At the Russian Embassy in Washington Monday night, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, was asked about a compromise in the Capitol Hill budget standoff.
“I wish,” Whitehouse said, checking in on the news on his smart phone. “Unfortunately it’s the Republicans who need to compromise with the Republicans.”
The senator, along with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, was on hand for the annual gala of the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation.
Jazzmen Wynton Marsalis and Igor Butman performed, as maestro Valery Gergiev sat in rapt attention. On Monday, Gergiev will conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra performing Stravinsky at the Kennedy Center.
The friendship between Marsalis and Butman goes way back, though U.S. trade rules have interfered.
“He used to bring me these big tins of caviar,” Marsalis said of Butman. “Then our policies changed and the caviar stopped.”
Butman admires Marsalis, he said, because “he can play music, he can write music, and he drinks Vodka.”
Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.