The World Poetry Café, CFRO, 100.5 FM November 28 presented World Poetry Peaceathon Poets who will be in the new Peaceathon book and the talented composer and pianist , Yoko Miwa http://www.yokomiwa.com/ who called in at 1:30 pm PSt from Boston.
The World Poetry In Loving Memory series featured World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Shulamite Joffre and Dugald Christie as part of our yearly efforts to honour to them and to read their poetry.
A special honour . we were able to present Laura Tohe, author, poet and the Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation and read her beautiful poem Meeting the Spirit of Water for Glen Tohe (with permission) on the show. https://www.lauratohe.com/
Featured Peace Star Poets: Kumaresan B.M, India, Diego Bastianutti, Canada, Hongri Yuan, China, Evi Polizou, Greece, and Debabrata Sarkar, India.
A new story, Tommie 2 by Sharon Rowe!
Producer and host Ariadne Sawyer and co-host, technician Victor Schwartzman. Special volunteer: Sharon Rowe.
“I greatly appreciate and respect the clarity and strength in Yoko’s playing, it is very apparent – the honesty, care and depth of foundation she touches the piano with.” –Benny Green
Internationally acclaimed pianist/composer Yoko Miwa is one of the most powerful and compelling performers on the scene today. Her trio, with its remarkable telepathy and infectious energy, has brought audiences to their feet worldwide. Their latest CD, 2019’s Keep Talkin’, showcases Miwa’s fine playing and artful compositions and the trio’s uncanny musical camaraderie. DownBeat gave the recording four stars, calling it “a beautifully constructed album” and noting “the drive and lyricism of a pianist and composer at home in bebop, gospel, pop, and classical.” JazzTimes also reviewed the album favorably, praising Miwa’s “jaw-dropping degree of technique.” The album enjoyed seven weeks in the top 10 on Jazz Week’s charts, much like its predecessor, Miwa’s 2017 release Pathways, which also made Jazz Week’s top 10 for several weeks. In a 2017 feature article on Miwa, DownBeat noted her “impressive technique and a tuneful lyricism that combines an Oscar Peterson-ish hard swing with Bill Evans-like introspection.”
For the past decade Miwa’s trio has played regularly at major jazz clubs in their home city of Boston, as well as venues around the world. A favorite of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Miwa was chosen to play on “Marian McPartland & Friends,” part of the Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival. She was also chosen to perform at Lincoln Center’s annual Jazz and Leadership Workshop for The National Urban League’s Youth Summit. Miwa also appears regularly at New York’s famed Blue Note Jazz Club and has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of jazz greats including Sheila Jordan, Slide Hampton, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kevin Mahogany, John Lockwood and Johnathan Blake among others. In 2018 she performed on the main stage at the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Litchfield Jazz Festival, where her trio drew the largest audience of any act. She is a Yamaha Pianos Artist, JVC Victor Entertainment recording artist, and Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll winner.
Miwa’s story of becoming a jazz musician is full of serendipity and happy twists of fate. In the late 1990s the classically-trained artist auditioned for Berklee College of Music on a lark and ended up winning a full scholarship. She arrived at the school from her homeland of Japan in 1997, intending to stay for a year. In 2019, she’s still in Boston, enriching the city’s musical life and serving as one of the most popular professors in the Berklee piano department.
Act Naturally, the Yoko Miwa Trio’s major label debut in Japan, came out in 2012 on the JVC Victor Entertainment label and the band toured Japan that same year. “She is one of the best jazz pianists in Japan,” said Yozo Iwanami, Jazz Hihyo Magazine.
A native of Kobe, Japan, Miwa didn’t pursue an interest in jazz until she met and studied with Minoru Ozone, a popular television organist and nightclub owner who is the father of pianist Makoto Ozone. Miwa worked at Ozone’s club and as an accompanist and piano instructor at his music school until the great Kobe earthquake of 1995 destroyed both facilities. Then, while continuing to take private lessons from Minoru Ozone, she also pursued musical studies at the Koyo Conservatory in Kobe. From there she won first prize in a scholarship competition to attend Berklee. Miwa quickly began playing with a host of talented students and teachers, and she formed a strong bond with vocal great Kevin Mahogany, who chose the pianist to serve as accompanist in his classes and on his gigs.
Miwa has released eight highly acclaimed CDs: In the Mist of Time (Tokuma, 2000); Fadeless Flower (Polystar, 2002); Canopy of Stars (Polystar, 2004); The Day We Said Goodbye, recorded live at the studios of WGBH-FM (Sunshine Digital, 2006); Live at Scullers (Jazz Cat Amnesty, 2011); Act Naturally (JVC Victor Entertainment, 2012), Pathways (2017), and Keep Talkin’ (2019).
Source Braitwaite and Katz, with great thanks and her website.
