At a time historically when conversation is for the most part a lost art, I am amazed that the only people talking are those trapped next to each other on flights or in prison cells on lockdown, or on sinking ships once the last lifeboat is filled. Conversation is not the penalty for isolation, but often it feels such.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wanda's Birthday at Stern Grove Festival June 22 with Seun Kuti and Eqypt 80
Sunday, June 22 wasn't as hot as Friday-Saturday. I think the temperature was something crazy like 90-100+ degrees in the San Francisco Bay Area. Was this a welcome to Northern California for my sister and nephews. The heat was certainly out of character. If I wanted heat, I'd live in Sacramento, Fremont, even Hayward, not Oakland or San Francisco. Now, the weather is back to normal: coats in San Francisco. June 20-21, even before June 18-19, we didn't need coats at night time. It was that warm.
So I was happy to hear it was overcast in San Francisco out by SF State, the zoo and Stern Grove. I'm one of those Africans who doesn't like sunshine. I must be from the coastal area.
I arrived at 12 noon, but missed all but the final comments at the pre-concert talk with Seun Kuti. I saw lots of friends already there. And once my sisters arrived with the kids I was good to go, shifting between party-girl and reporter as I flashed my ID and took photos with the professionals in front of the stage.
I got more than a few great shots as the brothers smiled back at me as I took their pictures. It was a fabulous afternoon and when it ended I went over to my brother's house and another friend and his family who had missed the Stern Grove concert came by and we had a nice visit.
I think I fell into bed about 2 a.m. then got up early to take my sister and nephews to AMTRAK. They got home about 4 p.m. My sister had a class that evening she said she slept through, she was so tired.
Wanda's Birthday @ SFJAZZ featuring Keb'Mo and Taj Mahal
We left the restaurant and headed for San Francisco after dropping off the birthday presents at Karen's house, not far away. Five of us piled into the car and with just 15 minutes till showtime, we got across the bridge and parked before 8 p.m. Pine Street was challenging for a few sister-friends who told me they'd meet me inside after Carolyn and I pushed on so we wouldn't miss too much. I was surprised to see Taj Mahal on first, since he was certainly the headliner considering Keb'Mo's youth. Okay, so I rethought the youth part when I saw hi gray goatee, but he was still younger than Taj who is about 70 or so. The big man reminded me physically of Randy Weston, another gentle giant of a man.
Taj played his banjo--Keb'Mo didn't have his that evening, although I've seen him play one too. Keb'Mo's band was hot...two more guitarists, a brother on bass, another on drums and a pianist. Most of the fellows also sang. His set was different from Taj's, but just as good. After his opening number, he thanked the audience for staying, then went on to say that one of his favorite people was Taj Mahal and then Taj walked on stage.
I forget what the two men played....It was cool watching them converse musically.