C For Men

CHRIS NORTON in a TOM FORD jacket, $3,740, trousers, $1,420, and shirt, $825. Hat, bow tie and shoes, stylist’s own.

The Entertainer

by slh

Chris Norton is the guy you want at your next party

Considering trumpeter, vocalist and bandleader Chris Norton is among the most in-demand performers in the industry—thanks to his brand of raw talent-backed, bygone-era showmanship—one might expect that his proposal to his fiancée, French fashion blogger and artist Garance Doré, would be flawless.

“Maybe it was charming because it was so not charming?” he suggests with a self-deprecating laugh, of popping the question during the Venice Beach-based couple’s vacation to Mexico two years ago. “I’d been holding onto the ring for two months and I was a mess. I could not keep my cool. I ran to my suitcase like a kid and grabbed the ring and mumbled, ‘Will you marry me?’ I didn’t have a flash mob or a string quartet.”

He’s decidedly more strategic at work, be it leading his namesake ensemble at high-profile events, such as Chopard’s 2016 Cannes Film Festival party or multiple Whitney Galas; playing jazz standards mixed with pop for heads of state including former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton (the latter of whom joined him for a duet); or performing at weddings for the likes of Albert Gore III and his bride, Brittany Toscano.

“Sometimes I’ll start with a ballad, say, ‘Let’s Get It On,’ because couples are more apt to dance to something where they get to be alone in a room together,” he reveals of but one of his magic formulas. “If I can get a large percentage of the room up on a slow song, then the song after that—that next song is the most important of the night.” He adds, “It’ll be a little bit faster, but they’ll still be able to hold each other.” mrchrisnorton.com.

Fashion Direction by ALISON EDMOND.
Photography by ERIC GABRIEL.


This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of C Weddings.