Magic Music–A morning of seasonal music, themed “Embracing Hope,” ushers in the holiday season when Southside Friends of Chicago Sinfonietta host a Magical Holiday Breakfast Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m, in Navy Pier’s Crystal Garden. Some 500 guests are expected at the annual event that will feature tasty treats, including a carving station and special-order omelets.
The morning kick-starts with a prelude by pianist George T. Cooper, followed by the Chicago Sinfonietta Chamber Brass Ensemble celebrating with symphonic classics as well as holiday favorites. On the agenda: a talented, award-winning female saxophone ensemble from Kenwood High School Academy, part of the Chicago Sinfonietta Student Ensembles with Excellence & Diversity Program.
The morning also includes the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute Ensemble. The Sinfonietta, a leader in promoting diversity and creating opportunities for careers in classical music for all people, is also a leader in the diversity of music performed and in combining different media such as the video developed in cooperation with the Planetarium and other cooperative ventures featuring dance, poetry and even cell phones.
Funds raised will help continue programs that reach out to young people and teach them about classical music so they can become patrons of the arts and continue to promote diversity and inclusion. Linda Tuggle and Lonette Alexander are co-chairs. A silent auction with a variety of items will engage guests in rigorous, good-natured bidding. Winners of the free raffle will take home a variety of door prizes. Honorary chairs are Cheri Chappelle and Steve Baskerville, of CBS 2, breakfast host. Doris Merrity is Southside Friends’ president. Call the Chicago Sinfonietta, (312) 236-3681, for ticket info.
Yes, We Did It!–A life-size cardboard cutout of President-elect Barack Obama welcomed the multitude of guests as they entered the huge Hilton Hotel Tower Suite occupied by Illinois Senate President and Mrs. Emil Jones (Dr. Lorrie) on the night it became official that “Yes We Can!” So, of course, there was a lot of picture taking going on with “Mr. President” along with whoops and hollers, tears and cheers as election results poured in over the widescreen televisions in the suite followed by Prez-elect Obama’s brilliant and heart-warming acceptance speech. And then we could also witness the massive crowd across Michigan Ave. in Grant Park.
There were Election Night & Results Watch Parties all over the Hilton, the main one in the International Ballroom hosted by TV-ONE, Essence.com, the Chicago Defender, Who’s Who in Black America and chaired by U.S. Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr. (2nd) (and his life-mate, Alderman Sandi Jackson (7th), and scores of other political notables. The wall-to-wall celebratory gathering was produced by The Richmond Group (a.k.a. Kenny Johnson).
Also, U.S. Cong. Danny K. Davis (7th) hosted staff and friends at an intimate suite party before heading across the street to Grant Park for the “all the way live” celebration.
Newsy Names–Several Chicago musical icons are being banded around as possible inaugural entertainment for “The Man Who Would be President” – such as soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples (she sang at inaugural events for Presidents Kennedy, Carter and Clinton), Common, Kanye West, Buddy Guy, Jerry Butler, Koko Taylor and Jennifer Hudson .
Happy b’day to Valerie Jarrett, Pres. Barack Obama’s newly named senior White House adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison (Obama and Michelle attended a lovely birthday celebration for Valerie on Friday hosted by her gal-pal, Allstate’s Desiree Rogers in Valerie’s posh Gold Coast abode); to Shamontiel Vaughn, Defender Web editor; CNN’s Roland Martin, who marked “the big 4-0” Sunday at Green Dolphin; WVON’s Perri Small, who partied hearty Saturday at the radio station; Ch. 9’s Micah Materre; Sarah Ayers, director of the Cytology Dept. at Mt. Sinai Hospital who celebrated with gal-pals Friday at Ramada Inn; Merry Green, the promotions gal; and Dr. Princella Hudson-Gilliam of New Mt. Zion Church, celebrates at a gospel concert, “He Keeps on Blessing Me,” on Nov. 22, 6 p.m., at Gatling’s Chapel Annex. Cohosts: Pastor Richard D. Harris Sr., Pam Morris, Lorenza Brown- Porter and Sharon D. Matthews. Call (708) 679-1206.
