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Ray Brown Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday November 22nd 9-10 PM

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing Ray Brown - composer, arranger, flugelhornist, jazz educator, and band leader. Ray started writing for big bands at the age of twelve in New York after hearing the creative and witty arrangements of Willie Maiden and Slide Hampton. After graduating from Ithaca College in 1968 Ray spent spent 18 months on the road with the Stan Kenton Band in the early seventies, playing the Jazz trumpet chair. In 1975 he moved to the San Francisco area and played with numerous groups, including Bill Berry’s LA Band, Nat Pierce and Frankie Capp’s Juggernaut, and the Full Faith and Credit Big Band, for which he wrote and conducted three albums. A Fulbright Guest Professorship to Germany in 1990 led to work with the Frankfurt Rundfunk Big Band and other groups in Europe. Once back in the US, Ray started the Great Big Band, which made its recording debut on Impressions of Point Lobos in 1994. The band’s book, creatively written by Ray, gives all the players ample time to solo. Standing room only audiences from the Monterey Jazz Festival to the Stanford Jazz Festival to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz to the Lake Tahoe Music Festival are evidence of the band’s popularity. The band’s latest CD, “Kayak,” has enjoyed airplay throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. Ray has also spent many years as a jazz educator, recently retiring from Cabrillo College where he taught Jazz improvisation, arranging, and Jazz ensembles for nearly 40 years. Ray's Great Big Band plays at Cabrillo on 24 November.

Join me Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of Ray Brown. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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‘What have we got to be grateful for?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday November 22nd

This Saturday November 22nd 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘What have we got to be grateful for?’ The news is full of conflict, both political and physical, the fear of death from disease and terrorism, and doleful analyses of the economy and employment figures. So is having a positive outlook to life simply ignoring reality? Is seeing the glass half full instead of half empty just being a naive Polly Anna? Or is there something to the notion that we create our own reality? That we can’t control everything that happens but we can control our perception of events and our reaction to them? What effect does it have if we count our blessings and genuinely appreciate them compared with bemoaning our lack of health, money, love or success? Some people advocate gratitude as an attitude of life, making it a conscious practice, but is this really feasible in our busy lives? What comes to mind if you ask yourself ‘What have we got to be grateful for?’ I get the views of people in the local area for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com 

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‘Are religion and violence inextricably linked?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday November 15th

This Saturday November 8th 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Are religion and violence inextricably linked?’ Religious scholar Karen Armstrong states that many people “believe instinctively that there is a violent essence inherent in religion, which inevitably radicalises any conflict - because once combatants are convinced that God is on their side, compromise becomes impossible and cruelty knows no bounds.” But is violence in the name of, or in defence of, religion a cover for other agendas?  Does religious violence actually have more to do with politics and social order? Or is some level of violence inevitable in the defence of faith? What do you think? I get the views of people in the local area for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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Richard Stockton Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday November 15th 9-10 PM

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing Richard Stockton, comedian, performer, writer, storyteller, musician, radio host and Gail Rich Award winner. In 1982 Richard became the morning talk show host of WKDA/KDF in Nashville, Tennessee which was the number one talk show in the mid south for two years. In 1986 he became a full time touring comedian, based in San Francisco. In his twenty-eight years as a standup comedian he has appeared on dozens of national TV shows and has headlined A-List comedy clubs from coast to coast – Improv, Punchline, Comedy Underground, Comedy Works, and more – growing an audience of devotees to his unique take on the human potential movement. His first book, Fondle The Fear is now in its third printing, and is the basis for a TV show by the same name. He also creates short stories of transformation for NPR stations KQED, KUSP and KAZU in Northern California. He is the originator and star of the one-man comedy theatre show Are We There Yet?’- a journey through the past 60 years and crossing into the next 30 – on the voyage of the baby boomer generation. Planet Cruz Comedy with Richard Stockton, a comedy/variety show with the finest progressive stand-ups in the country, along with comedy sketches about the state of Santa Cruz, all to the beat of the Planetoid Band, comes to The Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz on November 15th. Join me Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of Richard Stockton. For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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'Can We Retain Empathy in the Face of Fear?’ It’s A Question Of Balance 8-9 PM Saturday November 8th

This Saturday November 8th 8-9 PM on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland we consider ‘Can We Retain Empathy in the Face of Fear?’ America is known for its defense of freedom and civil liberties, yet at times it seems that fear-based hysteria can build, reducing empathy and compassion, and eroding defense of civil liberties. Responses to HIV/AIDS, terrorism and threatened health epidemics spring to mind, the recent Ebola scare in particular. Do you think that it is a choice whether we live in fear or not? Do you think the media has a responsibility not to incite fear? There doesn’t seem to be much compassion in the reporting of the Ebola epidemic compared with famine victims, for example. There has also been a bubbling witch-hunt mentality about travelers from foreign countries and exposed health-workers. There are hundreds of things more likely to kill us than Ebola, including our own choices about such things as not addressing clinical obesity, high usage of alcohol, drug-taking, extreme sports, smoking, as well as many diseases. Where does our fear of Ebola come from? Why have we so quickly jumped to concern for ourselves? And if we can’t help but be afraid, can we at least retain empathy in the face of fear and moderate our responses accordingly? What do you think? I get the views of people in the local area for our Out and About feature. Join us on Saturday 8-9 PM! For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com 

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Jane Smiley Special Guest on It’s A Question Of Balance with Ruth Copland Saturday November 8th 9-10 PM

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing Jane Smiley, Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist and essayist. Praised as ‘a diverse and masterly writer’ and ‘one of the premier novelists of her generation’ Jane has written 14 novels, five non-fiction books and a series of horse books for young adults, as well as many essays and articles. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. She received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006. Her most recent novel SOME LUCK, the first volume of a trilogy, the story of an American farming family across a 100 years ending in 2020, has just come out. Join me Saturday 9-10 PM to find out more about the life and art of this masterly writer. And if you enjoy the interview you can meet Jane live at Bookshop Santa Cruz November 12th at 7 PM. I’ll be going so I hope to see you there! For more info and to hear previous shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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