Tag Archives: Victor Schwartzman

World Poetry Celebrates the Wonderful MJSRaven !

  Ariadne’s Notes:

Flowers by Sharon.

The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM  was honoured to welcome the amazing performer, MJSRaven  at 1:30 PM PST Thursday, May 10th at 1:30 PM PST. She is a well known female Michael Jackson Impersonator who has and continues to entertain for over 25 years.

Also thanks to the Mother’s Day poets from all over the world  whose poems were read  from 1-1:25 PM PST 







MJSRAVEN  (Crystal J. Pullen) January 1993 – Present . Available for all events and venues She has  entertained from East Coast’s Off Broadway to The West Coast’s Las Vegas Casino’s. Featured in Critically Acclaimed Photography Book ” The Michael Jackson’s”. Acknowledged and Confirmed By Michael Jackson’s Main Choreographer to be ” THE ONLY FEMALE MICHAEL JACKSON IMPERSONATOR IN THE USA AND INTERNATIONALLY. https://mjsraven6.wixsite.com/mjsraven

I was so impressed with Crystal’s interview on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, her attention to detail in movement and dance , bringing the best of Michael Jackson to life in a  historical  presentation   She shares with  the audiences those experiences and brings love and empowerment to them both in her teaching of women and children and her performances.

Adding to her performances is her background in Ballet and Modern Dance and her love for her work.

 Crystal is also a humanitarian  who reaches out to others and is an Ambassador of Peace for People in Nepal, focusing on children and the building of schools. 

in addition to all her work, she also is the proud mother of a 14 year old.

Her message  to all is to believe, believe, believe  in one’s self and nothing can stop you.

It was a real honor to do this interview with this exceptional woman who helps to make the world a better place.

Source: Osiris Muir and  https://mjsraven6.wixsite.com/mjsraven

*Another great guest thanks to Osiris Muir of 15 Minutes.*

World Poetry Celebrates the Wonderful Erin McDougald!








Posters from our upcoming event from the VPL and Vani Pradeep.

Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show, May 3 on CFRO, 100.5 FM 1-2 pm PST was honored to feature Selwyn Jacob from the National Film Board speaking about his retrospective film The Road Taken and publicist Katja De Bock who brought some tips for upcoming actors in the studio. 

Also  calling in at 1:30 PM PST, was the wonderful jazz musician from Chicago Erin McDougald   celebrating her new CD “Outside the Soiree”  and giving her thoughts about being an outsider and the MeToo movement. She kindly agreed to answer a question from a young aspiring musician from Arkansas who asked her about the role of women in music and how the Me Too movement has affected women in the music industry. 

All the guests who have been asked questions from youth around the world have been so helpful in answering . As one youth from Senegal stated: ” They give us hope and tell us to believe in ourselves.” The World Poetry family is honoured to show support for the wonderful youth of this world-the shinning lights of the future. we would like to also thank Braithwaite and Katz for sending us such wonderful artists. braithwaitekatz 

The World Poetry Team does a great job keeping us on the air and interviewing fascinating guests. 


Vocalist Erin McDougald‘s fourth studio recording, Outside the Soiree, is a heartfelt ode to all the outsiders – those independent-minded souls who find themselves, by choice or by fate, living outside the halls of power: neglected by history, oppressed by the majority, lonely in love, bucking the trends, swimming upstream.  Erin McDougald

Due out March 16, 2018 (Erin’s birthday!) from Miles High Records, Outside the Soiree offers a thematic narrative explored through “McDougald’s evocative artistry” (Chicago Music Guide), a voice that Jazz Improv Magazine has called a “rare instrument to be savored… sweet and spicy, positively mercurial.” The subject matter is poignantly and uniquely expressed from unexpected musical angles as Erin seamlessly amalgamates, modernizes and reinterprets obscure standards, her own original composition and genres “outside” the jazz idiom within a progressive jazz mentality.   

She’s joined by a stellar band featuring guitarist and pianist Rob Block, bassist Cliff Schmitt, drummer Rodney Green, percussionists Mark Sherman and Chembo Corniel, and saxophonist Dan Block. The band is given the imprimatur of a couple of born outsiders who’ve become insiders (and legends) through decades of singular artistry: saxophonist David Liebman and trumpeter Tom Harrell.  


McDougald is well acquainted with the outsider’s existence; she tends to be one herself. Known by her fans as “the Flapper Girl,” the Chicago-based improvisational jazz singer is a progressive thinker with a throwback aesthetic. She embodies the sensuality and fierce emancipatory attitude of an audacious fashionista and political egalitarian in her personality and artistry. With a moniker evoking a ’20s-era flapper she’s not interested in glamorous nostalgia, but instead spotlights the formidable female icons that stemmed from an era of resistance that forever changed American culture and its musical heritage.  

