On Friday night we witnessed a man reach an important milestone in his life and career. While validation comes in many forms there are only a few moments in a person's life that pay dividends quite the way this one did for Shodekeh. Once an usher at The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, he returned to astound those in the audience who had yet to experience his talent. For those of us who have watched him progress over the years, the moment conjured a sense of pride and inspiration. Shodekeh stood on that stage with many of the most respected musicians in the city because he made the necessary sacrifices to do so. The fact that he did it on his own terms was as impressive as the performance.

This is why I love Baltimore. You never know when you’ll find outlandish performers in full costume, decked to the nines, wandering the streets outside an oddly shaped glass building where you just heard an array of sounds you never thought was possible – all for an event most people in Baltimore will miss because it’s an all night ordeal, starting with a drum circle at 9pm and wrapping up at sunrise. Now that’s a mouthful.