Friday, September 3, 2010

WaterFire and Dwight Lenox & the Lenox Avenue Jazz & Dance Band

Are you looking for something fun to do on a Friday night? I have a suggestion for you!

Last week we attended “WaterFire Columbus”. What fun! And to make the evening even better, the music was provided by our very dear friend and favorite jazz singer and his band! Why yes, that indeed would be none other than “Dwight Lenox and the Lenox Avenue Express Jazz & Dance Band”! What an incredible evening!

First let me tell you about WaterFire in case you aren’t familiar with it. Here is an excerpt from their webpage:

WaterFire Columbus

WaterFire opens all of our senses to our surroundings; it allows viewers to savor the artwork's surprises, view the city's landscape and mingle with fellow citizens.

WaterFire Columbus is becoming one of the most exciting art exhibits in Central Ohio. The magnificent array of bonfires was first established on the three rivers of downtown Providence, Rhode Island in 1997. In downtown Columbus the flames reflect on the waters of the Scioto River. Audience members gather for an evening of natural art, music and activity featuring this remarkable display on the east side of COSI in front of Genoa Park.

WaterFire Columbus has created seven events for the 2010 Burn Season partnering with different performing arts organizations. The board's goal is to expand relationships with additional performing arts groups in Central Ohio.

The event has expanded from 19 braziers in 2008 to 37 for 2010 Burn Season. WaterFire also gives viewers the opportunity to purchase tables where individuals have the choice of sitting down and enjoying dinner along the river during select events.

We began our evening by setting up our chairs and spreading a blanket over the ground in front of them. There were vendors selling food and we brought some of our own. When I spoke with the gentleman at Experience Columbus, he advised me that they asked that drinks be purchased there. Wine, beer, water and lemonade were available. We made our selections and returned to our spot. There we laid out a cheese plate & crackers and fruit & dip that we'd brought along to compliment our purchases. We then proceeded to feast!

Just about the time we finished noshing, the music began. Oh how we love to hear Dwight and his band! As the sun began to dip behind the COSI building and the sky turned golden, Dwight’s luscious baritone wrapped itself around us and seeped into our bones. The strains of the instruments, individually and collectively, danced as one melody led into the next. We lost ourselves in the glorious sound that is uniquely Dwight.

As dusk settled, the band took an intermission and Dwight was taken out on the boat to light the first of the fires. How thrilling! What a vision the boat, the flames, and the figures in the boat made against the dwindling light of the night sky.

It really was amazing to see those fires burning on the Scioto River! And then there was the wonderful smell of a wood fire, while the heat from the flames could be felt on the lower levels of the amphitheater.

The boat returned Dwight to dry land and the music began once more, with what sounded to me like a renewed sense of soul and character. There was spontaneous dancing in front of the stage. We were even fortunate enough to have a young couple entertain us with what could only be the result of some serious ballroom dance lessons! They were charming. And underneath the music, you could hear the chatter and laughter of a great party.

What an evening! Dwight played well past the 10:00pm mark. I believe he and the band were having as much fun as we were!

There are only three more WaterFire events taking place this year. I’m sure the entertainment will be lovely. But for me, Dwight & the Lenox Avenue Express made a special evening even more spectacular! I so hope they do it again next year. If so, stop by front and center to say hello to us … because that is exactly where we will be!

Genoa Park
303 W Broad Street
Columbus, OH

2010 WaterFire Burn Schedule:

•Friday, September 3rd: In partnership with Music in the Air, performance by BalletMet Columbus
•Friday, September 17: In partnership with Riverfront Art Festival, performance by Opera Columbus
•Saturday, September 18th: In partnership with Riverfront Art Festival, performance by Ladies of Longford

Photos courtesy of Dwight Lenox

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