Tag Archives: ILIAS FOUKIS

World Poetry Celebrates Claire Ritter!

The World Poetry Cafe radio show,  CFRO 100.5 FM July 1:30 pm PST welcomed the talented Claire Ritter celebrating the debut of the new CD Eclipse Orange with legendary Ran Blake. It was a delight to talk to her and hear her describe her work  and experiences. It was also fun to hear her accent since some of my ancestors came from the Carolinas and I had not heard it for a long time.

To hear the show  click here.

It includes a tribute at 1:10 PM PST for World Poetry Ambassador to Japan, poet and composer Yoshifumi Sakura. Also, beautiful poems from the Greek poet  ILIAS FOUKIS.

American jazz master, composer/pianist/educator Claire Ritter, is a multiple award recipient, and “among the most successful Thirdstream synthesis of jazz & classical musics” author Ed Hazel/ Wikipedia encyclopedia. In 2014 Ritter was the recipient of an artist grant awarded by the NC Arts & Science Council, her third, as well as a previous NC Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship. AllAboutJazz describes Ritter as “an under sung jazz master, with each engaging melody buffed up like a little jewel”. JazzTimes notes the music as “painterly, exquisite & poetic”. Beginning with the great Mary Lou Williams at Duke University in the 1970s, Ritter has studied, worked, performed & recorded with the best, which includes over a decade with MacArthur Grant Genius recipient Ran Blake at New England Conservatory of Boston, where she taught her contemporary songwriting class in the Contemporary Improvisation department during the 1990s. The economic song-like quality & harmonic sophistication of her tunes are hallmarks of Ritter’s style, described by Owen Cordle, writer for JazzTimes/News & Observer as “direct, succinct & skillful – like the NC born pianist/composer, Thelonious Monk’s style.

Claire Ritter is the author of over 200 compositions, most of which have been published and recorded; and performed in festivals, concert halls, and museums in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Her work has been the subject of numerous publications & radio interviews on WGBH Boston, WHRB Harvard University, WBUR Boston, & WFAE Charlotte, and has been recorded on European labels Soul Note, HatArt, and the independent label Zoning Recordings, founded in Boston in honor of a major work by Mary Lou Williams. Ritter’s compositions have been recorded by internationally acclaimed Jazz artists including Steve Swallow, Dave Holland, Ran Blake, Dominique Eade, Stan Strickland, Christine Correa, Ricky Ford, Jon Metzger, and Franz Koglmann, as well as performed in concert halls including Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Festival at NEC, American Women Composers Boston, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Brandeis University Jazz Band, New England Conservatory Jazz-Thirdstream Festival, Josef Matthias Haur Konservatorium, Osterreichischen Museum in Europe, Multicultural Arts Center in Boston, Queens University, 2014 Charlotte New Music Festival, and Central Piedmont Community College 21st Century Music Series & Tate Hall Music Series in Charlotte, NC, to name a few.

Ritter’s discography includes 12 CD/DVD recordings on Zoning Recordings: In Between (Ran Blake, Dave Holland, Dominique Eade/1988); Ain’t Life a Circus (Christine Correa, Stan Strickland/1991); Mistral (by Eleni Odoni, with Ran Blake/1991); At One (Taki Masuko/1994); True (Taki Masuko, Kaku Sato/ 1998); Castles in the Air (Steve Swallow/2001); River of Joy (Steve Swallow, Ran Blake/2001); Greener Than Blue (Stan Strickland, Bob Weiner/2004); Waltzing the Splendor (Jon Metzger, Jane Hart Brendle, Ashima Scripp/2007); Stream of Pearls Project (Taki Masuko, Ashima Scripp, Toni Naples/2011); Claire Ritter & Friends at Multicultural Arts Center in Boston (Dominique Eade, Stan Strickland, Taki Masuko/2013); Soho Solo (2015). Recorded by others: Ran Blake (“Short Life of Barbara Monk”/Soul Note/1988); Franz Koglman (“Orte Der Geometrie” with Ran Blake/HatArt/1989); Documentary “Streaming” New England Conservatory; Southern Arts Federation “Jazz South # 3”); Film collaboration, Queens University & Charlotte New Music Festival with photographer JoAnn Sieburg-Baker “Mirrors Project/Six Jazz Variations.”

Other compositional performances/workshops include:

* 2014 Charlotte New Music Festival

* Central Piedmont Community College Tate Hall New Music Series

* Ottawa Jazz Festival

* New England Conservatory Jazz-Third Stream Festival

* Josef Matthias Haur Konservatorium

* Osterreichischen Museum

* Brandeis University

* University of North Carolina

* Queens University

* Festival of Women Improvisers, Boston

* Multicultural Arts Center, Boston

* Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance

* Stockbridge Music Series, Massachusetts

* Berkley School of Music

* Longy School of Music

* American Women Composers

* Club Passim, Cambridge


Claire Ritter is the recipient of a 2014, 2006 Arts and Science Regional Artist Grant; 2001 ‘Composers Charlotte’ Grassroots Grant as Artist Director/Queens University, 2000 NC Arts Council Jazz Composers Fellowship, and 2000 Arts and Science Regional Artist Grant.

