and Ben Morris. They are all members or alums of the Da Camera Young Artist Program.

"We're a very unusual organization," Da Camera artistic and general director Sarah Rothenberg said, noting the group's milestone 30th anniversary this year. "We're actually one of the first series in the country to bring together chamber music and jazz with such serious commitment to both of those art forms."

Before dinner, guests sipped ginger blossom cocktails and bid on silent auction items, including a private wine tasting with master sommelier David Keck, a painting by Tierney Malone (who also did double duty as DJ for the evening), a private home recital by Rothenberg, and a backstage dinner during a Da Camera jazz concert. A curated "wine pull," in which guests paid to select a cork among those dangling from a tree and were rewarded with a surprise bottle of fine wine, proved to be a popular fundraiser.

Guests dined on spring salad, persillade encrusted halibut with cauliflower and celery root puree, and red velvet cake, prepared and catered by A Fare Extraordinare, and then later worked off the calories on the dance floor to a special DJ set of classic jazz records from Malone, with the downtown Houston skyline in the distance.

Seen in the crowd were Chinhui and Eddie Allen, Debbie and Kent Chenevert, Mimi and Robert Del Grande, Beatrice and Gregory Graham, Elaine and Marvy Finger, Heidi and David Gerger, Claudia and David Hatcher; Da Camera board president Paul Landen and his wife Carolyn, Karen and David Jewell, Adriana and Michael Mann, Laura Devitt and Steve Massad, Luc Messier, Kathryn McNiel, Frances and Walter Pagel, Krystal and Garrett Thompson, Nancy and Steve Thorington, Courtney and Bill Toomey, and Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner.