I don't know what made me buy a Woody Herman album at age 12. Maybe it was because the name sounded fun, like Woody Allen or Woody Woodpecker. Maybe it was because the record cost only a dollar in the bargain bin.
But no matter why I bought Woody Herman's Greatest Hits, it's one of the luckiest things I ever did. That album of big-band jazz was like a ticket to another world.
Herman was a Milwaukee native, born a century ago on May 16. He worked as a vaudeville singer while still a child. At 15 he started playing the saxophone professionally and later switched to clarinet. He formed his own bluesy orchestra in the 1930s and led various incarnations until his death in 1987.
In a just world, Wisconsin would make a big deal about Herman's centennial. The state is that much cooler for the fact that he's our native son.
- Samples from 15+ chefs and complimentary One Barrel Beer. Craft cocktails from Sujeo, Graze, L’Etoile, and Estrellon. Music from DJ FRP. Portion of the proceeds to be donated to Community Action Coalition’s Madison Farmer’s Market Double Dollars Program. Purchase tickets by calling L’Etoile (608) 251-0500.
- Featuring Dan Bonanno of A Pig in a Fur Coat and Francesco Mangiano of Osteria Papavero. Industry brunch includes champagne, prime rib, and crab legs. Call Pig in a Fur Coat for reservations (608) 316-3300.
- Reception hour with passed appetizers followed by 10-courses. Portion of proceeds to benefit Fritz Food Pantry at Goodman Center. Wine pairings included. One course per chef. Chefs include Dan Bonanno Gilbert Altschul, Adam Streubing, Jonny Hunter, Evan Dannells, Laila Borokhim, Joe Gaglio, Dan Fox, and Jason Kierce. For reservations call (608) 255-4861.
- 5-course menu featuring a classic supper club format with a modern twist. Featuring Dan Schmitz from The Old Fashioned, Stephan "Bud" May and Ela Mowinski from Banzo, and Matt Schieble from Harvest. For reservations call (608) 310-4545.
- Take a break from winter, and join us for a Hawaiian style dinner. Laila of Layla's Persian Food With A Local Flair and Molly of Madison Sourdough will be making their takes on Hawaiian cuisine. There will be delicious food, punch, paper umbrellas, and much merriment! Come and get lei'd by local drag queen celebrity Emilay Ulayta! For reservations call (608) 442-8007.
- Join Joe Gaglio, Dan Bonanno, Tory Miller, and Patrick DePula for a celebration of oil barrels of Meatballs and red sauce, troughs of dry oregano and iceberg lettuce salad, sidewalks of lady finger desserts, senseless arguments, and carafes of red and white wine. For reservations call (608) 467-7642.
- Join us for tapas from around the world! Ticket includes first drink and unlimited tapas from Chefs Justin Carlisle (Ardent), Sean Pharr (Capitol Chophouse), and Matt Morris (Morris Ramen). For reservations call (608) 255-8376.