When: Fri., March 17, 7 p.m. 2017
Most people know Nat Hentoff as a reviewer and admirer of jazz (you write a jazz column for 50 years, you get a reputation). But he was also a staunch advocate for free speech, civil rights and education. Hentoff, who passed away in January, was a complex human being who couldn't be contained by any political box or ideological niche; to him, abortion was as evil as capital punishment and the kind of grinding poverty that kills you in your teen years, not just at thirteen weeks. His daughter Jessica Hentoff is the director of St. Louis' Circus Harmony, and a firm believer in her father's ideal that "words that lead to action matter." To honor her dad and continue the family business of using the arts to motivate social change, Circus Harmony presents a special benefit show, Defying Gravity and Social Injustice: A Tribute to Nat Hentoff. The evening starts at 7 p.m. at .Zack (3224 Locust Street; www.circusharmony.org) with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails and jazz, followed by a Circus Harmony performance. Special guests include alumni Sidney "Iking" Bateman and Melvin Diggs, plus Nat's granddaughter Elliana Grace and grandson Kellin Quinn, who are both now circus professionals. Tickets are $75.