DOB Unknown – November 13, 2011
Yvonne Fasnacht was an accomplished New Orleans clarinet and saxophone player, as well as the proprietor of Dixie’s Bar Of Music, one of the city’s most revered jazz clubs. Fasnacht first learned to play her instruments while attending trade school, and before she knew it, she was playing in such all girl outfits as Southland Rhythm Girls and the Smart Set. These gigs afforded her the opportunity to tour the US and even appear in a Hollywood short film. In 1949, Fasnacht opened Dixie’s Bar of Music which quickly became one of New Orleans’ hottest clubs where rich and poor; gay and straight; and celebrity and common folk could all co-mingle and have a good time. The club has been cited as one of the country’s first openly gay bars, and it was Fasnacht who created a safe and accepting environment, even in the face of local authorities who raided the joint fairly regularly. The club, which operated until 1964, became a magnet for Hollywood elite as well. It was not uncommon to find the likes of Truman Capote, Rock Hudson, Gore Vidal, or Danny Kaye sitting at a table. The club’s place in New Orleans history is so well-regarded, that the 35-foot mural of jazz greats that hung on one of its walls is now on display at the New Orleans US Mint as part of the Louisiana State Museum. As reported by WWLTV, Yvonne Fasnacht passed away on November 13, 2011. She was 101.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.