Significant news out of Fitzgerald’s this afternoon, where highly respected sound engineer Lauren Oakes has apparently been tapped to run the historic venue once its existing partners depart to run the new White Oak Music Hall this fall.
Writing in Free Press Houston, the paper’s publisher Omar Afra says Oakes will take over once current Fitz partners Johnny So and Jagi Katial’s lease expires at the end of September. (Afra is a former partner in Fitz himself.) According to the story, Oakes plans to have Fitz up and running by October 1 after renovating the club’s sound and lighting system. Afra adds:
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It is great to see another hard-nosed female fulfill the time-honored tradition of women-run music venues in Houston. Think about it. Leila from Rudyard’s, Dawn from Last Concert Cafe, Pam from Walter’s (R.I.P), Marianna from Avant Garden: all bad bitches nots to be fucked wit.
In one aspect, the news is no surprise for regulars of the decades-old Heights music hall. Two years ago, Fitz came in at No. 3 of our list of best-sounding venues in Houston:
A lot about one of Houston's oldest venues has changed over the years, but one thing has not: the combination of the raised stage and the wood-framed house (never mind the wood floors) makes for a warm, wonderful listening experience upstairs. It also helps that the new sound system and engineers keep things humming right along without ever being ear-splitting.
The Press is in the process of setting up a conversation with Oakes, and looks forward to talking with her. Stay tuned…