The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.
I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.
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Sunday, March 19, 2006
This morning I was only about 10 minutes late for Church. Todays sermon was entitled, Being Different Together. On the booklet was a picture of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. I believe that says it all....
This is a picture of how Patti Austin used to look.
After Church I went to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to see Patti Austin perform with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. It was a 3pm matinee performance. To fill in time between Church and the show I ate lunch in the Gallery at Harbor Place. The Gallerys food court seemed to be filled with a lot of smart dressed women and men wearing dark coloured suits and skirt sets. This made me wonder if there was a convention of Christians or Young Republicans in town this week.
As far as the show goes this is my first one of 2006 for my Baltimore Symphony subscription. This year I started my subscription late because I was trying to save money. And boy did I save money! This year I have seats in the orchestra for all my shows!! I suppose from now on I should wait late in the season to subscribe.
Overall, the show was good. It opened up with The Duke Ellington Orchestra playing a string of big band hits. The orchestra was being led by a crotchety old trumpet player who never gave his name. He wore a red coat and had a mid sized old man afro. He said he had been in the band since 1972. He also said that one of the members of the band was from Baltimore. He never clearly gave out the hometown musicians name. He (the man in the red coat) seemed as though he had better places to be.
Then afterwards the cranky old man in the red coat went off the stage and another trumpet player came on stage to play with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The man in the red coat never said who the new trumpet player was.
I later learned that the name of that trumpet player was Byron Stripling. I only found this out by reading the playbill. In contrast to the old man Stripling was jovial and full of life. He sang a little duet with Patti Austin. However, her vocals were not very strong I could barely make out what she was singing. This made me fear that perhaps this was not going to be a good show.
As far as Byron Stripling is concerned I have to say right now that he is an all around performer. Not only does he play the trumpet but he also sings. He kind of reminded me of Louis Armstrong because of that. Ironically enough, Stripling played Armstrong in a musical. If Stripling were in town again I would definitely pay to see him. That man is a tour de force!
After Stripling was done with his set Patti Austin came on again in a new slightly tighter long black dress accented by a diamond. This was the first time that I noticed that Patti Austin had lost a considerable amount of weight. When when she was onstage earlier she was wearing a flowing pink and white top with black slacks. So it was hard to tell that she had lost weight. In fact I thought she was still fat until she came on again on that black dress. Overall, she looks absolutely fabulous. Her new look suits her well. It was also nice to see that she does not cover her grey anymore.
I also noticed that during her set she had a wine glass filled with an amber coloured liquid. She would sip from the glass from from time to time throughout the show. One thought kept permeating through my mind as I watched the show. What was she drinking? Was it apple juice, tea, beer, or champagne?
Also I noticed that when Patti Austin came on stage again they, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, changed musicians. They bought out a new piano player and a new bass player. The bass player bore a striking resemblance to Jack Black. For a while I thought that maybe, just maybe, Jack Black moonlights as a bass player for the Duke Ellington orchestra on the weekends.
Overall, Patti Austin was much better than she was earlier in the show. Her entire set consisted of Ella Fitzgerald standards. One thing that struck me that she said during the show was that she was in her fifties and had never married or had children. I wonder if twenty years from now I will be saying the same thing. Oh, I also found out that Patti Austin lost all that weight through gastric bypass surgery.
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