Autumn is serving up its final pre-holiday season week of talks, benefits, and of course, live music. The calendar includes: the Isthmus Independent Business Awards dinner; Africa Night; talks by Paul Ahlquist with Thomas Rockwell Mackie, and Anthony Bourdain; performances by the MSO and the Gramercy Trio; and, more tunes from Tab Benoit, Paula Cole, Mike Gordon, and Delta Spirit.
NOTEWORTHY: Moscow funeral services held for Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, 1982.
Eldorado Grill, 5 pm
At this first annual ceremony, Isthmus salutes eight businesses and individuals for their community-minded efforts, from the Neighborhood Notable to the Fresh Food Friend.
BIRTHDAY: Actress Lisa Bonet, 1967.
Barrymore Theatre, 6:30 pm
This event to benefit a school library in Ghana features dancing, drumming, a fashion show and more. It's sponsored by Lowell Elementary School.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
At this Academy Evenings event, two top Wisconsin researchers discuss "Eureka Moments: A Conversation on Scientific Breakthroughs and Discoveries." UW oncologist Ahlquist leads the Comprehensive Cancer Center's Human Cancer Virology program, and UW medical physics prof Mackie founded TomoTherapy Inc.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The Madison Symphony Orchestra's all-organ series continues with a program called "Too Hot to Handel: Music by George Frederick and Other Hotties." Bengston plays for Luther Memorial Church, Hutchison with the MSO and Lewis at Bethel Lutheran Church.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. House of Reps approves NAFTA, 1993.
Scatz, 6 pm
Louisiana-bred blues guitarist Benoit headlines this benefit for Donna Linderman, wife of local bluesman West Side Andy; she has stage-four cancer. With Mel Ford, Jimmy Voegli, Steve Dougherty, Jeff Hamma, Clyde Stubblefield and more.
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 7:30 pm
The touring threesome plays Ravel's Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, Schubert's Trio in E-flat Major and Sonia Possetti's "Buenos Aires Suite." Violinist Sharan Leventhal went to Memorial High School -- local gal made good.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
While TV junkies know Cole's voice from the Dawson's Creek theme "I Don't Want to Wait," her 1997 single "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" played almost nonstop on commercial radio the year before the show debuted. Come check out her new album, Ithaca, a tribute to her New York hometown. With Brendan James.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Though the Phish bass guitarist is skilled at quite a few other instruments, as well as singing, it's bass jams that make his new solo album, Moss, a winner. Revel in its heavy sounds this Wednesday.
BIRTHDAYS: Rock singer-songwriter/rumor-monger Graham Parker, 1950.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The celebrity chef, host of Travel Channel's No Reservations, talks about food and dining -- and, presumably, his latest book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Get ready for a spiritual experience of the rock 'n' roll variety: Delta Spirit's spunky blend of northern soul, alt-country and quasi-religious lyrics will likely inspire dancing, romancing and least a few beer-fueled conversations about the meaning of life. With Darker My Love and the Fling.