Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 @5pm
AIDS Law Project’s 30th Anniversary Kick-Off
with Sonja Bontrager, piano
1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia
(Free Admission / Cash Bar)
Sunday, February 25th, 2018 @4pm
I, Too, Sing America
Art of the Heel
with Matt Brower (piano), Veronica Chapman-Smith and Shahara Benson
Unitarian Society of Germantown
6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia
I sit center stage on a high, black lacquered stool in a puddle of soft blueish white light. My deep black finger waves glisten as I roll my head back with the high note of a melancholy melody. You can just see the stiletto’d foot of my crossed leg peeking out from the cascade of sequins of my floor length dress. A very pretty man at a baby grand plays to my right, an intellectual drummer keeps smooth time at my back and a tall upright bassist to my left punctuates the air with long wave exclamation points.
The room is dark and smoky, and from stage the flickering of candles around the room look like fallen stars that refuse to stop twinkling. Swaying folks dressed to the absolute 9’s stir the air with their shoulders. They sip on expensive cocktails while murmuring bits of conversation in each others ear. Servers swim elegantly through the sea of tables balancing liquid and glass works of art on little round trays.
People reserve tickets months in advance for a table at my show. Celebrities, politicians, and social icons come not just to be seen, but to be seen grooving to my newest jams. If you don’t “know somebody”, you get sat at a booth around the perimeter of the room where the sight lines are perfect for watching how much the people in the choice seats are enjoying my performance.
Standing room only jazzers at the back bar keep the tenders shaking ice like auxiliary percussionists I didn’t hire. Around the corner in a curtain lined hallway there is a bouncer sitting with a hard-nosed hostess. She just may have the hardest job of the night with the responsibility of telling the line of walk-in’s who are hoping to get into the packed-to-the-gills venue that the next available table has more than a 45 minute wait. And yet, they wait… their musical appetites whet by the pieces of a refrain that drift by in the wake of a passing bus boy.