The World Poetry Café Radio CFRO 100.5 FM , August 23, 2018. 1-2 PM PST, celebrated its 20 year on the air this year with a new segment in Living Memory for Dr. Warren Stevenson and a tribute written by his daughters.
A unique, talented musician and educator Jeff Densen joined us at 1:30 PM,PST with his new CD, Outside my Window .
Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a demo at www.jeffdenson.com *Courtesy of Braithwaite and Katz. I love this CD, it is powerful, haunting and enjoyable.
The Team: Co-host Jaqueline Maire and host Ariadne Sawyer, super tech Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer Sharon Rowe with her Big Bessie Story, read by Victor.
Another talented award winning poet from the Lincoln Club: Jane Rowland with her lyrical poem, Simple Courtship was read on the show.
Sometimes all it takes is a tiny spark to ignite a raging inferno. For Jeff Jensen, the spark occurred in 2011. Feeling the need for a fresh start, he loaded up his car to head back to his boyhood home in California. Just as that journey was to begin, a deep and unexpected calling starting boiling inside, Jensen changed directions and headed to Memphis. There was no job waiting for him; no plan, no family, no band, just a lone friend with a temporary place for him to stay. But our intrepid guitar player felt it was the right move, the only move. In less than thirty hours after arriving, he met Brandon Santini and was offered the opportunity to be his guitarist. Soon after, Jeff became music director for the Brandon Santini Band. The inferno has been building ever since. After two years, almost 500 shows and three recordings with Santini, Jensen re-formed his band with long-time friend and musical collaborator Bill Ruffino (bass). Then they recruited Memphis native Robinson Bridgeforth as drummer. They hit the road and never looked back. Most people are in for a shock the first time they experience a Jeff Jensen Band performance. It starts with the trio mixing an eccentric blend of soul, rock, and American roots music with a deep blues influence. Suddenly Jensen feels the spirit, transforming into a whirling dervish of sight & sound as he bounds across the stage, barely able to contain himself as he wrenches stark, biting six-string explosions from his guitar. His passion is there for all to see, a rare occurrence in these times of buttoned-down music-making. At first, the sheer emotional force he creates can be a bit overwhelming. Then you realize that all art is an expression of the soul, of the power of the life-giving force that created the universe. And Jeff feels it is his responsibility to make the effort to communicate his passion with each member of the audience every night. After all, music is art, and art is the physical form of emotion. In 2015, Jensen released the vibrant Morose Elephant album that captures the flavor of the band’s creative force. Combining seven originals with covers of songs from Memphis Minnie and Amos Milburn plus a traditional gospel hymn, Jensen articulates the depth of his musical vision with help from a number of friends including Victor Wainwright, Reba Russell, and Annie Harris. The disc received even more critical acclaim as the band’s previous release, Road Worn and Ragged (2013), both produced by Jensen. This led to two consecutive Blues Blast Music Award nominations in the Sean Costello Rising Star category (2014/2015). The band continues to tour the US, Canada and many European countries relentlessly, as the inferno shows no signs of burning out. Whenever there is a break in the schedule, Jensen switches roles, acting as the producer with other artists including Mick Kolassa, John Parker and co-producing Santini’s This Time Another Year, nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category (2014). *Biography written by Mark Thompson.
Co-host Jaqueline Maire with one of Warren’s books.
The World Poetry Café Radio CFRO 100.5 FM , August 23, 2018. 1-2 PM PST, celebrated its 20 year on the air with a new segment in Living Memory . We welcomed the new series with a wonderful tribute to Dr. Warren Stevenson written by his two daughters. Co-host Jaqueline Maire and host Ariadne Sawyer, super tech Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer Sharon Rowe with her Big Bessie Story, read by Victor. Also a wonderful musician Jeff Densen with his new CD, Outside my Window He will have his own feature next. Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a demo at www.jeffdenson.com Courtesy of Braithwaite and Katz. Another talented award winning poet from the Lincoln Club, Jane Rowland with her lyrical poem: A Simple Courtship. We will read her second poem next week, Prayer to My Unborn Child.
Warren Stevenson was born in Hamilton Ontario in 1933. His mother divorced his musician father when Warren was young and enrolled him a year early in Hillfield School in his home town. He skipped another year at school, and a scholarship allowed him to do grade thirteen at Toronto’s Upper Canada College. Warren studied at Bishop’s University in Quebec where he met his wife Mary, continued at McGill for an MA (where he was a contemporary of Leonard Cohen; the two are published together in the 1954 edition of “Forge,” the student writing Journal. Leonard has two poems in there and Warren has a short story, set in Quebec’s Gaspe region, where he’d previously spent a summer teaching English to miners.) Warren earned his PhD by age 24 at Northwestern University, in Illinois. His thesis was on “Shakespeare’s Hand in The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kidd.” Scholarship and fatherhood were the constants of his life for the next many decades, as he and Mary, who was a school teacher and homemaker, had five children. After starting teaching in Manitoba, Warren spent the rest of his career teaching in the UBC English Department, publishing six books of literary criticism on the Romantic poets, as well as several volumes of his own poetry. He continued writing poetry well into retirement, as well as a lively pen pal relationship with Margaret Atwood. Retirement also meant a chance to read for his own pleasure, see many movies and plays, collect artwork, and also, of course, continue with his poetry-writing and his participation in the World Poetry Association’s events and comradeship. Warren is now a live wire in a wheelchair in a care home. And while he continues to be known there as “The Professor”, his memory and cognition have, like his body, suffered the slings and arrows of time and degeneration. But being a poet at heart, he can find joy and beauty in the small things, like the smell of a rose, or feeding and apple to the resident horse, aptly named “Beau” which had been Warren’s childhood nickname.
Note: Warren was ahead of his time with his interest in the myth of androgyny. One of his academic books he published is called Romanticism and the Androgynous Sublime Revisited A New Perspective of the English Romantic Poets in which he studies that theme in the works of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron Shelly and Keats.
*Tribute by his two daughters.
A short poem:
Why did you
who had written so beautifully
on the unity of life
when part of it flew in
through the open window?
By Dr. Warren Stevenson (C)
Book: The Western Path, Collected Poems by Dr. Warren Stevenson , Publisher: Multicultural Books of BC.
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.”