Another great guest from Braitewaite and Katz.

Additional grants/awards include the Massachusetts Arts Lottery in Boston, and the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta, Georgia. Claire Ritter is also the founder of the Ziggy Hurwitz Jazz Scholarship at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC.

Claire Ritter teaches and composes in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she is the Artistic Director Composers Concert at Queens University.



World Poetry Celebrates Greek poet ILIAS FOUKIS!

Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Cafe, CFRO 100.5 FM on July 11 at 1 pm PST   were honoured to welcome the poetry of the Greek poet Ilias Foukis with the reading of two poems and a special dedication to his friend Maria and his sister Sofia. Thanks to the World Poetry Cafe  radio show team of Ariadne Sawyer,host and producer, Super tech, Victor Shartzman and special volunteer, Sharon.

To hear the show, click here.

The Greek poet ILIAS FOUKIS , was born on 20 August 1969 in Epirus in northwestern Greece. He began to write poetry since 1988 when he was student in the Lyceum. Published volume of poetry THE TESTAMENT OF A LESSER GOD , which has been translated into ten languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.. Has won literary awards – OSCAR DE DOS OURO VENCEDORES, Brazil 2012 – MASSIMO D’AZEGLIO, Italy, 2012, 2013 , 2016. – CITA DEL GALATEO, Italy in 2013. His poem titled YOUNG GREEK SOLITARY was included in Poetry Anthology – U.S. Library of Congress. Works and lives in Athens.

Here are the two poems that were read on the air:


Good called on the tempests of Zeus

to declare war

against Evil.

Like a wild beast it rose up

to kill evil

and from the heights of the Heavens

to exterminate it…

to flatten it

with the roar and power of thunderbolts.


Evil died…entered the ground

the garbage of earth

gave it a soul.

It raised its head…stood up straight

reentered the world in a driving rain.


Those were you see , the times of peace.


Good lived on intoxicated

wearing the laurels of triumph

and the tuxedo of justice.

It gave evil a pardon

in the name of the coexistence of nations and ideas.


Wars and tempests were forgotten

and the thunderbolts

and as in the beginning

lived together again in the name of peace

so in a while war

starts all over again from the beginning.

By Ilias Foukis (C) All rights reserved.

Translation  by  PHILIP  RAMP



If such be

the will of the God on Earth

without needing to sing the praises of Zeus

today I…

             will walk all day on the Earth.

And more importantly

as soon as I glimpse the secure distance

I’ve kept from death…

praise be to Apollo…

I will not be disturbed

            by the demon of Self-Destruct


If such not be

the will of the God of the Heavens

then my dreams

which lay siege to the essence of Existence

will like Sisyphus

            be caught in the nightmare of pointless labor

so not even one meter of heaven will be granted…

and do you know where these Dreams

for a better World

and a Beautiful Greece will end?


Unobserved and slowly

they will be eaten by the rust

            and the dust of forgetfulness.


If such be

the will of the God of the Sea

my own specters which are armed

with gravity of conscience and forgiveness

will then have the rare opportunity

of washing away the living sins of Troy

which have become the most dangerous Olympus

with their cynical anticipation

be the Eternal Greece before the eyes of the world.


If such not be

the will of the God of Fire

then I who know better the fatal bond

of Greece with Flames

will lose my last


to show mercy

and the Cities will continue

to quietly burn.


And indeed… if such not be

the will of the God of Love

because of this horrifying alienation

which human emotions have undergone

no one will love me at all.


The worst thing though is that this Tragedy

will not simply end here…


This God of Love

has come highly touted by Olympus…


A good deal more than your usual Idols

and different from them

usurper of all longings

and with many possibilities for immortality.


And all the departing travelers

will testify that no matter where they went

they saw none of this incredible love anywhere

which in itself would be enough to convince

the easily deceived world

that the Summit had been worth the effort.

Few people love each other in this World.


And these few

love each other only as much as they are permitted

by the thought that you can never ascend into the Great Sky

because there… there has truly evolved

                              an anthropic History

but one that’s been lived by the Gods alone…


And for us to stay in the life which endures

more or less but for a single Season

we in any case my dear Apollo

were in no quandary…

            felt no mystery…

because we never expressed any interest

in being Gods.


The problem is very simple…


We are not wanted

on this Earth…


Utterly paralyzed and directionless

we have moved about in the world

without being observed by anyone…


Perhaps we should get organised

we the Great Anonymous mass

to bring this madness with false

Heroes to an end

those who only the Gods with their

own wretchedness know how to erect…


And as if Troy wasn’t enough

to tyrannize Greece

then Olympus went and committed a crime

            of its own as well.


The brain of the World has become stupefied

flinging at their hollow heads

its ferocious desire

            to be God.


By these Gods

which will control everything from on high

and even more appalling

us who Will and Chance in tandem have

            wanted to keep down here…

despite the fact we roamed the Earth backwards and forwards

to bring about Great Changes in the World

all opinion will defame us


and none of our testimony will ever be heard.

And that is also why I’m afraid

that we who walked on the Earth alone

will be left completely devoid of history.

 By ILIAS FOUKIS (C) All rights reserved.

Translation by   PHILIP RAMP