Bar none, my best New Years Eve ever! We got gussied up and went down to Jimmy Mak’s, a longtime Portland jazz club in the Pearl District, and enjoyed seeing our friend, legendary jazz and soul singer Shirley Nanette, who I’ve known since I was a girl of 17, headline the show (and who blog readers might remember sang at our wedding), preceded by the fantastic Richard Arnold, backed by the legendary drummer Mel Brown and his fabulous musicians. We cocktailed (a little), we noshed (a bit), we sang along, we laughed, we cozied up, and we even danced a slow dance before the night was over. And an extra awesome bit? The phenomenally talented, Grammy-winning, Portland-raised Esperanza Spalding stopped by at the end!
We got gussied up, me in a black dress with xexy knee boots and my great-grandmother’s jade broach, and my honey in (his idea) donned a dark purple shirt and black tie and of course his signature cap.
Kicking it off with a favorite cocktail which has different names around the country – here it’s usually called a Chambord Kamikaze, but in Seattle it’s a Grape Nehi, in SoCal it’s a Purple Hooter, and at JM’s a ‘Razzatini’ (aka raspberry martini) – and of course for my hubby, a local Oakshire Espresso Stout.
And my gal Shirley knocking my socks off (and everyone else’s) even more than usual, showing off her R&B roots and crazy powerful vocals with Dancing in the Streets then bringing me to tears with her soulful rendition of Since I Fell For You – and much more.
And the icing on the cake? Esperanza Spalding, who was playing shows downtown with the symphony (who, ironically, I almost got tickets for until I found out about Shirley’s gig), dropped by near the end of the night and the two of them singing bits of You Send Me to each other was adorable 🙂 If you don’t know who she is, just watch her Kennedy Center Honors performance that was on TV this week.
our first new year’s eve as married peeps! (note: it’s fuzzy because we took this selfie with no flash as we both think it’s horribly rude for people in restaurants & other darker venues to use flashes on their cameras/phones.)