Live Music Movement Foundation in conjunction with DuVin Pintor Gallery presented A Holiday Jazz Party with Leslie Drayton and Friends. The Foundation’s last event of the year ended on a high note, no pun intended. If you’ve attended any past events at the former venue, you’ll definitely understand how DuVin Pintor set a different tone for the holiday musical experience. Located in Downtown Houston, DuVin Pintor is an art gallery with loads of personality and an eclectic variety of art. The new venue will help LMMF accomplish its commitments to “develop a multicultural and multigenerational audience…where guests can relax and participate in the musical presentation.”
The evening started with guests enjoying a limited menu catered by Hoot’s Smokehouse. During this time, guests engaged one another and were able to take in all the awe and wonder the gallery had to offer. DuVin Pintor is not your ordinary art gallery. It’s warm, inviting, stylish, and offers a chance to cozy up to the art. Guests were able to get close enough to survey the minutest details if they so desired. Paintings and sculptures, from the representational to abstract to non-objective were plentiful and featured well-known African Americans, flora and fauna, pop-culture, and much more.
The venue allowed guests to cultivate their own experience. There were those who chatted as the event got underway and those who socialized at the gallery’s wine bar. Some others toured the space and took in the fascinating artwork, while others enjoyed the music and ambiance from the comfort of their seats. And others were so moved that they got to their feet and danced and danced some more. There was more than enough space to move and groove, and enjoy the excellent music. The staff was professional, friendly and witty.
And then there was the music, Leslie Drayton and Friends didn’t disappoint. Mr. Drayton’s charm was on full display while briefly recounting his inspiration for writing original composition Respect for Lee, a tribute to jazz great Lee Morgan. The band effortlessly followed with a soft and beautiful composition titled I Love You dedicated to Leslie’s wife Kathy Drayton, founder and chairperson of Live Music Movement Foundation. Funky performances of Christmas classics Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Merry Christmas Baby encouraged the Christmas spirit and some funky dance moves from several guests. The band also played the quintessential African American Christmas anthem This Christmas by Donnie Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor. The band included Rodney Glover, saxophone; Weldon Scott, base; A. J. Moyer, keyboard; and Marcus Alexandar, drums.
As the evening came to a close, there was one last element of excitement. Guests were entered into a drawing to win some cool LMMF swag. Tonya Savioe, the night’s line dance leader, won and had this to say about her lucky win, “When they called my name I was listening to music and looking at the pictures; I was so excited because I don’t usually win things.”
Another guest, Mareeta Martin, had this to say “Very classy, very relaxing and enjoyable…jazz. The food was good. Everything was a great value, food, and admission.”
Live Music Foundation would like to thank DuVin Pintor proprietor Pierre O’Connor and staff, Hoot’s Smokehouse; and program sponsors Canal Health Care Solutions, and Priority Methodist Healthcare for their help making A Holiday Jazz Party with Leslie Drayton and Friends a success.
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