This week, in our cover and news stories, we feature a couple of Madisonians who seek to alter business as usual in this town. One is an illustrious name, the other not so much, but hoping.
The illustrious one is Richard Davis, jazz legend on the upright bass who has been a Madison resident and UW music professor for 37 years. He's the headliner at the Isthmus Jazz Festival, which takes place this Friday and Saturday at the UW Memorial Union. He's the subject of Bob Jacobson's story "The Face of the Bass," which previews his concert in Shannon Hall.
Shannon Hall is the remodeled, rechristened Wisconsin Union Theater. (That's now the name for the whole theater complex on the west end of the Union.) Davis will be the first act to perform in the new space, giving the public its first gander at the upgrades. (See the sidebar.) Shannon Hall -- and this is a question I've been asked repeatedly lately -- is named after Mike Shannon, a UW alum and donor and a founding partner of a Denver private equity firm, KSL Partners.
The other Madisonian in our news is Scott Resnick, District 8 alder and possible mayoral aspirant. He posits that both Mayor Paul Soglin and former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz are living in the past. He faults Soglin on style and both on substance. But it is early yet, and the air is thick with trial balloons.
Meanwhile, we have Make Music Madison going on Saturday. The extensive program for that event appeared with last week's Isthmus. Also on Saturday is Davis' appearance with Chicago pianist Willie Pickens at the Jazz Fest. The show at Shannon Hall begins at 7:30 p.m., and there is no charge for admission. That venue is also the failsafe if the weather stymies the performers on the Memorial Union Terrace. Judging by the forecast, we may be spending a lot of time there this weekend.