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.