New Orleans Jazz Museum's Improvisations Gala. Photo by Kim Welsh

New Orleans Jazz Museum hosts 2019 Improvisations Gala

On December 7, 2019, The New Orleans Jazz Museum hosted the second annual Improvisations Gala. Improvisations kicked off in the Jazz Museum’s intimate performance venue with an exclusive Patron Party, featuring cuisine by Ruth’s Chris, cocktails, and private musical performances by Grammy award winners Dee Dee Bridgewater and Christian McBride, along with Adonis Rose, Detroit Brooks, and Shea Pierre.

“We are so excited to continue our expansion at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and offer a wonderful lineup at our second annual Improvisations Gala, as well as food from some of our leading local restaurants, all set within Sound Collage, a Luna Fête celebration of light and music,” said New Orleans Jazz Museum Director, Greg Lambousy.

The Improvisations Gala main party took place from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm throughout the galleries and grounds of the Jazz Museum, with an abundant mix of New Orleans’ finest cuisine and cocktails. The Gala featured entertainment by The Soul Rebels, The Pinettes Brass Band featuring Big Freedia, Lena Prima, Charmaine Neville, Trumpet Mafia, Meschiya Lake, Seth Finch Trio, Big Queen Mary Kay Stevenson of the Original Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians, Carol “Kit” Harris and N’awlins Dawlins Baby Dolls, and Treme-Lafitte Brass Band. Herlin Riley, Wendell Brunious, Shea Pierre, and special guest Stephanie Jordan who performed with Trombone Shorty Academy and students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Food offerings included specialties from Galatoire’s, Dickie Brennan & Company, Acme Oyster House, Monty’s on the Square, Desi Vega’s Steakhouse, Creole Cuisine, Mahony’s, Dorignac’s, Mr. B’s, Kajun Kettle, Katie’s, La Madeleine, Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar, 12 Seasons, Langenstein’s, Leidenheimer Bakery, Pigeon Catering & Events, Rocky & Carlos, Baker Maid, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, and other favorites.

2019 New Orleans Jazz Museum Gala

The Gala also featured a live and silent auction by Black Tie Auctions that included a wide array of coveted items, travel packages, VIP festival experiences, eclectic art, a fishing charter, in-home catering, fine jewelry, and much more.

Through a partnership with Arts Council New Orleans, LUNA Fête returned to the French Quarter to illuminate the grounds and gardens of the Jazz Museum for Improvisations, transforming its historic architecture into a playground of light, art, and music. This spectacular Sound Collage celebration featured illuminated installations, digital sculptures, video-mapping projections, art animated by technology and musical performances.

“The New Orleans Jazz Museum fills a role we locals have long felt needed filling, a place to celebrate and to disseminate the birth of jazz story,” said Randy Fertel, Improvisations Gala Steering Committee Co-Chair. “The Improvisations Gala, a great party with all that great music and food, reminds us that jazz began as entertainment, as fun, an aspect of the music never lost in New Orleans.”

All proceeds from Improvisations will further enhance exhibits, music programming, events and the Jazz Museum Education Center, allowing the Jazz Museum to globally promote jazz as one of the most innovative, historically pivotal musical art forms through highly-interactive exhibits, as well as support ongoing musical and educational programming.