Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Connected with St. Louis’s Finest

I hope no one forgot that Ocotober is Get Connected Month in St. Louis. And if it slipped your mind it is not too late to get involved and learn more about the young professional organizations that help make St. Louis such a fabulous city -- or meet the great people who make St. Louis go!

The Connect With…Happy Hour Kickoff on October 1st was incredible. Several dozen Young professional organizations and over 200 Young Professionals were on-hand to connect with you, you, and you. And did I do some connecting.

Young Friends of the Missouri Botanical Garden. They have an upcoming event – Fest-of-Ale on October 22. I will be there. I love beer. Beer is great. And you might be thinking – Beer and the Botanical Garden. And I say to you – heck yeah! Beer is the product of the greatest botanicals, ahem plants, in the word – barley and hops, and sometimes rice and corn. So you MUST be there. I will. In fact, I’m going to go on and join. Science and Socializing – you know I love that.
Young Literati….Sponsoring another event I must attend – Fright Night. Admission gets you all of the tricks and treats and sippable spirits, if you know what I mean. First of all, how can you not love the Public Library? It is the one best public resource that benefits everyone. Even if you’re not a bibliophile, you can’t knock having a good time around the Halloween Holiday. The Fête will be there. Come if you dare!

And State Representative-Elect Don Calloway was there. He and Tishaura Jones (also State Rep Elect) attended the Candidate Forum on the Environment. You all would have been proud to have them represent the city and us. They presented their positions and legislative commitments to make Missouri a leader in Clean Progressive Energy Policy.
Missouri History Museum was there and giving away free passes to their upcoming Urban Stories Series Featuring Jazz Pianist – Jason Moran. Oh my goodness, the show was a delight.
The opening jazz ensemble featured St. Louis’ own Peanuts Whalum. I had never heard him play or sing before and now I feel deprived for being in St. Louis for so long and never having done so. My head was turned so I thought it was a digitally re-mastered recording of Nat King Cole. I looked up and realized it was him singing, LIVE! This man’s voice is so smooth and he plays the saxophone, too. I can’t believe he’s 80 years old!
Now on to Jason Moran – this is jazz piano like none other. He started with his rendition of “Life Every Voice and Sing” followed by Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”. Between songs he explains the history of the song and why he interprets each song the way he does. He is also a conceptual musician. Fascinated by the sounds of languages he played recordings of people speaking – in Turkish and Mandarin – and interprets their words and rhythms on the piano. And his finale - Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” on the piano – with no accompaniments. What else can I say? I didn’t post this event because I didn’t know about it. But I won’t make that mistake again. Be sure to attend the final event in the series on October 23rd.

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