Category Archives: Featured Poets

Poetry

World Poetry Celebrates Randall Stephen Hall From Ireland!

 

Ariadne’s Notes: On April 26, 1:30 PM, PST The World Poetry Café welcomed the talented poet, musicians and author  Randall Stephen Hall to the show for an exciting interview on CFRO, 105. FM  with his music, poems and insights on the situation in Ireland.  Also featured was Ken McAteer, outgoing president of VAHMS with a preview of ExporASIAN  Heritage Month, 2018 with over 50 events and partners during May including a first ever partnership with First Nations and Indian Cultures www.explorasian.org. Featured e-poets were: Kwabena ‘Nyameba’ Bediako  from Ghana and Passang Sherpa from Bhutan. 

***The World Poetry Team of Ariadne Sawyer, MA, Victor Swartzman , tech, Diego Bastinutti , co-host and special volunteer Sharon Rowe would like to remind you that we are going into our fundraiser for the show. We need to raise $1,000 per year by memberships or donations to keep on the air. If you want to become a member of our show or donate, please go to www.coopradio.org and click on membership/donations. When you do , please put in the name of the World Poetry Café so that the membership/donations can go into our show.  Thank you for helping us achieve our goal! ***

 

TO HEAR THE SHOW CLICK HERE!

 

 Randall Stephen Hall Here’s some biography in his own words:

 

“I grew up in North Belfast at the height of the Troubles. Born 1957.

 

I grew up beyond many people’s context there and neither of my parents were from Belfast.

These two experiences collided and reverberated with more for all my years since then, shaping much of my art and outlook.

 

I met my wife Ann at The College of Art and Design in Belfast. She did Fine Art and Teaching while I did a degree in Graphic Design. At the time I was playing in a few local groups and later writing songs with two friends. Here’s an example from 1983. “The Bread Song”. https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/the-bread-song-circa-1980

 

I left college in 1980 and got a job in a small add agency. That winter John Lennon was shot.

I remember the news on the radio. It seemed to link with shift, change and conflict in northern Ireland.

 

Ann and I got married in 1983. We had two girls in 1985 and 1987. We now have two grandchildren of six and two. Both girls.

 

I worked in local advertising for six years until 1988 when I became a freelance illustrator. My work, for a time came from Belfast, Dublin and Glasgow. This carried on until 1998 then my work began to change again. www.earthnativeart.co.uk 

 

In 1996 I self published a book called THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnN5HQe1Fvk The advertising work began to diminish and I began to receive invites to visit schools to tell this story. A steep learning curve ensued from then until now. (I’ll keep this brief).

 

During this time I began to create new stories, illustrated for projection and began to shape way of doing story telling that involved, hand drum, voice, interactive singing, song, poetry and a main story, lasting about an hour.

 

All this has evolved slowly in a very natural way over a period of about 20 years.

 

Around  2009 I began to write and record songs a bit more seriously again. Luckily a local DJ

called Gerry Anderson (now sadly passed) found some of my funnier songs interesting and began to play them on the radio. So, in a period of about 9 months I created my first CD of poems and songs, using local themes, of identity, peace, conflict etc but doing it in an accessible way, with the addition of humour.

 

Here’s one of the interviews from 2010/2011. https://soundcloud.com/randall-stephen-hall/gerry-anderso-interview-24-9 

 

This development threw me back into playing live again after a long

hiatus of some years . . .

 

 

So from then until now I’ve been writing songs and poems, creating art and eventually getting involved in a small business with Natasha, my eldest daughter which sells some of my little illustrated books, T-Shirts, Tea-Towels, cards and music, on the web and, up until recently at St. George’s Market in Belfast.

 

www.ruftyroohah.com

 

As you can see I am stimulated by our local heritage, sounds, languages and see the potential connections between them.

 

SOME EXTRA BACKGROUND.

 

My great great grandfather, Richard Hall, was born in Westmeath, almost the middle of Ireland. He joined a British/Irish regiment in 1848 at the height of the Irish Famine. In the following 22 years he travelled to South Africa, India, during the Indian Mutiny and eventually spent about ten years in Manitoba, Canada, where his first 6 children were born, one being my great grandfather.

 

 Over the years I developed an interest in native Culture in Canada.

 

I travelled to Canada twice in 2000/2001 and visited a number of reserves. I travelled first in December January 2000/1 for one month to Vancouver, Victoria, Vancouver island, mainly. Then travelled back to the Winnipeg area where my great grandfather was born in 1864.”

 

There is a significant collection of songs and poetry up on

 

Sound Cloud/Randall Stephen Hall

 

Sound Cloud/Hugh Midden Speaks

 

You Tube/ Randall Stephen Hall   two different channels.

 

You Tube/Ragnall stiffen MacHalla

 

My songs are funny, sad or serious. Light and shade. Dappled light.”

