Olivia and Derek - The GM falls for the Jazz Musician...

How we met: Being a local jazz musician, I frequently get calls about playing for private parties, weddings, and special events. In the spring of 2009 I received a phone call from a local fine dining restaurant that was doing a “Wine and Jazz” event. It was an event for wine tasting where they would serve some of their food while having a live jazz band play in their outdoor amphitheater.

The general manager for the restaurant called early one spring afternoon and asked if I was available for a Sunday August 2nd gig for this event. With my band and I being practically full-time musicians, I of course asked what the pay would be. After hearing his unfortunate extremely low offer, I informed him that I would have to discuss the pay with my band and I would let him know if we’d be able to do the event. I normally will do a gig pay or not, but I had band mates that playing music was their sole source of income.

A few months passed and I had completely forgotten to call this manager and let him know that unfortunately my band could not do the gig. However, two days before the “gig” I got a Facebook message from a friend of mine that said “I can’t wait to see you play at the riverwalk wine and jazz event. Saw it advertised. I’ll be there!”

Of course I started freaking out a bit and realized that I had never called that restuarant manger back. He assumed I agreed to do the gig and started advertising for it. Having the heart I do, there was no way I could let him and his restaurant down after all the effort they put into promoting their event. So in two days I got a band together who agreed to play the show.

I remember meeting the general manger, Derek, for the first time that Sunday afternoon. He looked at me strangely and asked “You’re Olivia Duhon?” He laughingly admitted he thought I was a middle aged woman who sang jazz for fun and that he was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t what he thought. Later on I found out that during my show he told one of his employees “She had me at ‘At Last.’

To make a long story short, we kept in touch after the whole debacle of the “unknown gig” as I like to call it. We started dating and irrevocably fell in love. I find it scary to think how close we were to not ever meeting. Life is full of chance meetings, and you will never know how influential a few moments can be.

How He Asked: The date was Friday April 30th, 2010. I was scheduled to play a gig at Tulsa’s Premier Jazz Club, Ciao’s Primo Room. That day also ironically happened to be Derek’s mother’s birthday. Derek’s family went out to eat before the show and “decided to stop by” after dinner to watch for a little while since they were all in town. I thought it was a little strange that practically his entire family was there, but like Derek said, it was his mothers birthday and they were all out celebrating. After I finished my first set, I was asked to sing happy birthday for his mother upon which Derek walked up to the stage and took the microphone. He began talking about his mom and wishing her happy birthday. Before I knew it, the next thing I noticed, he was on one knee with a ring in his hand saying “in front of God and everyone, I’m asking you to marry me…” With the entire place clapping and shouting, I started to cry. Champagne was then handed out to everyone. Apparently all of our friends and family knew what was going to happen, except for me.

I am so thankful and so blessed to have someone who loves me so much. I’ve been through alot and having a partner to support and be there for me is priceless. I am beyond thankful, humbled and honored to have a man that loves me so much. I wish the very same for all the women in the world. When you find it, don’t ever let it go. Listen to your heart.

Photos by Imago Vita Photography.