Olives and Ouzo by swo8 Blues Jazz album Efharisto in iTunes

It was the 16th of October late in the evening and we boarded the ship, Knossos Palace, in the port in Heraklion, Crete. Our destination was the port of Piraeus because we were heading to Athens. It was a beautiful moon lit night and so difficult to sleep. We spent many hours just gazing out the window at the Aegean Sea. When we arrived in Piraeus, the next day, there was a gentle rain. Upon disembarkation we were met by taxis anxiously waiting to take everyone into Athens for a small fortune. Armed with our Lonely Planet we knew that the subway was a five minute walk away. We travel on the cheap, so the subway was our choice. Three stops and we were at our location. The first hotel we planned to stay at was full which was disheartening. Here we were trudging along in the rain with our carryon baggage and no where to stay. Our second choice of accommodation was Hotel Tempi in the Monstiraki area. The locations was perfect. We were within walking distance to all the important historical sites. It was 37 Euros a night for doubles and it included breakfast. It was clean and simple which suited our needs. There was a two inch gap between the door and the floor of our room which gave us quite a surprise one night. A kitten named Cleopatra had squeezed under the door and jump on our bed as we slept. We spent a couple of weeks in this location and took many side trips through out main land Greece. The Greek diet is considered the healthiest of all diets. Of course there were lots of Olives and Ouzo. 3:21 min. 2 MB

Makria Lindos from the album Efharisto in iTunes

This video is called Makria Lindos by swo8 Blues Jazz. On the beautiful Island of Rhodes is a small village called Lindos. It is 47 Km south west form the Town of Rhodos. We took a city bus from Rhodos one sunny afternoon to explore this gem, loaded with history. There was quite a climb from the village below to the top of the fort to see the Acropolis. We were offered to ride a donkey to the top but settled to walk on our own. Later in the afternoon when we returned to the bus stop at Lindos, an older, Greek gentleman, complete with Greek Fisherman’s hat noticed us and came over to talk to us. He spoke no English but made it know he was curious about where we came from. When I said Canada, his comment was Makria. Makria in Greek means Far. 3:34 min. 2 MB


Beijing Morning by L. Martel

This is a 12″x 16″ oil on canvas, painted in 1982, of an elderly Chinese gentleman reading a news paper. He has just done his food shopping and is taking some time out to check out the paper.                                                                                                                                                              My next album is focusing on China and its many wonders. We arrived in Beijing in October which is the month when they have their official National Golden Week Holiday. Wandering down the streets near the Forbidden City one could find discarded red flags. I retrieved one to keep as a souvenir. As we walked down the street people would come up to talk to us. They noticed a Maple Leaf pin that I wore and they would say ” Bethune, Bethune”…. “Henry Norman Bethune, surgeon, inventor, political activist (born 3 March 1890 in Gravenhurst, ON; died 12 November 1939 in Huang Shiko, China). Bethune’s fame in Canada has resulted from his status as a hero in the People’s Republic of China and the impact of this on Sino-Canadian relations.” Even today he is remembered with reverence.


Rhodos by swo8 Blues Jazz from the album Efharisto in iTunes

This video is called Rhodos by swo8 Blues Jazz from the album Efharisto in iTunes.                                           We owe so much to Greece because it was here that many of the greatest thinkers, from earliest civilization, formed their ideas and these ideas still influence us today. The three pillars of Western Philosophy, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle nurtured thoughts that remain relevant in our times. Science, mathematics, mythology, politics and architecture are other very import gifts from the Greeks.

Rhodos is the largest island in the Dodecanese. The Minoans and Mycenaeans had out-posts here but when the Dorians arrived in 1100 BC, Rhodos began to gain power and influence. When we went to this ancient city, for us, it was a quest for the Colossus of Rhodos of ancient mythology.  3:18mins. 2 MB

On Point by L. Martel

To continue on the subject of dance, this is a 20″ x 24″ oil on canvas called On Point. Ballet is a a tradition in our family. I started ballet when I was four years old as did our two daughters. There is something about the grace of ballet that inspires artists. I have done some other paintings of ballerinas but they are of my daughters and are private. This young girl is a bit older and has begun to do point. The characteristic pink ballet slippers with the insert in the toes of the shoes so she can stand on her toes. It is a tradition. My style is beginning to change in this painting and there is a surrealistic feel to it.


Dance With Me Slow from the Christmas Special Album in iTunes

This video is called Dance With Me Slow by swo8 Blues Jazz from the Christmas Special Album in iTunes. Dance is a universal expression of joy, in most cases. As a child I studied ballet as did my daughters. Later I moved on to ball room dance then actually specialized in interpretive dance. Dance has been around since the beginning of time. Early dance is depicted in 9,000-year-old paintings in India at the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures, dated c. 3300 BC. It is how we express ourselves and communicate our thoughts, wishes and desires. As a thought for the new year ahead of us, may we all dancer joy.                                                                                                           All photos for the video were taken from the public domain and the artist has been dead for over 70 years. The intent is to imply a method of dance. 3:22 min. 2 MB


The Rose of Black is Sacred music by swo8 Blues Jazz Lyrics by Shelby Courtland

#Brittius says unchecked savage behavior, continues in Chicago, The mayor, #police chief and city officials, do absolutely nothing as wholesale murder of black people continues makes me wonder if there is corruption at top level – @AceNewsServices

CHICAGO: #Christmas Mass Night Shootings: Seven people were #shot, two of them fatally, in a mass #shooting during a #Christmas party nobody yet in custody – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Dec.26: According to #police, the #shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. near 86th Street and Maryland in the city’s East Chatham neighbourhood WMAQ reported and published 48 minutes ago and updated 31 minutes ago by NBC Chicago …

This video is called The Rose of Black is Sacred music by swo8 Blues Jazz lyrics by Shelby Courtland.This music was inspired by a truly great poet and lyricist, Shelby Cortland. The art work is also her creation. “The Negro IS the Black rose” S.C.