Guest Editor Susie Criner owns Gulf Coast Entertainment, a high-end entertainment booking agency based in Houston. She also has a new music venture called Music With Friends, which brings legendary performers to an intimate setting, three times a year. From the 1970s to early 2000s, she and her husband Sanford pioneered businesses along Washington Ave., including Rockefeller’s, which presented such greats as Ray Charles, BB King, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Matthews and Garth Brooks, to name a few. When she is not in Houston, she is likely in Maine or playing with her three grandsons.
Fredericka Hunter and Ian Glennie own my favorite gallery in Houston. My husband Sanford and I have been patrons since we were newlyweds and have purchased some of our most beloved works from them, including the Pat Steir painting that we built our new
Carl Palazzolo’s Studio
One of my best friends, Carl Palazzolo, is a fabulous artist who is represented by galleries in NYC and Houston. His studio in Houston is one of the coolest and coziest places I know. If you are lucky enough to go for a studio visit, ask for Carl’s perfect espresso and some Boz Scaggs on the hi-fi.
Ever since Lyle played our club Rockefeller’s back in the 80’s, I have adored and admired him. Sanford and I recently went to Beaumont with friends to see him perform alongside another favorite, John Hiatt, at the beautiful Jefferson Theatre. We have brought him to town for several galas and last year for Music With Friends.
Hermann Park’s Hat Luncheon
Sanford has been involved in Hermann Park for years. He and I were invited to NY Central Park’s Hat Luncheon one year, and we thought, “Why couldn’t we do this in Houston, too?” So we suggested it to the Park and co-chaired the first hat luncheon over ten years ago. Now, the event is a staple of the Park’s special events calendar and my favorite luncheon of the year.
New Year’s Day
We have hosted a New Year’s Day party at our home for the past 15 years. I love ringing in the first day of the year with dear friends and, of course, fabulous music. This year we had Thunderado, the Hustlers Brass Band and Beatrice Ward’s Angelic Voices. In years’ past we have had Kermit Ruffins, Yvonne Washington, Harry Sheppard, Marcia Ball, the Bells of Joy and others. Great music and great champagne and best pals – what more could a gal ask for?