Classic(al) Ledisi. As soon as Ledisi did that video saying she was coming to sing with the St. Louis Symphony, I have been patiently waiting with my heels kicked up anticipating the evening that she would be perched in Powell Hall giving us all our whole entire life. I knew when she strutted out on that stage like she was walking for her life in a legend’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model” that we would be in for a treat – and for the most part, I was right. I can’t say I lived for the space-age glamour gown (side note: the paisley duster she had on for the meet-and-greet was utterly everything) and I’m going to go ahead and assume that she can’t get to her signature scats and high notes if she has on the proper under armor – that’s right, she gets a pass. Be jealous. Now back to the show. The nights where the Symphony invites mainstream or non-classical acts are usually more interactive than usual, but y’all really showed out. Ledisi asked the folks to act like they were at the Symphony and not the Fox. It didn’t work – and that includes Ledisi too. She said she was going to be herself and cut up – and that’s exactly what she did as she sang the stage all the way down to its original finish. The collaboration with the Symphony was cute, but I was expecting more oomph from their end – I blame Ledisi (get it) for a song selection that didn’t really give them the need for much power. Speaking of cute, did anyone else see Damon Mitchell propose to Tamika Clay on the steps of Powell Hall before the show? It was downright adorable. I was so happy that they had a chance to share with Ledisi that he chose her show to pop the question. She was thrilled and asked that the couple keep in touch as far as their wedding plans.
Brunchin’ with Biko. Saturday morning, I made my way to the Dark Room for the inaugural Brunch + Beats with BIKO and I just really hope for the next one, I have the willpower to pass up those glorious biscuits that came with the delicious plate of breakfast goodies they serve as part of the menu. Oh well, my summer body challenge has been postponed until 2020 anyway. It was such a great vibe and the perfect spot – although he might have to move it into the theater next month, based on how folks had the Dark Room side filled to the max. They will at least have to do some table settings in the lobby area too. The vibe was right, and you already know that James Biko (the artist formerly known as DJ Needles) is going to keep the music on-point with his masterful curation. The brunch brought together the old and the new. I ran into some of my favorite folks there too. Halima, Tashara, Nikole and Jelani – y’all were too cute!
They bleed blue AND gold. I needed to walk off those biscuits from Biko’s brunch – so I decided to multitask my kicking it with a little workout by hitting up the annual Beaumont Alumni Association Annual Picnic, Saturday afternoon in Fairground Park. I had never been before. Baby, those Bluejackets know how to kick it, do you hear me? They had classes represented from the '50s through the '90s and the turn-up was official with every generation. Especially those doggone class of '79 and '89. Listen, y’all’s aunties and great-aunties let me know how fast they used to be showing all kinds of leg and midsection meat with short shorts and class t-shirts that they had cut up into cute little styles. I had a ball. Thanks for the invite Lee “Jo Jo” Johnson, it was a grown folks good time!
In business with Koran Bolden. Now I know this space is mostly reserved for kicking-it chronicles, but I would be out of line if I didn’t give a shout out to Koran Bolden for coming home and turning his “Greatest Year Ever” book release event into an information session for entrepreneurs Sunday afternoon at Wash. U’s Knight Hall. Koran corralled some of the most successful young black business owners in the city to share tips, tools and real talk based on their experiences in a host of industries. If I get to naming who came through dropping jewels and encouraging the folks live their best life and step out in the sea of working for self and follow their passion, I’m sure that I will forget some folks, so I’ll leave it at anybody making boss moves was in the building. Yes, it was that much STL star power up in the sold-out session. Mocha Latte was the hostess. Bolden flew in entertainment marketing and promotions maven Miss Diddy La from and Los Angeles and had her share some words, along with Chick-Fil-A Franchisee Latasha Fox and A. Keith Turner of TurnGroup Technologies, who dropped wisdom for the folks at the event, following the panel that featured Rance John, Dr. Eboni January, Cedric Cobb, Cornell Boone, Aundrea Chanaye, Brittany White and Raphael Morris. Everybody left there fired up AND informed about making their entrepreneurial aspirations a reality.
Hilarious Hart of the City promo. Y’all know I make no secret about downright lusting to say, “I told you so.” Welp, I’m doing it again as the preview for the third season premiere of “Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City” series on Comedy Central. The show, executive-produced by Hart, meets up-and-coming comics where they are by going to comedy clubs in different cities and allowing the top talent in town to shine. Now y’all remember when they filmed it at The Laugh Lounge, and I said that our city was the best-in-show and that STL showed up and showed out so tough that the show host and producer Joey Wells got raw emotional? Well, guess who was one of the featured comics used for the season three premiere commercials? That’s right, one of St. Louis’ own. Vincent Bryant utterly kills on his clip. It was so good that Comedy Central Stand Up shared it on their Facebook page and it already has hundreds of thousands of views. I won’t spoil it by sharing the jokes, but I am cackling as I write this from his bits. Be sure to check him out on the Facebook Page and check out how St. Louis represents overall on the show, which premieres June 14.
Consistent Energy. Saturday night, I stepped into Blue Dine and Lounge for the latest installment of Energy and I must give Teddy and the BFree brand props for keeping a consistent quality kicking experience that lasted over years and different venues.