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Fashion June 2020
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Actress - Kika Child

Kika Child Photo Front Page Recently Riveting Riffs Magazine sat down with Colombian film, television and theater actress Kika Child, very popular in Colombia, but who for the last (never ask a woman her age!) has made New York City her home. To describe Kika Child as a peaceful human rights activist would be more than accurate. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and during the unrest that has enveloped much of the United States she has been translating the Governor’s and the mayor’s press conferences from English into Spanish.

Kika Child, we should point out, in addition to being a wonderful actress is also a trained translator.

“When the pandemic hit in March I was already working in the courts, with attorneys, physicians, within the medical and entertainment (fields). Mostly though, I was focused on writing my television series. I also was cast to star in a play in Washington, but when the pandemic hit everyone stopped working and the courts closed.

I couldn’t travel to Colombia to go and be of service, which is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be there for my parents. Colombia has stricter rules right now than the U.S., but they don’t have the financial help that people in the U.S. receive.

Because I stayed in New York I was wondering what to do with my life. Everyone was hit with shock and (experienced) trauma. I was praying and meditating, asking what should I do with my life?

One day when I woke up, I went in front of the computer and I started recording Governor Cuomo’s briefing. I have a producer here, because of the television show that we are developing and I was telling him how the story that I am writing did not make sense, because the world (living through) a tragedy right now. We came up with the idea to translate the briefings and I have someone in Colombia who edits the videos.

I was doing it kind of for fun and to see if I could reach people. I have good friends here who gave me the contacts of news channels and the mayor’s office and the governor’s office. I haven’t stopped in the last four months. My mom sent me an article that was written by the president of the news of a major Hispanic channel here. He was complaining how millions of migrants, most of whom are Hispanic and account for eighteen percent of the population of the United States, do not speak the language and that is unfortunate. They are used to interpretation services. I added that to my proposal and then I tried to negotiate with Read More

A Little Magic from Belfast, Ireland

Nikola Arkane Photo Front PageWe suppose the place to begin when interviewing someone with a bit of mystique, a lot of charm and with heavy doses of magic is to talk about her name and that is where we started with Nikola Arkane, a magician from Belfast, Ireland. Within the first few minutes of the conversation she draws you in with her wit, her easy laughter and the passion that she so obviously has for her chosen profession.

“My birth name was Nicola and that is the way my mum spelled it. It is quite a controversial name in Ireland, because it can be spelled Nichola, so a lot of people here in Ireland try to spell it that way and I don’t like that. When I was coming up with my stage name, I wanted to keep it as Nicola, because it is an unusual name and not very many people have it. My mum also gave me the name Nicola, because I was a December baby born on December 21st. My mum named me Nicola after Saint Nicholas.

Arkane came about in a strange way too. I needed to have a stage name and I wanted my name to represent storytelling, because I’m Irish (Oh and we can tell you this lady can weave a story and pull you in waiting to find out what happens next!). I wanted something like Irish folklore or something archaic. My boyfriend who is also a magician is into comics and one day we were talking about comics and he told me about Swamp Thing, which is one of his favorite comics. There is a character in there called Dr. Arcane. I thought it was a really interesting name and so I wrote my name as Nikola Arcane. I thought if I was changing my name Nicola to Nikola, I thought I would change Arcane to Arkane. It just fit together. That is the story behind my current stage name. Perhaps one day once I get everything sorted it will be my proper name,” she explains.

As for the family she grew up she says, “There was just me and an older sister Lisa. We were quite a compact family. My parents were in a mixed marriage. My dad was brought up in a Protestant family and my mum was brought up in a Catholic / Protestant family.  

My mum and dad decided against christening my sister and I, because back in the sixties and seventies when they were growing up religion and politics here was a big thing. They didn’t want my sister and I to be brought up into that mess, so they tried to keep us away from religion and just brought us up normal. I am so grateful for that, especially now when I am traveling the world and meeting different people. I don’t prejudge people and I am very open minded. Read More

Modern Wedding - Designed by drezz2imprezz

Cindy Morawetz Fashion Photo June 8 2020 

Models: Sandra Scheack (L), Vanessa Vinson (R)  Drezz2Imprezz website

Doug Clifford's Magic Window

Doug Cosmo Clifford Photo Front PageDoug “Cosmo” Clifford the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival and the drummer and co-founder of Creedence Clearwater Revisited (with Stu Cook) took time to sit down with Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to discuss his new / old album Magic Window. The record is old in the sense it was first recorded in the mid 1980s and he seems to recall 1985 as the year, was forgotten about (we will get to that in a minute) and then digitized when it was rediscovered by Clifford. We need to be honest here, before getting into the album and tell you we were equally fascinated by his alternate life and career in forestry and fire management, which unfortunately for this article we only have time to touch upon briefly.