 

He also presents shows in schools, community centers and other venues.

Stephen/Stiofán  (C)

World Poetry Celebrates the Unique Poet Chad Norman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***One of our  last World Poetry Festivals . Thanks to CTV News for their invaluable  sponsor help several years ago.***

Ariadne’s Notes: We were so honoured to feature the incomparable Chad Norman from Nova Scotia on April 19, 1-2 PM PST  on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, 100.5 FM, CFRO.  Chad was and still is a friend and mentor that helped World Poetry  launch and provide a intercultural, multilingual venue, radio show website and special events. It is timely that he joined us as we celebrate 20 years on the show and even more on our venues. To hear this important show  which also includes a celebration poem for our 20 years by Mohan Sanjeevan, India. Our great Tech, Victor Swartzman read it twice on the show-he liked it so much! Music by Feature Dan Pugach. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE SHOW!

Brief Bio: Chad Norman, Truro, NS, Canada

His poems have appeared for the past 35 years in literary publications across Canada, as well as a number of other countries around the world.

He hosts and organizes RiverWords: Poetry & Music Festival each year in Truro, NS., held at Riverfront Park , the 2nd Saturday of each July.

In October 2016 he was invited by the Nordic Assn. for Canadian Studies to give talks on Canadian Poetry and read from his books at Borupgaard Gym in Copenhagen, and Risskov Gym in Aarhus, as well as other readings in both cities and Malmo, Sweden. Because of that tour Norman has started the manuscript, Counting Coins In Denmark And Sweden.

His most recent books are Selected & New Poems, from Mosaic Press, and Waking Up On The Wrong Side of The Sky, from Grant Block Press, and a new book, Squall:Poems In The Voice Of Mary Shelley, is due out Spring 2020, from Guernica Editions. Presently, he also working on another manuscript, The Black Rum Poems.

In October of 2017 he will reading at various Eastern Canada venues in Kingston, Ottawa, and Montreal. And in the Fall of 2018 Norman will undertake a speaking/reading tour of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, as a celebration of literacy and Canadian Poetry.

His love of walks is endless.Chad

 

HOW TO TUNE A MIND

If you wait long enough

and the wind

is quite right

each illuminated hardwood

will select you

and send or drop

one yellow

then one red leaf

at a time, until

what you thought

were the sounds of them

hitting the forest floor

turns out to be

one of those big

red-headed woodpeckers

letting you see it

feeding on whatever

insects are still alive

in a brief patch

of sunlight.

 Chad Norman  (C) All rights reserved by the author.

I

 

World Poetry Presents the Talented Dan Pugach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo, entitled Hope  by Afghan photographer Neamat Haidari  with permission.

Ariadne’s Notes: April 19, from 1-2 pm, we had two talented guests on the World Poetry Café Radio, now celebrating 20 years on the air on CFRO, 100.5 FM. Featured were the amazing drummer,Dan Pugach, from Brooklyn , USA and the incomparable poet and World Poetry Mentor, Chad Norman fro Nova Scotia, Canada. Hosts: Ariadne Sawyer, MA and Dr. Diego Bastianutti , special  tech, Victor Swartzman plus volunteer Sharon Rowe .

We want to thank all our guests and radio show members who have helped to keep us on the air by becoming members of our show.  A special announcement  for our beloved peace in the wonderful collaboration between a peace poet in Kabul, Afghanistan, Mahmood Jan and a wonderful band in Ghana www.opokunananomband.weebly.com Please support them also as they help us bring the world together in Peace and Respect.They heard the peace poet’s poem on the air and are going to be creating a song from his poem and play it  on their world tours. What a wonderful way to celebrate our 20 years on the air! 

TO HEAR THIS GREAT SHOW CLICK HERE! 

Our Talented  Feature , courtesy of Braitwaite and Katz . We had a wonderful interview with Dan including advice for a young drummer and his great CD. To buy the CD go to his website : https://www.danpugach.com 

“Dan Pugach Nonet Transforms Proverbial Styles With A Singular Approach and A Secret Weapon On His Unit Records’ Debut, Plus One

“I can’t gush enough about the joyful energy that Dan and his Nonet express in the most open of ways. Dan’s music is thoughtful, exciting and immensely engaging.” – Ingrid Jensen

 “Dan’s writing is sharp, concise and so is everybody’s playing. Beautiful album.” – Antonio Sanchez

“His mastery of the music from the subtle inner workings of his horn orchestrations to his command over shaping larger musical statements puts Dan in a league of his own.”  – Alan Ferber

Arriving in the US from his native Israel in 2006 to study at Berklee College of Music before earning his Masters at The City College of New York, drummer/composer Dan Pugach played cash-and-carry gigs, traditional ethnic dates, worked coffee shops-anything to keep his drumming and music pure. Eventually teaching himself arranging and orchestration, his complete reimagining of Horace Silver’s “Silver’s Serenade” led instructor (and renowned pianist/composer/educator) Mike Holober to exclaim, “Your arrangement departed from the original song; it wasn’t just an adaptation, but a rearrangement. Dude, you’re going to thrive as an arranger/composer.”

