Grand Old House jazzed for Brac hurricane relief

It has oft been said that music can soothe the savage beast, yet it would seem it can also do much to assist in the recovery efforts on the Sister Islands.

Velvet Touch

Velvet Touch had the audience in the palm of their hands.

Grand Old House recently hosted an evening of jazz to benefit the recovery efforts on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

The event was the brainchild of Martin Richter, general manager of Grand Old House, Brian Hollenbaugh, marketing manager of dms Broadcasting and Tony Catalanotto, sales manager of Rainbow Realty. Organised by Rotary Sunrise in association with all the other Rotary clubs in Grand Cayman, the event took a mere 12 days to put together from inception to execution.

The organisers contacted a variety of local musicians and groups to contribute to the evening and were pleasantly surprised by the response they received.

‘It was amazing the outpouring of support from the island’s elite local musicians,” said Hollenbaugh.

With ticket sales going well, the organisers knew they were on to a good thing, but even they could never have imagined the turnout on the night of the event. Over 375 people attended, keeping Richter and his staff busy all through the evening.

The evening included hors d’oeuvres and a glass each of champagne, but it was the music and ambience of Grand Old House that drew the crowds.

The widely diverse collection of acts contributing to the evening included ICCI and Glen Inanga, Cool School, Lyannes Valdes on Piano and Gary Ebanks on saxophone, Velvet Touch, the Cayman National Orchestra, Gary Ebanks Jazz Ensemble, as well as an a cappella octet.

With such a wide variety of performers taking the stage at an outdoor venue, Bob Langford who managed the sound and setup had a very busy evening as every performer had different sound requirements.

For Grand Old House the event was bitter sweet as well, as their 100-year celebration had to be postponed as Paloma arrived in Grand Cayman the very night the celebration was scheduled to have taken place. However, Richter could not have been happier with the outcome of the evening.

‘Grand Old House is part of the community celebrating its 100th anniversary and there couldn’t have been a more perfect evening, listening to the most talented musicians on the Island and at the same time assisting in the rebuild of Cayman Brac,’ said Richter.

Catalanotto thoroughly enjoyed his evening and said the results more than justified all the effort the organisers had put into the event.

‘Wow, what a great event. Thanks to all of the entertainers that volunteered their time for free, the over 350 in attendance had a great time!’ he said.

It is estimated that the evening raised in excess of I$12,500 in support of the Brac relief efforts.

Grand Old House hosts regular jazz evenings every Thursday from 6pm to 9pm.