Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ambassador Hoagland hosts a dinner

We could not sightsee too much, as the weather was cold and cloudy. The skyline of Astana is very modern with all sorts of unusual architecture. There's even a museum in the shape of a pyramid, where we found a poster of "JazzIam" advertising our concert on the wall.
We found true warmth later in the evening at a dinner hosted by Ambassador Hoagland. I don't have many pictures from this beautiful dinner because my camera was taken from me, since the Ambassador lives in the Embassy. I do have a couple of pictures of Tim and Joel that Zhanar just sent last night that I'll post soon. The dinner was beautiful and delicious and so was the conversation. The Ambassador is a gardener and he has excellent taste in art and cuisine. He invited four of the most talented students from our masterclass at the Conservatory. One young lady was a singer/television host (she later performed with a friend, in our concert, singing a local folk song; Kamazhai), also a young pianist, a male singer (who they swore is as good as Frank Sinatra) and a female sax player. Marianne, our interpreter left once more without eating one bite, because we had so much good conversation.
Thank you to Ambassador Hoagland for the lovely dinner and an opportunity to sample the local apricots and meet some very interesting people.