Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jazz, Sea of Bowls and Samsara

“Oh salty sea, how much of your salt is tears from Portugal?” ~Fernando Pessoa

I've been watching Ken Burns' documentary Jazz again… so very powerful. Last night I watched Episode Seven which covers the period of World War II. There are so many powerful moments in this series, which is as much about the black experience in America as it is about the music. In one segment, the story is told of an integrated jazz group with Dave Brubeck that traveled together, played music together and fought together. We're talking about army guys in Europe here, not a Bob Hope USO entourage flying here and there to encourage the troops. Ken Burns cut to an elderly Brubeck telling the story of the first black man he ever saw. When he was young his father brought him to this man in Sacramento and had the black man open his shirt. With tears in his eyes Brubeck says, “He had a brand on his chest.”

The pain of this memory was exacerbated by his memories of returning from the war fighting side by side with black friends and seeing them returned into a segregated second class citizen status back here in the States. What were these men fighting for? Freedom? For whom?

Sea of Bowls

This Monday the Sea of Bowls will be on display preceding Tuesday’s 19th Annual Empty Bowl benefit for Second Harvest Northern Lake Food Bank. The fine art bowls will be available for purchase from 5-7 p.m. at The Depot, 507 West Michigan Street, Duluth. One of these fancy bowls can be yours for anywhere from $25 to $100. On Tuesday you can purchase bowls filled with a tasty soup de jour for $20. All proceeds go to feed needy people in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. This is a really great concept, an inspired way in which the arts gives back to the community.

David Normal's Latest

For those of you in San Francisco, David Normal's latest painting, “Samsara” was displayed last Friday evening at Trickster Salon's "Primal Masquerade". For this event, Trickster teamed up with Aspect Gallery to present the event at 1000 Van Ness, a beautiful atrium ballroom on the ground floor of the AMC theater in San Francisco. From what I hear it was a pretty lively soiree. Normal just passed his 42nd birthday on the 19th of this month, so he was informally celebrating his birthday there. I was invited, but gosh, seems I've been pretty busy lately. You can read the story behind the painting here.

This Weekend in the Twin Ports

Check this week's Reader, or The Wave in today's Trib, for the music action at Luce, Beaners, The Rex and other hot spots. If you're into live comedy, Dubh Linn downton and V.I.P. Pizza (Tower Avenue, Superior) are the current hot spots. And for jazz, I think they're still doin' it at the 'Toga on Saturday afternoons beginning at three. For live theater, see what's happening at Stage II and The Play Ground. I myself will be dropping into Zinema 2 to see the next installment of Duluth Art Institute sponsored Robert Hughes film series, "Shock of the New." Life is happening all around you. And with spring in the air, I see lots more coming alive. Be a part of it.

“God wills, man dreams, the work is born.” ~Fernando Pessoa

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