“The mid-eighties is when I was most active as a songwriter and when I had material that I thought would be an album’s worth and then I started working on my vocals. I am not really known for either one of those things and it is kind of fun. I have been getting really good reviews (and you can add Riveting Riffs Magazine to the list of good reviewers Doug!). It makes you feel good, because at the time you put your heart and soul into it,” he says.

He goes on to talk about why the record is only seeing the light of day now, “We were in a huge drought situation up at Lake Tahoe. I had a biological background and I had a firefighting background, minimal, but enough. I put together a program that would deal with fuels and what to do with a forest to try to get it back to a normal environment. Fire is a culling factor in a forest, but when you put the fires out the fuels continue to build up. That is why we have cataclysmic fires when they hit now, because the fuels  Read More

Pam Tillis - New Album

Pam Tillis photo for front pagePam Tillis’ eleventh album Looking for a Feeling, reminds you of being a child, back in the day and standing in the candy store with a quarter or fifty cents and looking at all the penny candy, so many yummy treasures to choose from. Fortunately with this album, Grammy Award and Country Music Award winning singer, songwriter and musician Pam Tillis lets us have all of these delicious songs on one album. Just like the candy store when all of the treats came in different colors and each with its own unique taste, Looking for a Feeling offers the same diversity of colors, shades, moods and vibes.  Pam Tillis joined us recently at Riveting Riffs Magazine to talk about her new album.

Looking for a Feeling, is as personal as anything that I have done, maybe ever. I am in a lot of ways a really private person, which kind of runs counter to what an artist is supposed to be. You know cut a vein and bleed on the page. I am very private and so it takes a lot for me to do that. I think in some ways I am understated with my feelings. In a lot of songs I am just trying to process the craziness that is life and the craziness that is our world and I am trying to put it into context. I (want) to understand it. There is an underpinning and in some ways it is a little bit philosophical. If you listen long enough you will hear it in there,” says Pam Tillis.

As for why she co-wrote the title song with Waylon Payne she says, “Because it said write me (she laughs lightly). You don’t always get a choice. Some days you pick up the guitar and you get out your laptop or your yellow legal pad and you might as well be digging a ditch. Some days you pick up the guitar and it talks and the words are just coming through you. That’s what happened that day. It was kind of a moody gray day. Read More

Electronic Firefly from Spain

Electronic Firefly Photo Front PageElectronic Firefly combines the extraordinary talents of violinist Silvia Carbajal, cellist Carlos Perez-Íñigo, and keyboardist Rebeca Nayla who all now live in Madrid, Spain, but at one time lived in different parts of the country. Recently, Carlos who prefers to be called Charlie and Silvia sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine over a Skype call during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain and talked about their careers, the formation of Electronic Firefly and the future. For the purposes of this interview, as we often do we are going to dispense for the most part with referring to them by their last names and stick to first names.

The pandemic and for almost three months having to stay inside their homes, put the debut Electronic Firefly album on pause. Sylvia and Charlie have recorded music together aside from Electronic Firefly.  

Silvia begins by talking about their music, “We do different types of music and some covers, because people want to hear something that they know like electronica, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and AC / DC are our favorite types of music. This music is for events and concerts, because people want to hear something that they know. We also do our own compositions. We work with a pianist (Rebeca Nayla) and we do a mix of electronic music and music for films. We are doing our first album and it will be an album with our songs.”

Charlie continues, “We have quite a lot of songs recorded, but this project with the electronica is new. There are three of us in the group and it is completely different than anything we have done before.  We have recorded five or six songs already.” Read More

Silvia Marsó and Felipe Ansola

Silvia Marso and Felipe Ansola Front Page PhotoIn May of this year (2020) when Riveting Riffs Magazine interviewed actress, singer and producer Silvia Marsó and film, television and theater actor Felipe Ansola COVID-19 had brought every live performance in the arts and culture world of Spain to a standstill, including the theatrical musical production of 24 Horas en la Vida de una Mujer. The musical produced by Silvia Marsó and which also stars her and Felipe Ansola had been presented to audiences for three years in Spain. In 2018 the musical was awarded a Broadway World Award for Best Small Format Music Show, in 2018 Silvia Marsó was nominated for Best Leading Actress for the Premios Teatro Musical (Musical Theater Awards) and in 2019 Ms. Marsó was again nominated this time for a Valle Inclan Award. The other cast member is Germán (first name) Torres, who acts in the capacity of what Felipe Ansola describes as a master of ceremony, similar to a narrator, but with more direct influence upon the play and the characters.

