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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Naima Adedapo + Light Show + Beach Party, Yeah!!

Naima Adedapo at the Domes
in Milwaukee March 14, 2013
 Miriam Levle, Naima Adedapo, and Jah Dwayne Tafari of
R.A.S. Movement at another appearance
Up until last week, the only time I saw Naima Adedapo was on TV, when she was a contestant on "American Idol." On March 14 for the first time, I saw her in person. She was singing - and doing amazing African dancing - at Milwaukee's "Domes" botanical park.

What an incredible show. Leaping! Jumping! Kicking! Drumming! Naima is currently part of a band called R.A.S. Movement, where the other members are as energetic as Naima herself. 

The performance I saw was part of the last night of this season's "Music Under Glass" at the Domes: a fabulous beach party and light show that's become an annual escape from the dregs of winter. It's a night we pretend we're in a warm place with sand and water (here, shipped-in sand and a little pool). Last March we had freak weather in the 70s and 80s so we weren't as desperate for a break, but this year we craved the respite.

On Thursday, I shared a beach blanket with my daughter, three of her friends, and the three girls I've come to consider my "borrowed" grandchildren. By the end of the night, after dancing to the band and digging in the sand with the kids, we were all hot. I started to complain - and then realized I should be grateful. So I shut up and enjoyed the sweat and grit and sore muscles.

More on Naima below some pictures that provide a hint about the fun of the light show and beach party (photos by Anna Sweet, my daughter, who happens to be a terrific blogger/photographer):

A blimp floats overhead as psychedelic lights dance to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
My "borrowed" grand-daughter Alaina & I dig in the sand beside the pond.

Alaina's sisters Marisa and Isabella lost in sand reveries, like
all the children there.

 Marisa gazes up at the light show.


I always liked Naima on "Idol," but now I'm a fan. She has a strong voice. She's an amazing dancer. She's lovely to look at. Best of all, she radiates warmth and love. You can tell she's a mother of young children. Every time a wee one stood in front of the band and listened in rapt attention, Naima beamed her giant smile at the child. Once I saw her express concern that a child was too near the speakers: "Her ears," she explained, with a gesture, to the child's mother.

On the R.A.S. Movement website, the news is that Naima's last show with the band will be April 20 at Club Timbuktu in Milwaukee. They say "We're not breaking up, but revamping for summer."

I'm counting on it.

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