As McDougald regularly points out to audiences, flappers were suffragists, with libidos, rhythm, style and social cachet. As “the flapper girl of modern vocal jazz”, Erin’s artistry has become synonymous with marrying vintage foundations and contemporary concepts in her rhythmic, daring interpretations of era- spanning jazz, from American Swing through the Post-Bop catalogue. Her ability to borrow music from other genres and infuse a jazz treatment has garnered her fans of all ages, and collaborators with global renown.  

Miss McDougald has appeared and or recorded with members of the elite jazz scene that include Nicholas Payton, Paul Wertico, Ira Sullivan, Carlos Henriquez, Ben Wolfe, Von Freeman, Howard Levy, Roy Hargrove and many others. Downbeat critic and Jazz Journalist Association President Howard Mandel declares, “McDougald is one of the finest and freest voices in jazz OR pop today.” The late Verve Records producer/conductor/arranger Buddy Bregman emphatically stated of Erin in 2006, “There’s an essence to her singing that is all her own… not a mimicked, watered-down version of someone else, but… a very deep, soulful connection to the songs she chooses. Her pitch and phrasing are superb, but there is something about her interior-very sweet… she has ‘It’. My favorite singer to come along since Anita O’Day in her prime.”  

With performances in sold-out venues from Chicago to Paris, McDougald has headlined The Chicago Jazz Festival’s Heritage Stage, and premier jazz venues such as The Jazz Showcase, The Allerton, Green Dolphin Street, The Green Mill, 54 Below, Smalls, Anthology, Savanna Jazz, The Mint, Dizzy’s of San Diego, The Velvet Note, BluJazz, The Acorn Theater, Notes Jazz Club, and Le Bilboquet in Paris, among many others.  

Outside the Soiree is a sublime symposium of venerable soloists and emerging talents that expose a raw synergy and emotive message. Erin’s keen idea to turn Charles Deforest’s obscure, melancholy 1950’s ballad “Don’t Wait Up for Me” into a liberating, rhythmic 5/4 proclamation also crystalizes the style and strengths of featured soloists David Liebman on soprano saxophone and Tom Harrell on trumpet (with impeccable embellishment by drummer Rodney Green). Likewise, the sophisticated and changing time signatures on Erin’s “Midnight Sun” shed light upon vibraphonist Mark Sherman’s musical eloquence where again Liebman shines in a flurry of pithy soprano sound.

Brothers Rob and Dan Block create an ethereal, sorrowful beauty on the group’s Chorinho-styled adaptation of the Broadway musical song “Unusual Way;” Tomoko Block (Rob’s wife) teamed up with Rob to arrange this gem, showcasing Rob’s quietly weeping guitar solo and Dan’s haunting clarinet playing. Percussionist Wilson “Chembo” Corniel is strongly showcased along with bassist Cliff Schmitt on Erin’s original composition and title track “Outside the Soiree” in a connected, reflexive and moving journey through Erin’s poetic lyricism and mournful melody. Hard-swinging is Erin with her band on songs like “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” and “Don’t Be on the Outside;” exceptional elements of avant-garde singing and playing are showcased on the CD’s final cut, “The Parting Glass,” a deftly reimagined traditional Irish funeral hymn in a minor key, performed with thundering gravity. The addictively nuanced Cha-Cha rendition of “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” gloriously highlights the band with undulating musicality and fervor.  

McDougald celebrated with a concert on her birthday – the album’s release date – Friday, March 16, 2018 at The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks Michigan

Recorded & Mixed by Dae Bennett. Liner Notes by Howard Mandel (Jazz Journalists Association, DownBeat). Album concept, design & overall production: Erin McDougald. Co-executive producers: Larry Young & Mark Sherman. Photography: Gulnara Khamatova. Artwork: Miriam Dauber. Graphics: Lisa Ghisolf. Publicist: Ann Braithwaite – ann@bkmusicpr.com Radio Promoter: Mark Elf – jenbayjazz@gmail.com

Source: Braitwaite and Katz

World Poetry Celebrates Selwyn Jacob & the NFB!

WP Afghan film screening in Richmond, BC.

Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show, on CFRO, 100.5 FM 1-2 pm. was honored to feature Selwyn Jacob from the National Film Board speaking about his retrospective film The Road Taken and publicist Katja De Bock who brought some tips for upcoming actors.  Also  calling in was the wonderful jazz musician from Chicago Erin McDougald   celebrating her new CD “Outside the Soiree”  and giving her thoughts about being an outsider and the MeToo movement. She will have a separate feature.  



A Must See Event! Selwyn Jacob Retrospective at DOCA. 2018 by Ariadne Sawyer, MA. for the Afro News and World Poetry Media.

Selwyn Jacob will be honoured with a retrospective screening of his 1996 film, The Road Taken.

