Torria Hudson, who I had met at the Grand Bohemian Jazz Jam, invited me to attend a sensual, sultry evening of smooth Jazz and R&B music at Tavern on the Lake (6996 Piazza Grande Avenue). VIP tickets to the event were $55 and money raised went to an organization called Miracle of Love that raises awareness of AIDS and offers free HIV tests. Terry decided to join me. When we arrived, a woman was scrambling around trying to arrange seating for people. Since she was occupied I just walked into the seating area and started looking for where I would want to sketch from. Rather than sitting at a table, I decided the best spot was right in front of the sound board. A video camera was also set up in this area. I set my stool down and was ready to go. The woman arranging the seating found out I was there to sketch and she graciously arranged to get chairs for both Terry and myself.
When I started my sketch Live Hart was doing a sound check. I used that time to block in the composition lightly in pencil. Only a few of the tables were occupied so I knew I would have to add audience members to the sketch when they arrived. After the sound check it was another hour or so before the performers came back to the stage. I had to put my sketch aside and order appetizers. Someone came around offering raffle tickets for some original art work and Terry bought a few. We didn't win, though we did help a good cause.
Live Harts silky smooth voice was a joy to sketch to. Her alternative soul filled the room and swayed the spirits of everyone. The music was gentle, lyrical and heart felt. The lines flowed quickly to the beat. When Live Harts set was over, my sketch was complete. I packed up and started heading for the door. Torria stopped Terry and I before we left. She said I couldn't leave because I would miss the headliner act, Miki Howard. I don't follow the Smooth Jazz scene so I was unaware that Miki is a huge deal and she was flown in from Los Angeles for this show. Once we realized our mistake we ran back in and sat down. Miki was astounding. Her songs swept over me with a maturity and grace that left goose bumps. During one of her final numbers Miki had back up singers. She sang a song about the hard knocks of love. She wandered into the audience and asked a woman, "Are you in love?" The woman replied, "Yes I know I am in love?" Miki shouted out , "See, we are so certain about love yet it always finds a way to kick us in the butt." She asked the back up singers how old they were and one responded, "Twenty Two." Miki shouted, "This song is older than you!" Then her song educated us all on just how hard love can be and how we always come back for more.
Tomorrow Thor will be sketching the Emotions Dance Massquerade at the Peacock Room between 9PM and 2AM.