The World Poetry Café Radio, CFRO, 100.5 FM on November 21 at 1:10 pm PST with hosts Ariadne Sawyer and Diego Bastianutti was proud to present Michael Mirolla in a wonderful show about his term as the current Writer in Residence at the Historic Joy Kogawa House. English, Italian and Spanish poetry was also read. It was exciting to get a glimpse of his life as writer in residence as well as his readings and presentations.
Also, calling in to the at 1:30 pm PST is : LGBTQ IA Filmmaker NEELU BHUMAN travelling somewhere in the world whose will have a separate feature about the team and the difference they are making in the world.
E-poem by the well known Ruth Kozak and a tribute to the Silent Ones, with a poem by Ariadne Sawyer called the Tortured One, a story by Sharon Rowe and a welcome back to Victor along with great thanks to Kerry Buckner for taking over the controls while Victor was away.
Michael Mirolla is the current Writer in Residence at the Historic Joy Kogawa House. He is the author of a clutch of novels, poetry collections, short story collections and plays. He is a three-time winner of the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize. His novel Berlin was a finalist for the Indie and National Book Awards and has been translated into Latvian. The short story “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology and “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. His new novella, The Last News Vendor, was published by Quattro Books in November 2019. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now lives in Hamilton, Ontario. For more information: http://www.michaelmirolla.com. He is also the publisher of Guernica Editions.
The World Poetry Cafe radio show, CFRO, 100.5 FM on November 14, 1:30 pm PST,celebrated Ezra Weiss with his new CD We Limit Not the Truth of God.
Featuring a brilliant 17-piece big band that includes such distinctive soloists as saxophonists John Nastos, Rob Davis, Renato Caranto and Mieke Bruggeman; trumpeters Farnell Newton, Derek Sims and Thomas Barber; trombonists Stan Bock and Jeff Uusitalo; and flutist John Savage, the album was recorded live in the resonant Alberta Abbey, a historic church turned performance space in Weiss’ hometown of Portland, Oregon.
Weiss tries to make sense of a divided world on this stirring and impassioned suite addressed to his young children. It’s a heartbreakingly confessional work that’s both a loving message passed down from father to children as well as a profound and deeply felt plea for togetherness and empathy. I found this CD fascinating since it also contains Ezra doing spoken word which adds to the depth of the CD.
E-poets, Bozena Helena Mazur-Nowak, Poland and England and Pieter-Joris Morssink , Australia, and a new story by Sharon Rowe called Big Bessie Ends the Strike. A capsule of the Brain Bulletin Series plus news completed the show.
Composer/pianist Ezra Weiss is “a bold, inspired figure in the contemporary jazz arranging scene.” (DownBeat) He has released six albums as a bandleader: The Five A.M. Strut (2003), Persephone (2005), Get Happy (2007), The Shirley Horn Suite (2010), Our Path To This Moment (2012), and Before You Know It [Live in Portland] (2014). All of these CD’s have received substantial national and international acclaim from the press, and have spent significant time on the JazzWeek Radio Charts.
Additionally, Ezra composed the music for the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble’s multimedia concert and recording, From Maxville To Vanport (2018). He also wrote the big band arrangements for Derek Hines’ recording The Long Journey Home (2017), which led to the formation of the Ezra Weiss Big Band.
Ezra currently leads his own big band and sextet, performing at major jazz festivals and clubs throughout the U.S., including Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, the 55 Bar, and Tonic in NYC; Ryles in Boston; Nighttown in Cleveland; Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia; The Triple Door in Seattle; Jimmy Mak’s in Portland; and the Catalina Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. His bands have featured such luminaries as trumpeters Michael Philip Mossman, Peter Evans, and Farnell Newton; saxophonists Antonio Hart, Vincent Herring, Mark Gross, and Dayna Stephens; bassists Corcoran Holt, Ameen Saleem, and Curtis Lundy; and drummers Kassa Overall, Steve Williams, Jason Brown, and Billy Hart (for whom Ezra also served as arranger), among others. He also co-led the Courtney Bryan/Ezra Weiss Jazz Orchestra in New York City.
Further, Ezra has composed music and lyrics to three children’s musicals: Alice in Wonderland: a Jazz Musical (2009) Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2010), and Cinderella (2013). All of these musicals were designed to expose young children to jazz. Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella were each named one of the Top 10 Cast Albums of 2009 and 2013 respectively by Talkin Broadway.com.
Ezra has won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times and has been listed in DownBeat Critics Polls in the Rising Star Arranger category. He holds a Bachelors in Jazz Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Masters in Jazz Piano Performance from Queens College. His teachers have included Wendell Logan, Neal Creque, and Bruce Barth. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches at Portland State University. Source: Braitewaite and Katz with thanks.