Audrey Morris

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This has certainly been quite the week. I spent some time in Arkansas visiting my godfather, who is quite sick. I was very lucky to be able to spend this time with him. However, before I made my way to Arkansas, I got to surprise a very special lady.

Audrey Morris, a Chicago native, has been on the jazz scene for decades. My Dad used to see her play at the London House. They became fast and lifelong friends. She's been in my life since I was born, and of course became my "Auntie Audrey". I always had the best time when I would get to see her. We were just kids at heart and got into lots of mischief. Her dear friend, Paul Marinaro, decided that she should be honoured in her home city where she is so greatly loved. A few years in the making, the tribute finally came to life last Thursday at Katerina's .

The evening was filled with a variety of wonderful artists, and great music. The plot behind me being there was that I was going to surprise her, and read a letter than Dad had written to her almost 10 years ago. I walked in, and hid at a table in the back, menu covering my face (apologies to people I must have made nervous when making their way in) until the night started, and I could be sure she wouldn't walk past and see me. Paul read a blog post that my Dad had done all about his "Chicago Landlady" and then called me up. Audrey let out her signature "WHAT!" and I made my way up past the bar to give her a hug! It was so much fun for me to surprise her like that and finally see her after all these years.

During the second half of the show, we enjoyed a fantastic slideshow that Paul had put together for the evening of photos of Audrey throughout her life, set to her singing "These Foolish Things". All in all, it was an incredible evening. I can't express how happy I was to be able to be there and hear the music and see Audrey. I had never heard Paul sing before, and let me tell you, he truly is one of a kind. He has an incredible "old soul" kind of voice. You can hear Nat King Cole in his voice right away. I'm very much looking forward to hearing him in Toronto one day (subtlety never was my strong point... you hear that, Paul? ;) ).
Céline, Paul, and Audrey - Oct. 13
Photo by: John Morris

For a small glimpse of the evening, please visit:  for videos of performances from Paul, and of course, Audrey.

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