The accomplishments of both Ms. Marsó and Felipe Ansola speak for themselves. Silvia Marsó is one of Spain’s and in fact the countries that comprise the Spanish speaking world’s most celebrated and widely respected actresses. Silvia Marsó just completed the ninth and final season of the daily series or soap opera El Secreto de Puente Viejo (The Secret of the Old Bridge). Time and space here does not permit us to list all of her accomplishments, but we will list a few, in recent years she appeared in the critically acclaimed television series Gran Hotel (as Adriana) and Velvet (as Julia Lagasca), both of which cannot be viewed on Netflix. She was Elvira Prieto in Gran Reserva. El Origen Noelia for three years in Manos a la obra and in 2019 as Esther in Merlí Sapere Aude. She has also appeared in numerous Read More

Pear Duo - No Boundaries

Pear Duo Photo Front PagePear Duo comprised of pianist / composer and arranger Curtis Brengle and singer / songwriter and musician Julie Ragins recently released their new album No Boundaries, a wonderful and diverse collection of songs that are a mix of original tunes and cover songs. The husband and wife singing combo bring a wealth of musical experience painted across a vast genre palette to this recording. Their combined history has seen them perform with The Moody Blues, Chaka Kahn, Sheena Easton, Pointer Sisters, Ray Charles, Sergio Mendes and numerous other stellar artists. The affable couple sat down with yours truly and Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to talk about their new album.

Curtis notes the fact that they do have such a vast genre palette to choose from is what led to the title No Boundaries for this record.

“We are not going to limit ourselves to a particular style,” he says and Julie adds, “Much to the chagrin of every platform on the internet that wants to pigeonhole you in a single genre.”

Our conversation wanders in another direction for a moment as we ponder whether or not the music industry still wants to pigeonhole artists into specific genres.

Julie Ragins says, “The first question everybody asks you is what kind of music do you play? They want an elevator pitch answer. They want to hear Country. They want to hear Blues; they want to hear Rock and Roll. They do not want  Read More

Ada Rovatti & Randy Brecker

Ada Rovatti and Randy Brecker Photo for front pageThere is something about sitting down for an interview with two people whom you have known for many years, although most of that from a distance, that has more of the feel of friends getting together for a visit, a comfortable conversation if you like. Ada Rovatti and Randy Brecker’s new album, Brecker Plays Rovatti: Sacred Bond creates that same mood when you listen to the collection of songs composed and arranged by Ada Rovatti. The musicians who play on the album were drawn together by Randy Brecker and the album was masterfully recorded at Bunker Studios by Aaron Nevezie, while Cynthia Daniels put her magical touch on the mixing and mastering of the album. Just a word about Cynthia Daniels, we could not possibly do justice to her career, the many artists with whom she has worked, or the Broadway productions, films and television shows that have her fingerprints on them, so we encourage you to visit her website.

In proper journalism practice first names alone are seldom used when referring to the one being interviewed however, in this situation when conversing with the husband and wife team of Randy Brecker and Ada Rovatti and our familiarity with them it somehow would not feel right to refer to them by their last names, so we are going to cast protocol aside. Their daughter Stella also appears on this album, but her demands for a significant appearance fee could not be met by Riveting Riffs Magazine and before anyone takes us seriously, we are joking folks, but we did want to give Stella a nod for her singing performance on the opening track “Sacred Bond,” as well as making a debut on her mom and dad’s album. Read More

 

Sagrario Salamanca's Star is Rising

Sagrario Salamanca Photo Front PageSagrario Salamanca is an incredible singer, better known for Opera and Musical Theater, but her vocals are of such quality and her phrasing is so emotive that she can easily transcend several genres of music. Her eyes and her body language when she sings and acts convey that she is totally immersed in the story. Yet as we talked recently, both in our conversations leading up to and following her interview with Riveting Riffs Magazine, there is a perfect combination of strength, intelligence and confidence, but never a sense of hubris.

Sagrario Salamanca lives in Madrid, Spain, the city in which she grew up.

“My father was a military man. When I began to sing he wasn’t very pleased (she laughs lightly). We talk about it now and he only wanted the best for me, because he didn’t think at that time that it was a good future for me. I think that is why he didn’t make it easy for me. He always said this was not something serious, but it was just something that I liked to do. Every time that I sang or did something related to singing I felt more and more that this was something I wanted to do. I am sorry for my dad (she laughs, poking fun at the memory). Now he is very pleased and he is very proud of what I have (accomplished),” she says and it is obvious as we talk more that she loves her mother and father and she is appreciative of the support they have given her through the years.

