Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show, August 9, CFRO 100.5 FM welcomed the great musician and singer, Allegra Levy’ at 1:30 PM, PST. The CD is lovely, with the focus being on the mysterious moon, romantic and enticing. She is rising young New York-based singer-songwriter with a new album Looking at the Moon by SteepleChase Records. https://www.allegralevy.com/
WP Team: Ariadne Sawyer, MA, host and producer, Victor Swartzman, sound engineer, Sharon Rowe, special volunteer. Music by Andy Vine and Allegra Levy. Thanks to Braithwaite and Katz publicists.
Rising young New York-based singer-songwriter Allegra Levy’s new album Looking at the Moon is out TODAY (June 15, 2018) via SteepleChase Records. On her third release Levy – known as a “double-barreled talent” (JazzTimes) for both her vocalism and song-writing – turns to songs written by others, with a unifying theme: the moon.
Looking at the Moon features 13 much-loved odes to the shimmering orb, from “Blue Moon” and “Paper Moon” to the inimitable “No Moon at All.” Her collaborators on the new record are bassist Tim Norton and her longtime accompanist Carmen Staaf, plus rising guitarist Alex Goodman.
Vocalist Allegra Levy brings fresh interpretations to songs with a lunar theme on her third album Looking at the Moon
“Levy’s music is sophisticated, worldly and swinging, with a wide range of tonal colors and moods not unlike Portland’s Pink Martini. Levy’s voice is one we should expect to hear from for a long time.”— Mike Hamad, Hartford Courant
“Her lyrics are uncommonly smart, full of striking imagery and a pervasive angst. As all first-rate jazz vocalists do, she sings in character, word by word, line by line.” — Alan Young, New York Music Daily
The usual way to start a jazz vocal career is to stick with standards, trilling and scatting in the well-traveled tracks of great singers who have come before. Rising young New York-based singer-songwriter Allegra Levy eschewed that approach on her acclaimed first two albums, which consisted almost entirely of original compositions. Now, with her third release, she turns to songs written by others, with a unifying theme: the moon.
Looking at the Moon, due June 15, 2018 on SteepleChase Records, features 13 much-loved odes to the shimmering orb, from “Blue Moon” and “Paper Moon” to the inimitable “No Moon at All.”
With her new album Looking at the Moon, Levy abandons her autobiographical “city” theme, setting her sights out of this world, but also, in another respect, on more familiar ground. “I was a little bit nervous about doing a record that was not original works because I’m still trying to develop my voice as a composer,” the 28-year-old Levy admits. “But I’ve always wanted to do this moon-themed thing. For some reason, people seem to write really good tunes when it comes to the elusive moon.”
Levy concedes that there is nothing all that novel when it comes to singing about the moon. Frank Sinatra didn’t just fly us to the moon, for example; he recorded an entire album about it. Yet the lunar sphere has long fascinated Levy. She was moonstruck from an early age. “The first thing that my mom used to sing to me when I was a young child was ‘Moonshadow,’” she recalls. Cat Stevens’ 1970 pop hit proved to be more than a hip lullaby for her. It was love at first sound.
The first song Levy ever performed publicly in her native Connecticut, as a teenager, was “How High the Moon,” one of Ella Fitzgerald’s signature tunes. Later, when required to create a big-band chart for her senior thesis at New England Conservatory, she chose Henry Mancini’s “Moon River.” She closed most of her gigs with that song for years and has adapted it for the opening track. “There was no real reason for any of these moon connections,” she says. “They just seemed to appear in every phase of my life.”
**Gobi Desert, where our wonderful WP Advisor Sendoo Hadda writes his poems in the summer.
Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show, August 9, CFRO 100.5 FM welcomed the talented poet Kevin Morris from the UK at 1:10 PM, PST Website – https://newauthoronline.com and rising young New York-based singer-songwriter Allegra Levy’s new album Looking at the Moon is out SteepleChase Records. https://www.allegralevy.com/ She will be on the next feature. WP Team: Ariadne Sawyer, MA, host and producer, Victor Swartzman, sound engineer, Sharon Rowe, special volunteer. Music by Andy Vine and Allegra Levy. Thanks to Braithwaite and Katz publicists.
Note from Kevin: “I am pleased to be able to let you know that “The Writer’s Pen” is now available, in the Amazon Kindle store for preorder and can be found here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1LBMV/ “
“I was born in Liverpool (UK) on 6 January 1969. I lost the majority of my eyesight at 18-months-old due to a blood clot.I am a braille user and have happy memories of leafing through “The Oxford Book of English Verse” and other poetry collections in the school library. (I attended The Royal School for the Blind, followed by Saint Vincent’s School for the Blind, both of which still exist and are located in Liverpool). I read history and politics at University College Swansea and graduated with a BA (joint hons) and a MA in political theory. During my time at Swansea I participated in the student’s sailing club and have pleasant memories of swimming in the sea when the boat capsized! In 1994 I moved to London where I now live and work. I began writing poetry seriously in 2012. Much of my poetry is inspired by the environment. I am lucky enough to live close to an historic park in the Upper Norwood/Crystal Palace area (a suburb of London).Being visually impaired I use Job Access with Speech or JAWS software which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to use a standard Windows computer or laptop. My collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”, will be published in September 2018.”
The Writer’s Pen
You accuse me of hiding in my ivory tower. I answer that I have no power, Other than my pen Which when It scratches Sometimes catches The truth of the matter, Causing the fine porcelain Of your ideals to shatter, Revealing the stain Called human nature. For each man is a prater And the writer’s pen Can interpret the hearts of men.
Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio show with hosts Ariadne Sawyer and co-host Neall Ryon were honoured to welcome the talented and amazing storyteller and genealogy quester Evelyn Benson on December 3, on CFRO 100.5 FM. CLICK HERE to listen to this fascinating show of stories and the poetry of Poet Laureate Emeritus Don Benson.
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Born at New Westminster B.C. in 1934, Evelyn Sangster Benson is the youngest daughter of former Mayor J. Lewis Sangster. The Sangster family has deep roots in the Royal City reaching back to 1894. Evelyn’s husband of 62 years, Don Benson, is New Westminster’s Poet Laureate Emeritus.
Evelyn’s first book is a Best-seller in New Westminster: “A CENTURY IN A SMALL TOWN – One Family’s Stories”. Evelyn has been gathering oral history most of her life and her remarkable memory allows her to retell stories told TO her in her childhood years by her grandparents, parents and other kin. As a high school teacher, she realized how interested her students were as she related stories from “the olden days”. Urged by her students to “write a book”, Evelyn put it off until she realized her 80th birthday was on the horizon.
Now, at speaking engagements, Evelyn urges others to put their family’s stories and anecdotes down in written or recorded form for the generations to come. Her enthusiasm is an inspiration to her family and to other Seniors. Her book won the “Best book of 2013 Award” from the Genealogical Society of British Columbia.
Evelyn says she is almost ready to launch “A CENTURY IN A SMALL TOWN – More Family Stories”.