Author Archives: Heidi Mueller

World Poetry Celebrates Yoko Miwa!

 

Ariadne’s Notes: 

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/

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE!

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.

World Poetry Celebrates LGBTQIA Filmmaker Neela Bhuman!

 

Ariadne’s Notes:

In the second half of the World Poetry Cafe Radio Show, we also featured the team of Neelu Bhuman writer, filmmaker and director, calling in from Europe  at 1:30 pm PST about their film TRANSFINITE. 

 TRANSFINITE is a sci-fi omnibus feature film composed of seven standalone magical realistic short stories where supernatural trans and queer people from various cultures use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight and thrive. transfinitefilm.com

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE!

SHORT SYNOPSIS OF Film:

Most of us have been in situations where we feel completely powerless and deeply frustrated with the unfairness of it all, sometimes we have lost control of life and sometimes we find a way to use our rage, resentment and frustrations to grow a beautiful garden. In Transfinite, the protagonists, like smooth warriors, choose to find that inner power and use it to transform undesirable situations into desirable ones in a snap. Transfinite is a somewhat dark and funny, visually and musically expressive sci-fi feature length film made up of seven standalone stories that are connected by the common thread of power – power to protect, power to love, power to teach, fight and thrive. All the seven stories, NAJMA, ASURA, SHAYLA, BAHARI, NOVA, MAYA, VIVA, written by seven trans and queer writers with myriad backgrounds reflect this singular vision and the cohesive sensibility is designed by the filmmaker using exquisite poetry, subtle VFX, sublime animation and enveloping music. Source Film.

World Poetry believes that everyone needs to come together in Respect and Peace and to welcome our diversities .  We honour all people and talents.

Here is a kind note that that Neela sent: 

Dear Ariadne,

I believe that it is so important for all of us to come together in Respect since it is the only way that Peace and Love can follow.

Thank you for creating a feature on the wonderful World Poetry site. It truly means a lot to me and all of the collaborators of our TRANSFINITE film! We have Navajo, Swahili and English poetry written by women, trans and queer people. 

 Laura Tohe, Navajo nation’s poet laureate- She contributed her beautiful poem “Meeting the Spirit of Water” for TRANSFINITE.

Much love, respect and gratitude.

Neelu Bhuman, writer, filmmaker and director.

World Poetry Celebrates Michael Mirolla !

 

Ariadne’s Notes: 

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.

For more information: http://www.michaelmirolla.com. He is also the publisher of Guernica Editions,  www.guernicaeditions.com

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.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE!

http://www.coopradio.org/content/world-poetry-caf%C3%A9-66

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.