This is a great opportunity to see this amazing film and meet this legendary producer and  filmmaker. DOXA screenings: Saturday, 5 May- 6 pm at The Annex, Tuesday, 8 May at 2:45 pm at the Vancity Theatre https://www.doxafestival.ca/film/road-taken

The Road Taken 1996 documentary takes a nostalgic ride through history to present the experiences of Black sleeping-car porters who worked on Canada’s railways from the early 1900s through the 1960s and how they made a difference. This 1996 documentary takes a nostalgic ride through history to present the experiences of Black sleeping-car porters who worked on Canada’s railways from the early 1900s through the 1960s. There was a strong sense of pride among these men and they were well-respected by their community. Yet, harsh working conditions prevented them from being promoted to other railway jobs until finally, in 1955; porter Lee Williams took his fight to the union.

Claiming discrimination under the Canada Fair Employment Act, the Blacks won their right to work in other areas. Interviews, archival footage and the music of noted jazz musician Joe Sealy (whose father was a porter) combine to portray a fascinating history that might otherwise have been forgotten.

Selwyn Jacob is a Canadian documentary filmmaker whose work has often explored the experiences of Black Canadians as well as other stories from Canada’s multicultural communities, as both as an independent director and since 1997 as a producer with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

Originally from Trinidad, Jacob attended a teacher’s college there before traveling to Canada in 1968 to complete a Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. While in Edmonton, he was influenced and mentored by film producer, author and broadcaster Fil Fraser. After graduation, Jacob completed a master’s degree in film studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Jacob’s interest in Black Canadian non-fiction storytelling continued as NFB producer, supplemented by a notable range of films by Asian Canadian filmmakers from Canada’s western provinces, exploring their communities’ culture and histories, as well. His NFB producing credits include The Journey of Lesra Martin, about Lesra Martin, a Canadian youth who helped to free Rubin “Hurricane” Carter from prison; Jeni LeGon: Living in a Great Big Way (1999), a portrait of Jeni Le Gon, a Vancouver resident who had been one of the first Black women entertainers in Hollywood to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio; John McCrae’s War: In Flanders Fields (1998), a look at Canadian army doctor John McCrae, who wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields”; Colleen Leung’s Letters from Home (2001); Linda Ohama’s Obachan’s Garden (2001); Ling Chiu’s From Harling Point (2003), about the first Chinese cemetery in Canada; Eunhee Cha’s A Tribe of One (2003); and Mighty Jerome (2010), a documentary film about African-Canadian track star Harry Jerome directed by Charles Officer.

In 2014, Jacob produced Ninth Floor, directed by Mina Shum. The film documents a 1969 Montreal student protest against racism known as the Sir George Williams Affair, and was filmed in Montreal on the 45th anniversary of the event. It was an event Jacob had been aware of at the time, as a number of its participants had been from Trinidad—including one from his home village—and Jacob has stated that it was always his intention to make a film about the incident.

Jacob’s interest in Black Canadian non-fiction storytelling continued as NFB producer, supplemented by a notable range of films by Asian Canadian filmmakers from Canada’s western provinces, exploring their communities’ culture and histories, as well.

The World Poetry Café Radio Show, now heard in 104 countries and celebrating 20 years of being on the air was blessed to welcome the well-known documentary Vancouver producer/director filmmaker Selwyn Jacob to the show along with Katja De Bock from NFB  on May 3, 1-2 pm PST, CFRO 100.5 FM in a fascinating interview highlighted by a question from a youth actor about getting continued work in the film industry. 

Thanks to the help from Katja De Bock and Selwyn Jacob in contacting Alvin Sanders, who recently ended several terms as vice-president of the Canadian union for actors in recorded media ACTRA, and who is a Black actor himself (currently playing a supporting role on the TV series RIVERDALE).  For more advice please contact UBCP/ACTRA directly: http://www.ubcp.com/  UBCP/ACTRA is the BC Branch of the actor’s union ACTRA. 

Alvin kindly sent these tips in response to the youth actor’s question:

Alvin says it’s difficult to answer a question about a person of a specific ethnicity, but he can reply with regards to diversity opportunities in general:

  • “Because of the steady increase in shows in the streaming world (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon etc.), the opportunities for actors in general have increased tremendously (more shows to be shot in BC and Vancouver) over the last 10 years, and particularly for diverse actors (as the distributors and streaming platforms are aiming at world-wide audiences, and want/need diversity in their casts).

  • It needs to be said that actors cast in U.S. productions shot in Canada are usually cast in supporting roles, he says.

  • NONE of the casting decisions on U.S. productions are made here.  They are all made in the U.S.

  • The majority of characters in any type of production (TV, web, feature, TV movie, etc.) these days are young (under 35).  So all mediums are for young performers.

  • It would be good to move to LA and get an LA agent if you want to be the lead character on a show.

Alvin also said, the above remarks apply to actors with a North-American accent, it might be tougher for people with a Caribbean or African accent to be cast in a main role, or even a supporting role, though of course not impossible, see the success of actors like Indian Priyanka Chopra on Quantico.”

The World Poetry Café Radio Show would like to thank him for his help in answering the question and for his important tips for young actors.

Sources: NFB, DOCA, Wikipedia., the Afro News.