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Wed, August 8, 2012
"My greatest claim to fame is that I discovered Bricktop before Cole Porter." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
The indisputable queen of Jazz Age Paris nightlife was Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith, known to the world then and now simply as "Bricktop". Bricktop got her start (and her nickname, due to her red hair) at Barron's Exclusive in Harlem and moved to Paris in 1924 at the invitation of Gene Bullard, who had just opened his club Le Grand Duc on that corner of Rue Pigalle and Rue Fontaine in Montmartre. Over the next 16 years, first at Le Grand Duc and then at a series of her own clubs, she hosted the most luminous of Paris Jazz Age scene, from Scott Fitzgerald and T. S. Eliot to (for a brief period) the Montparnasse avant garde to, finally and most prominantly the worlds of Cole Porter, Noel Coward and the Prince of Wales.
The 2012 OFAM jazz party pays tribute to Bricktop and those golden years at Montmartre, with vocals by Clairdee, Byron Stripling and Ian Whitcomb and plenty of hot jazz and cabaret representative of period. The format for the evening will be our usual jazz party: top-ticketed cabaret seating down front of the 21+ main floor, and reserved seating for all ages up in the balcony, with a full bar in the Tykeson Lobby. We will not be getting going, thankfully, at midnight, but at the far more civilized (for us!) hour of 8:00 pm. And while formal wear is not required, in the spirit of the event, it is encouraged, especially for those who opt for the Gold Circle cabaret seating.
As usual, the evening's program will be shaped by what you, the audience most want to hear from the proposed program list! Be prepared for a relaxed evening featuring some of the best standards-based jazz anywhere...with plenty of great singing.