Just a few days, before we Read More

Chicago Band - The Claudettes

The Claudettes Photo Front PageRiveting Riffs Magazine has over the past sixteen years interviewed artists from various backgrounds and genres and we are proud to say that recently we interviewed an Iguana, Johnny Iguana to be exact. Johnny Iguana, a stage moniker that he adopted when he was sixteen years old when he joined his first Blues band called Stevie Lizard and his All Reptile Orchestra is the songwriter, pianist, bandleader and co-founder of The Claudettes (co-founded with drummer Michael Caskey). The Chicago based band released their fifth album, High Times in the Dark, this spring.

The new album is not a theme or concept album.

Johnny Iguana explains, “I am always writing and I got on a really good streak. I read a really great quote once in this book called Listen to the Stories by Nat Hentoff who was a great Jazz critic. There is a quote attributed to Duke Ellington and when he was asked how he managed to write all of those chart hits he said, I just always looked around me and at what particular musicians I had in the band at that time then I asked what can these guys do well. I think that is really smart. A lot of people just write and they have types of songs they want to do and whoever happens to be in their band right then is charged with playing them.  I always try to zero in on people whose ships have crossed my path and at that time in life and ask what do they really do well? Where do they really shine?  

The more you work with someone you get a (better) sense for that. I got in a really good zone for the songs that I could write well for Berit  Read More

         Design by Ojalá Paloma del Pozo

Paloma Del Pozo Front Page Main Photo  

Photo Protected by copyright ©  - Designer website

Katja Rieckermann - Double Release

Katja Rieckermann Front Page PhotoYou know the song “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” from when Rod Stewart recorded it on his 1978 album Blondes Have More Fun, but you have never heard it played like this before. Saxophonist, arranger and composer Katja Rieckermann and TMTQ turn in a stunning dance version of the song, with new vocals by Sir Rod Stewart. Rieckermann who toured with Stewart for fourteen years and during that time she began her solo career, which to date has produced three albums, the self-titled Katja (2007), Horn Star (2010) and Never Stand Still (2014). Katja Rieckermann has performed with a diverse group of artists, which include, Carole King, Brooks and Dunn, David Foster, Mary J. Blige, Al Green and Jeff Goldblum.

Katja Rieckerman first started thinking of recording “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” “about two and one-half years ago. Originally it was going to be an instrumental version of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and it was going to be very close to the original with the tempo and the vibe of it. I wrote a couple of horn sections for it and we recorded it.

I sent it to Rod for approval and said what do you think? I said hey Rod what do you think? I am thinking about releasing this version. Do you like it? He wrote back, yes I love it. How about I sing on it? I was like wow! That is crazy. Of course, that would be fantastic. He ended up singing over the original track that I sent to him.

I thought now I have these newly recorded vocals of Rod and it is too close to sounding like the original, so I should do something super hip and new.  

I contacted award winning composer and arranger Sandi Strmljan who produced my second solo album Horn Star. He suggested doing a remix version and involved Tim Brettschneider (TMTQ). They sped it up and turned it into a dance track. 

I am really surprised at how much people love it.  Rod Stewart has been so generous already with all of this. He has been unbelievable and I cannot  Read More

El Ministerio del Tiempo - Final

El Ministerio del Tiempo Season Four Final Episode Review front pageEl último episodio de la cuarta temporada de El Ministerio del Tiempo que se transmitió el martes por la noche fue poderoso. Simplemente no hay otra manera de describir lo que los escritores, el director y este maravilloso elenco de actores y actrices nos dieron como regalo de despedida. Solo podemos esperar que este no haya sido el episodio final, pero uno tiene la sensación de que fue el episodio final. Este escritor espera estar equivocado. Si aún no ha visto el programa de final de temporada, puede transmitirlo desde el sitio web de RTVE.

