Fried chicken and waffles with Ray Charles tunes humming through the gray matter — could there be a cooler start to the Memorial Day weekend?
Just ask members of the Houston Symphony's Young Professionals Backstage support group who proclaimed a certain southern pride with Friday night's "Salute to the South" activity. The evening began at Jones Hall for the symphony's Tribute to Ray Charles concert, a soulful homage to the late music legend, portrayed by the talent's former protogé Ellis Hall.
With tunes such as Georgia on My Mind and other Ray Charles hits tripping off their tongues, the throng headed post-concert to the popular Breakfast Klub for live music by Jack Edery & Ultra Suede and a feast of Breakfast Klub specialties.
The southern fare included fried chicken and waffles, catfish and grits, biscuits and gravy and a seasonal peach cobbler. To wash it all down, the paying customers were served classic Mint Juleps, spiked Arnold Palmers and cool brews from Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (Thank you Deep Eddy Vodka, Maker's Mark and Saint Arnold.)
Grooving on the late-night feast and musical fare were guests such as Heather Pray, Elizabeth Cleveland, Jonathan Cohen, Michael Coppens, Melissa Fitzgerald, Ewart Gladstone Jones Jr., Reema and Chris Kasavich, Sarah Meals, Gina Rotolo and Jason Price and Esther Steinfeld and Doug Freedman.
Also in the mix were a number of Houston Symphony musicians including Eric Larson, Kiju Joh, Julie Thayer, Sergei Galperin and Adam Dinitz.
Young Professionals Backstage is comprised of music enthusiasts under the age of 40 and provides them with behind-the-scenes access while encouraging up-front support of the symphony.