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Dani Elliott is a NYC-based writer who brings a refreshing, soulful energy to today’s musical forefront. Deriving her inspiration from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Amel Larrieux, Jill Scott, & Minnie Ripperton, she has created an unmistakably original sound combining vintage influences with current sensibilities. After receiving a B.F.A. at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, Dani embarked on her journey into songwriting, as well as performing as a backing vocalist with artists such as Sheryl Crow, Amos Lee, The Roots, M.I.A., Aaron Neville, & Wheatus. These artists & experiences influenced her as a songwriter as well as an artist and inspired Dani to pursue a career playing her original music. Since the 2010 release of her EP, “Take It Back”, Dani has been steadily garnering new fans and with the impending release of her upcoming EP “Make Me Love You”, she will strongly continue to steadily pull at the ears of today’s listeners.

Recap: Red, White And Brew Fest 2013 In Nashville

The Flea Marketeers. Photo Credit: Dani Elliott

The Flea Marketeers. (Photo Credit: Dani Elliott)

You couldn’t have concocted a more beautiful day in your wildest dreams for the 2013 Red, White & Brew Fest than this past Saturday, August 24. With the sun shining bright in the waning afternoon of late summer, a breeze-filled pavilion with great food and drink, a grassy yard that invited you to take off your shoes and play a good old game of  bean bag toss and the perfect musical accompaniment by gypsy jazz band, The Flea Marketeers, how could you go wrong?

The Red, White, & Brew Fest is put on by The Community Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for The Tomorrow Fund, a component fund of TCF. TCF usually puts on two fundraisers a year, typically in the spring and late summer, to benefit The Tomorrow Fund, which lays the groundwork for future leaders of middle Tennessee’s philanthropic efforts through service and committee based grant making.

Nashville Sweets Maple Candy Bacon (left) & Pumpkin Cheesecake (right) cakes. Photo Credit: Dani Elliott

Nashville Sweets Maple Candy Bacon (left) & Pumpkin Cheesecake (right) cakes. (Photo Credit: Dani Elliott)

There were some fantastic vendors who lent their services to this year’s Fest held at the East-Centric Pavilion. Present, was a plentiful variety of food, however, it would be great to see a few more brews at next year’s fest. Nashville’s own Yazoo Dos Peros Ale was in attendance, but the beer pickings were on the slim side with only two or so other choices available. However, what lacked in beer, was definitely made up for in flavorful food.

Glaze Gourmet (gluten free) Donuts. Photo Credit: Dani Elliott

Glaze Gourmet (gluten free) Donuts. (Photo Credit: Dani Elliott)

Let’s get to dessert first! Of course everyone’s favorite ice cream store, Jeni’s, was there to help cool down the festival goers, but there were some other great up and coming local vendors bringing their own brand of sweet to the day. One standout was Glaze Gourmet Donuts, who served up a mini-doughnut delight with my personal favorite: warm banana tarragon and carrot cardamom sugar toppings. Also raising blood-sugar levels was Nashville Sweets, who just opened their own storefront this month, and showed us what they’re all about with delicious cake samples in the way of maple candy bacon and pumpkin with creme cheese frosting. Both Glaze and Nashville Sweets are available for private events if you have a wedding, birthday party, or a bad day…

The Hot Spot "Twisted Chicken" & fennel slaw. Photo credit: Dani Elliott

The Hot Spot “Twisted Chicken” & fennel slaw. (Photo Credit: Dani Elliott)

On the savory side, Chago’s Cantina showed off their tender pulled pork taco with classic toppings of onion, cilantro and can’t-go-wrong salsa verde. Two eateries that brought the heat, were Yeast Nashville and The Hot Spot, the latter run by Music City Food Truck Association President Kenneth Robinson. Yeast did not disappoint with their Yazoo Amber Ale beer bread featuring jalapenos and sharp cheddar cheese, while The Hot Spot kicked things up with their “Twisted Chicken”– southern fried chicken with Jamaican dry seasoning and Asian sauce (what kind of Asian sauce it is exactly seems like a secret, but I’m going to take a stab at a take on Sriracha) complimented by fennel coleslaw.

If you missed Red, White & Brew this year, and would like to make a contribution to The Tomorrow Fund, you can visit cfmt.org to make a tax deductible donation. Make sure you get the food along with your donation next year!

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