The Best Of…
Helane’s favorites and highlights from Over 300 Performances
since 2001 including guests' notes:
Best Wedding: Rodeo Rob and Cathy’s Wedding “The Best is Yet to Come”
Best Corporate Events: Hogan and Hartson Christmas Gala, Georgetown Medical School Alumni Gala USBG food!! by David at Three Citron
Best innovations: My best songs with Hod O’Brien were for the Clifton Inn’s Proprietors and during the Summer concert at The Station Restaurant
Best Festival: Monticello Wine Trail Festival
Best One Nighter: Loft 11 Reception for Destination Planners
Best Guest Appearances: Late night with the Loston Harris Trio at Bemelman’s Bar, The Carlysle Hotel, Madison Avenue, NY.
Most Outstanding Radio Play, KSDS San Diego’s “The Best New Thing In Jazz” with Vince Outlaw, KUNV Las Vegas-John Nasshan and Gig Brown, KMUW Friday Night Special with Barry Gaston, WBGO Boston with Archie , WPFW Washington DC.
Best Personal Concert favorites: Eric Bibb, at the Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, Va., Aisha Hosley at the Swing 46, Restaurant Row, Manhattan, Nneena Freelon at the Jazz Journalists Association Awards dinner at BB Kings, Manhattan.
Start of the Eldar Pilgrimage and Dizzy’s jazz Café with John Hammond and Cheryl
Best Press Review, Dick in Sacramento,
Best Dressed Guests at a Helane Fontaine Gig: Lockheed Martin VIP Reception
Best Three Night Series: United States Botanic Gardens Holiday “Sentimental Journey”
Best One Nighter: International Society of Event Planners, At DC Armory with Art Hirahara, Elias Bailey, and all those laser beams around me… the Party of all Parties…
Best Local Charlottesville Gig: Gravity Lounge CD Release Party Over 100 of the greatest fans a girl could ever have.
Best Festival: Summer Music Festival Series in Manassas with Bob Meyer, Bob Bowen and Mark Carson best selection: a duet with my 3 year old niece, “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover” Most Jitterbuggers on the dance floor! Most Albums sold and longest line for Autographed Posters!
Best Guest Appearances: The Lenox Lounge, Harlem, Up Over Jazz Café, Flatbush.
Best Concerts: Catching Randy Napoleon’s gig with The Clayton Hamilton Orchestra show at The jazz Standard, and meeting Ms. Joanne Ricks. Lunches at the Julliard Cafeteria, Lincoln Center. Seeing Michael Feinstein at with Jim Carroll’s Monday Night Cast Party at Birdland. Being inspired by Andy Spade and friends at Loston’s show at Bemelman’s.
Despite equipment failure, I loved singing for Nina May’s Ballroom Inauguration
Best Press: Taiwan, Bennie Scarton’s interview in the Journal Messenger.
Best Photo: John Mason
Best Radio Sponsored Promotion Gig: KMUW Jazz Night Wichita Kansas with Barry Gaston
Best Festival: Salina Kansas Riverfest, two shows performing in front of 20,000 and three shows with 3500 in the Jazz Tent, we sold over 150 CDs, received the greatest reception of the year the most enthusiastic and dedicated fans! We love you guys.
Best Weddings: Shirley Plantation and The Virginia House
Best One Nighter: AOL/Time Warner Holiday Gala, sort of Opening for the Smithereens, as my Quartet was performing only steps from their stage.
Books and Books in Miami, Landon Nordeman, Jonathon Rose
Best 9 month residency: The Greenbriar Resort, Helane Fontaine at the Old White Lounge, and opportunity to develop a broad repertoire of over 400 tunes to keep each night fresh and non repetitive, thirty ball gowns and learned a gazillion great jazz and pop requests, learned the nuance of set lists to get people dancing from song number three, learned to entertain with chatter and humor when appropriate! It was my greatest joy to learn so much from so many of the old masters and young lions, since I had flexibility in the budgeting and choosing the trios and quartets, we were always able to keep the audience excited with new energy and dynamics by rotating the backup bands, adding a horn or guitarist on bigger nights, softening it up on lighter nights, and usually after 11, we were able to let go and really try our new material out for the die hard fans. Mambo and blues became real to me for the first time.
Guest Jazz Musician Roster, Loston Harris, Hod O’Brien, Art Hirahara, Landon Nordeman, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hawkins, Elias Bailey, Karl Kimmel, Bob Bowen, Royce Campbell, Marlon Foster, Drex Weaver, Scott Logsdon, Robbie Sinclair,
Best Piano version of Blue Suede Shoes: Dave Ferguson
Personal Musical Highlights of the Season: All the Way, Stardust, That’s All, Let’s Stay Together, Loston’s “In Crowd” groove, Rap version of “Never Make a Move too Soon” with a mean sidewinder groove by Elias. Women Be Wise for a special lady with a new aquamarine Bracelet. Crystal slippers by Stuart Weitzman, William Wrigley’s comical attendance at the show where the power went out”.
Best Press: Chris Morin
Best Photo: Willie Lora, Willis Coyle
Best Festival: Massanutten Ski Resort Series, Cool Summer Nights
Best Steadys: Weekly Jazz Dinner Series with Loston Harris at The Foggy Bottom Café of the River Inn inWashington DC. And Hero’s Jazz Restaurant in Northern Virginia. Monthly Jazz Night Series at Keswick Hall, Best guest Artist: Larry Eanet
Best Wedding: for Chuck Eades and Bride in Lynchburg, Va.
Best Guest Appearances: The Ice House Café, with Easy Smith Quartet, Herndon, Va.
Chez Papa 5th arrondissement, Paris, France. With Ahmet
Best One Nighter: ISES Annual Awards Gala, Dream Nightclub, Washington DC.
Best Radio Sponsored Gig: WTJU Live in Studio Broadcast, Charlottesville, Va.
Best Photos: Lance Brenner