Es difícil saber por dónde empezar sin regalar las muchas sorpresas en este episodio. Aura Garrido, quien solo apareció en un episodio esta temporada, estuvo ausente del final, pero el resto del elenco regresó, incluyendo a Mar Ulldemolins como Maite. Esta revisión llevaría demasiado tiempo si mencionáramos a todos los miembros del elenco, por lo que agradeceremos al elenco principal y nos centraremos en cuatro de ellos. Antes de hacer un consejo, es mejor que tenga una caja de pañuelos cerca de usted y si está viendo el programa con otras personas, cada uno debe tener su propia caja. La piedra angular de la carrera de cuatro temporadas para El Ministerio del Tiempo han sido los escritores. La serie fue creada por Javier y Pablo Olivares, pero ha habido numerosos escritores que han contribuido a la serie a lo largo de los años. Hasta esta temporada, las tramas eran bastante predecibles, pero muy entretenidas. El equipo original de lucha contra el crimen de Alonso de Entrerrios (Nacho Fresneda), Amelia Folch (Aura Garrido) y Rodolfo Sancho, ya que Julián Martínez fue reclutado en tres períodos diferentes de tiempo en España y sus personajes no podrían haber sido más diferentes. Su misión era simplemente viajar en el tiempo para corregir los cambios que se habían realizado en eventos históricos importantes o en la vida de las personas. Esa previsibilidad se fue completamente por la ventana esta temporada, pero más de eso en un minuto. Leer Mas Aqui

 

In Family I Trust - Movie Review

In Family I Trust Film Review Front Page PhotoIn Family I Trust (Gente que viene y bah) is the kind of movie that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. The film stars Clara Lago as Bea a young woman who dreamed about being an architect from the time she was a child and moved from a small town in Spain to the big city. After being betrayed by her boyfriend Victor (Fernado Guallar) she moves back to the small town for what she originally envisions as a short stay to collect her thoughts, but she rediscovers herself. While there is one fairly predictable outcome to this story (which we are not going to share here) the writers Dario Madrona and Carlos Montero who adapted the film from Laura Norton’s novel have crafted a witty storyline that uses humor to explore some serious themes and some soul searching for both the characters and those watching In Family I Trust.

Most film productions seem to fall either on the side of great cast, not so good script and character development or they have a terrific script and a tremendous cast. Fortunately for us In Family I Trust belongs to the latter category and Patricia Font, does a masterful job of directing. In addition to Clara Lago, actress Paula Malia from the series Valeria plays her sister Débora who how shall we say this politely has a dalliance with a very short man prior to us being privy to the story. Alexandra Jiménez plays her other sister Irene, who also happens to be the mayor of the town who is in the middle of an election campaign. The fourth sibling is Carlos Cuevos as brother León who is in a complicated relationship with another man who happens to be a policeman and he arrests León at one point. Carmen Maura is the mother and she was seventy-three years old when this movie was released. The subtle nuances of her acting allow us to see her four children and her grandson Fin (León Martinez) through her loving eyes, as she does not interfere, but does gently nudge them in certain directions.

For every broken heart there should be someone to help heal it again and actor Alex Garcia as Diego is the one with whom Bea (Claro Lago) discovers magic. Alex Garcia is very handsome, but he was not put in this movie just to be eye  Read More

            By Swedish Designer  

         Charlott Axenström

Charlott Axenstrom Swedish Designer

                         Swedish television personality Kattis Ahlström

                            

                

Christina Mauro, Actress & Writer

Christina Mauro Front PageThere are many facets to Christina Mauro’s career as an actor, screenwriter and a producer and there are also many facets to her life and so it was with great interest that we sat down with this native Texan, now living in Los Angeles. Life began for Christina Mauro in Beaumont, Texas, before her family moved to Falfurrias and then to Conroe, Texas. Her family tree on her father’s side has roots in Texas before it was Texas. Her heritage on that side is Colonial Tejano or Tejano Texians, who were citizens of what was then known as the Kingdom of Spain and who moved into the territory now yet known as Texas, started settling there in the 17 the century and through to the Texas revolution during the 1800s.  

As for her mother’s side of the family she says, “My mom’s family is English, Scottish and Irish. They are a very different kind of people and they are a lot quieter, whereas my dad’s family is more opinionated. When I think of my dad’s family, I think of these warrior people who are not afraid to voice their opinions and to get into the frontline. Many in my dad’s family are activists. The people in my mom’s family are more soft-spoken. I come from two different cultures.”

IIn conversation with Christina Mauro some things immediately become apparent, she is passionate about the things that are important to her, family, career and her involvement with Peace Over Violence, which on April 29 th, which just past used Denim Day to draw attention to and to educate people about gender violence.

“I am a survivor of teen dating violence when I was in my late teens. I am also a survivor of sexual assault. I have always talked about it and it is going on almost 29 years from my assault. I have been acting since I was seven and I have always had a voice. I have always felt comfortable in stating my opinion, so from the get-go I was talking about it with friends and I was talking about it with strangers, because I think it is an important topic. Read More

 

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