After I got off work Friday evening, Dennis and I drove downtown to the Holland Center to a concert. We saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They are the South African group who sang on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album. Their name comes from different things…Ladysmith is the name of the town they are from, Black represents the black oxen, considered to be the strongest animal, and Mambazo refers to an ax, sympbolic of the group’s ability to “chop down” the competiton. Their leader, Joseph Shabalala, started the group 47 years ago! He has got to be pushing 70, yet he is very active and is the lead singer of the group. They sang a cappella the entire two hours! Plus, did a little dancing. They can kick as high as the Rockettes! Anyway, we enjoyed the concert very much. The audience was very diverse with all ages, even teenagers, well dressed and those in jeans, all races. It was interesting to see.
Saturday, I met Maggie (Bill F’s wife) for lunch at Wheatfield’s. She was in Omaha singing with people at Cathedral whose mission is to preserve sacred music. Maggie has even learned Gregorian chant. How cool is that?! Not being a singer myself, I admire people who have that talent. We had a nice visit and delicious lunch before she headed home to Lincoln.
Sunday was the Burke jazz band dance at the Marriott. The jazz band is going to Chicago in March so this was a fundraiser for the trip. We had a great turnout. I was co-chair for concessions. We sold cookies and punch. During the planning, someone suggested we just ask for a goodwill donation for the concessions. That idea didn’t fly. Like another mother of boys said, “Have you ever seen boys descend on a plate of cookies?” We got the cookies from Pettit’s bakery and they were wonderful. The sugar cookies were cutout into shapes, guitars, trumpets and saxophones. The kids loved them. The bands played from 2:30-5:00. The junior high and grade school jazz bands played first, then the Burke jazz band. They were really good. I was a little nervous that the grade school kids wouldn’t be able to play as well, but they held their own! They all did real well. The Marriott was great, too. We were in the ballroom. Everything looked very classy. Most people didn’t dance, but there was a small dance floor available for those who wanted to “cut a rug.”