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.
*World Poetry Peace Gift poems, over 900 were given away at UBC during the last WP Peace and Human Right Festival.
Ariadne’s Notes:Wonderful guests on the World Poetry Café last week , Thursday, July 19, 1-2 PM Alara Bretanne, Canada and Danny Green USA ! Tune into the World Poetry Café Radio Show celebrating our 20th year! It was exciting to interview Danny with his beautiful new CD One Day It Will.
Also featured on the show was Jeanie Robertson at her website is: www.jeaniepoet.com First award winning poet 2017 from the Lincoln Club, our new partners with her award winning poem : Love is Where You Find It, a poem about dogs, which would delight our next weeks guest the legendary filmmaker Foster Corder! Also, a lovely e-poem from Monsif Beroual from Morocco was read by Tech Victor Swartzman and O Iraq, a dream poem was read by Ariadne Sawyer. WP correspondent Jeanne Claire Probst was again on the show with her weekly inspirational poems read by Ariadne.Another favorite story by Sharon Rowe with her Big Bessie Stories completed the show ,
A rising force on the jazz scene and an award-winning Origin Records recording artist, pianist and composer Danny Green has distinguished himself with his beautifully articulated touch and melodically charged sensibility. His Original compositions – a vivid blend of jazz, classical, and Brazilian elements – delights critics and audiences across the country and around the world.
Green’s talents have taken him from the Blue Note in New York City to the Blue Whale in Los Angeles, and his work has been featured in DownBeat Magazine, Jazziz, the San Diego Union Tribune, The Boston Globe, NPR, and JazzEd. According to JazzReview.com, “Danny Green is what evolution in jazz is all about, expressing the traits of those that came before him, with a style and panache that is all his own…an individual who expresses what is inside of him.”
A Southern California native, Green began studying classical piano at the age of five. His passion for music was apparent early on — his parents had to pull him away from the piano at his first recital. As they tugged him by his right hand, he continued playing with his left hand. At the age of twelve, Green grew disenchanted with reading music and quit lessons. He taught himself to play by ear and spent the next two years only playing Nirvana. Toward the end of high school, he fell in love with Afro Cuban music, which led to his discovery of Brazilian music and eventually jazz.
Green resumed his formal training at UC San Diego, where he studied jazz piano with Grammy-winning producer Kamau Kenyatta and classical piano with John Mark Harris and Luciane Cardassi. He performed the first jazz honors recital at UCSD and received the Jimmy Cheatham Jazz Award. Green continued his education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies at San Diego State University, where he studied jazz piano with Rick Helzer. He was awarded several scholarships and named “Outstanding Graduate.” In 2013, Green was honored as an “Alumni to Watch” from SDSU’s School of Music and Dance.
The Danny Green Trio features the talents of upright and electric bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm. Since its formation in 2010, the trio has performed at notable venues, series, and festivals across the county, including the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Shapeshifter Lab (NYC), The Blue Whale (LA), Vibrato Jazz Grill (LA), The Lilypad (Cambridge), The Loft @ UCSD, KSDS KSDS Jazz 88.3’s Jazz Live, the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library (San Diego), CSU Summer Arts Monterey (residency), the Integrity Jazz festival in North Dakota, TEDxUCSD, The Sound Room (Oakland), Tula’s Jazz Club (Seattle), Jazz Live at Marine View Church (Tacoma), and the KSDS Jazz 88.3 Ocean Beach Jazz Festival. The trio was chosen to be a resident artist in the San Diego Museum of Art’s 2013 Summer Residency Project.
Green revealed his unique talents on his 2009 debut recording With You In Mind, which won “Best Jazz Album” at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards. In 2012, Green teamed up with Tapestry Records to release A Thousand Ways Home, featuring Justin Grinnell on bass, Julien Cantelm on drums, and Tripp Sprague on sax, as well as a talented cast of guest artists inducing guitarists Chico Pinheiro, Peter Sprague, and Dusty Brough, Brazilian vocalist Claudia Villela, and mandolinist Eva Scow. That album was voted into KSDS Jazz 88.3’s “Top Ten Jazz Releases of 2012,” and was nominated “Best Jazz Album” at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards.
In 2014, the Danny Green Trio, comprised of Green, Grinnell, and Cantelm, released the highly-acclaimed album After The Calm on OA2 Records. Featuring ten of Green’s compositions, the album received much praise from the press and nationwide radio play. JazzWax described the album as “A highly impressive album that will knock you out,” and the San Diego Troubadour called it, “Unconditionally recommended to anyone who appreciates good jazz, instrumental music or soundtracks.” After The Calm won “Best Jazz Album” at the 2015 San Diego Music Awards and was nominated for “Album of the Year.”
The trio recorded their 2016 release, Altered Narratives, at New York City’s famed Sear Sound recording studio with award-winning producer Matt Pierson. Released on OA2 Records, the album consists of eleven original compositions by Green. The three tunes at the center of the album feature the trio with a string quartet led by violinist Antoine Silverman, a widely admired New York classical and studio player. All About Jazz critic Dan McClenaghan commented, “There’s nothing that adds a touch of elegance to a jazz set more than an adeptly-done string arrangement, and these are superb; violins, viola and cello in a sinuous, sometimes whispering embrace with a vibrant, top-notch piano trio, delving into Danny Green’s distinguished compositions.” The album remained on the Jazz Week Top 50 chart for fourteen weeks and earned high praise from critics worldwide.
Since the release of Altered Narratives, Green has continued composing music for trio plus strings and performing it. The Danny Green Trio Plus Strings’s debut performance at New York City’s Shapeshifter Lab featured members of the New York based chamber ensemble, Hotel Elefant, along with special guest Chico Pinheiro on guitar. Other performances include a live radio broadcast on KSDS Jazz 88.3’s Jazz Live, featuring members of the San Diego Symphony, TEDxSan Diego, the Museum of Making Music, and the Western Arts Alliance Juried Showcase in Seattle. NBC San Diego reviewed their Jazz Live performance noting, “Green’s acuity for string writing and the seamless integration of the quartet and the improvising trio were nothing short of sterling.” The Danny Green Trio Plus Strings is currently in production on a new album, slated for release on Origin Records in April 2018.
Green is also highly devoted to music education. In addition to teaching private lessons, he is a faculty member of the annual Jazz 88.3 Summer Jazz Workshop, teaches piano at Grossmont Community College, and presents a jazz appreciation workshop at elementary schools as part of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library’s outreach program. Green directed the jazz ensemble at Coronado School of the Arts from 2014-2017, and was an artist in residence at Canyon Crest Academy and at CSU Summer Arts Monterey.