Mayor Richard Daley hosted a Benefit Reception for one of his favorite charities, UNCF, in the Cadillac Room of Soldier Field Stadium. Donation: $50. Merri Dee emceed.
Condolences to Henrietta Leak (Mrs. Spencer Sr.) on the loss of her mom, Louise Salter. Her funeral was at Liberty Baptist Church.
And sympathy to the family of Cirilo (“Big Mac”) McSween, a trailblazing entrepreneur, Olympian, civil rights giant and disciple of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Services were at Rainbow/PUSH .
And the funeral for William E. Brazley, architect, president/CEO of Brazley & Associates, was at Abundant Life Church in Harvey .
Sad to report the passing of South African music legend Miriam Makeba, 76, from a heart attack in Italy. “Mama Africa” spent over 30 years in exile after lending her support to the anti-apartheid struggle. She didn’t return to her home in Johannesburg until after Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. She won a Grammy in 1966 for best folk recording with Harry Belafonte for the album An Evening with Belafonte and Makeba. She also performed with Paul Simon on his Graceland tour in the mid-1980s .
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor emeritus of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, and his wife, Rev. Ramah Wright, were guest preachers on Sunday at Gary, Ind.’s Trinity United Church of Christ, 1276 W. 20th Ave., as Rev. John Jackson celebrated his fourth pastoral anniversary. Rev. Ramah preached the morning service; Dr. Wright, raised the roof that afternoon .
State Rep.-Elelct Andre Thapedi (32nd) distributes free holiday turkeys to 18th Ward residents on Saturday,11 a.m. at Marquette Park, 6734 S. Kedzie. But you gotta have a valid voter’s registration card to qualify.
Mommy & Daddy Know Best!–An invitation has gone out from Billy Rae Cyrus to the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha to appear on a “Hannah Montana” episode around April when the film version is released. In “Hannah,” Miley Cyrus plays a schoolgirl with a secret life as a pop star. It is one of the most popular kids TV series in the U.S. with a huge audience and merchandising empire worth about $1 billion. Pop and Mom Obama have shielded their daughters from the media and might not want them to take part in the show even though it’s one of the girls’ favorites.
Curtain Call!–A powerful drama, From the Mississippi Delta, written by the late Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland, has opened and continues through Jan. 11 at eta Square, 76th and S. South Chicago Ave. Admission is $30 with reduced rates for groups, seniors and students. The production is partially sponsored by Northern Trust, and “2 for 1” nights (Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.) are sponsored by ComEd. Art by Robert “Baabe” Irving III and his son, Jeremy Irving (“Jae R”), are on view in eta gallery throughout the run of the production. Call (773) 752-3955 or visit www.etacreativearts.org.
Chicago Premiere!–Award-winning Ben Vereen stars in Tapioca as a Streetwise vendor with supernatural powers in a story as timely as news of the bottoming-out economy, on Thursday, 8:15 p.m., at the Gene Siskle Film Center. A host of veteran Chicago actors are cast in this comic allegory of redemption set entirely in the grittiest and most authentic of urban locations. Director Paddy Houlihan, producer William Houlihan and writer/actor Mike Houlihan will be on hand for audience discussion.
Photo Op!–Distant Echoes: Black Farmers in America, a new exhibit that provides a visual document of the final generation of Black family farmers and which chronicles the lives and working conditions of those farmers in the U.S., through the images of award-winning photographer John Francis Ficara, is on view at DuSable Museum. Organized by the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and curated by Margaret A. Hutto and Nona R. Martin, the exhibit includes over 60 black-and-white photos, in addition to artwork, vintage agricultural tools and interactive stations simulating various farming chores. Visitors enter through the door of a life-sized “Farmers Shack.”
______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.