Roughly ten years later, Pugach’s Plus One is the fruit of years of hard work, practice, writing and rewriting, a joyous and thematically diverse recording that expresses Pugach’s vision of a “mini big band.” 

“What I like the most about the sound and concept of Dan’s Nonet is that the playing and the writing is selfless,” says five-time Grammy Award winning composer and perennial Pat Metheny Group member, Antonio Sanchez. “It’s all about the music. The writing is on point, sharp, concise and so is everybody’s playing. Beautiful album.”

Gathering some of New York’s finest musicians in his Nonet, Pugach’s Plus One is an exciting ride encompassing a New Orleans second-line strut, expansive arrangements of familiar pop material, and dynamite original compositions performed in classic small ensemble tradition.

“I’m not trying to be too modernist; I want to have a few surprises,” Pugach says. “But they’re hidden. Each tune has a specific vibe I’m staying loyal to. I’m trying to keep everything focused.”

Pugach’s compositions and arrangements mirror his personality as a drummer. Each note flying off his drums, cymbals and percussion is concise, poised and delivered with purpose. A YouTube search yields Pugach’s drumming blowing the lid off various NYC clubs with different ensembles, his collective rhythms a streamlined approach animated (all too briefly) by fiery solos. Similarly, Plus One is music of a stylized, singular principle with moments of absolute burn.

“I believe playing less is more until it comes to my solo-then I explode,” Pugach explains. “And in my music, I don’t want to hear overblown drumming.”

Pugach is aided on Plus One by his plus-one in life, powerhouse singer Nicole Zuratis, whose recent release, Hive Mind, shows her at full force.

“Nicole is my secret weapon,” Dan confides. “Our relationship onstage is part of the conversation. She handles the mic duties; I might come up to speak and she’ll cut me off. The audience laughs. It’s our natural banter.”

Pugach goes from strength to strength on Plus One, the album showcasing his beautifully intricate  compositions, peerless arrangements and yes, his drumming, which is funky, on-point and surprisingly restrained for a musician of such skills and gifts. Dan’s arrangements for Nonet recall the classic sounds of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra-expressed in a far smaller ensemble. Deft compositions, challenging arrangements, brilliant players and Dan’s silken rhythmic touch make Plus One a special outing.

The album including moving vocal versions of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence,” Quincy Jones’ “Love Dance” and Zuratis’ male-ego-impaling rouser, “Our Blues,” Plus One culminates in the two centerpieces: “Coming Here” and “Discourse This.”  The former, a circuitous coming-of-age journey with great solos all around, including a dexterous showing by Pugach; the latter, a blustery, sparse Nonet dance that reveals the musicians’ glove-tight interplay and cohesion. Through it all, Pugach’s sizzling drumming drives his Nonet-hard.

The Nonet plays as a single organism throughout Plus One, with plenty of soloing power. The Dan Pugach Nonet, plus one, is comprised of Nicole Zuraitis, voice; Ingrid Jensen, David Smith, trumpets; Mike Fahie, trombone; Jen Hinkle, bass trombone; Andrew Gould, alto saxophone; Jeremy Powell, tenor saxophone, Andrew Gutauskas, baritone saxophone; Carmen Staaf, Jorn Swart, piano; Tamir Shmerling, bass; Bernardo Aguiar, pandeiro; and Pugach, drums.

From his experiences growing up near Tel Aviv to the influences of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band and Bob Mintzer Big Band, Pugach’s compositions and arranging on Plus One are a thrill, including the opening, second-line bruiser, “Brooklyn Blues,” to the closing, full-throated, “Discourse This.” An album of such high-level ensemble playing and standout vocal tracks is exceedingly rare. Plus One is pure and powerful-simply exceptional music.  

“People love the warmth and interaction between myself and Nicole and the Nonet,” Dan says. “It’s natural. The audience feels the connection. And connection is what it’s all about.”

Dan Pugach is a Brooklyn-based, two-time ASCAP Jazz Composer Award-winning drummer/arranger. Dan has worked with Ingrid Jensen, Rosa Passos, Airto Moreira, Gregoire Maret, Billy Drews, Jeremy Pelt, Wayne Bergeron, Sloan and Lucy Wainwright, and Dave Stryker, among others.  Originally from Israel, Dan served his mandatory three-year military duty as the drummer of the Air-Force Orchestra. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and his Masters from the City College of New York, where he studied with Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Terri-Lyne Carrington and Ari Hoenig.”