Daily Archives: October 19, 2006

A musical discovery

Kevin RamessarLast week I went to the National Arts Center to listen to my favorite jazz artist, Kellylee Evans. Kevin Ramessar was opening for her.

One word.

Wow.

In keeping with Kellylee’s style of music, Kevin, surrounded by sax, base, and drums, played his own compositions as well as those of great guitar players such as Don Ross. His piece, Kairos, particularly affected me. His own composition, it demonstrates through music the inequal passage of time and our perception of it.

Of course I promptly bought his latest CD, Sojourn. I’ve been playing it often. Sojourn is a mix of classical pieces and more modern ones, but they all have something in common: they take us through a musical journey full of wonders. His interpretation of one of Bach’s Chaconne is truly beautiful. Here’s what the blurb at CD Baby includes:

“Combining Latin American rhythms, Classical subtleties, crossover styles, and improv, Ramessar presents a rich tapestry of music for the classical & steel-string guitar from several countries (Brazil, Paraguay, Turkey, Germany, Canada, USA) in virtuoso fashion, as he tells his story. […]

Equally at home playing an intricate solo fugue by Bach, creating stirring world beats and sitar-like melodies, singing an intimate ballad or wailing on a powerful original rock anthem, Kevin has a history of moving audiences.”

Kevin is classically trained on the guitar, and he brings that training into all of his music and then transcends it by adding his own passion and obvious love of his instrument and of music. Whether live or on CD, Kevin Ramessar is truly a remarkable experience.

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Zumayans’ Workspaces No. 4

Here are Cheryl Swanson’s jungle digs in Kauai.

Cheryl Swanson In her office she’s got all the necessities: her surfboard, a motorized desk that rises at the push of a button so she can write standing up , even an ocean view.

Is she grateful she’s living in paradise?

Nah.

Kauai is a cultural exile, Swanson whines, after ten years of living in San Francisco. According to her, not only is her neighborhood anything but cosmopolitan, politically engaged or culturally sophisticated, but the neighbor is wont to shoot your dog if he lifts his leg (the dog, not the neighbor) on his (the neighbor’s, not the dog’s) banana trees.

Check out this pathetically unappreciative author at http://www.cherylswanson.net. Her debut thriller with Zumaya, Death Game, has just launched.

Death Game is hard to put down, Swanson says. Let’s hope she shows up in her office long enough to notice she’s getting a few readers…

If you’re still not convinced Cheryl has a hard time writing in paradise, here’s what a part of Kauai looks like:

Kalala

Mountains, surf, and sand. Yeah, Cheryl, we feel real sorry for you.

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