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Touring Artists Directory Profile
Recently noted by JazzTimes as "an impassioned, melodious, and idea-rich painter of the keyboard," jazz pianist/composer Claire Ritter has garnered praise for her vision and accomplishment, including a North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship. Her music weaves a fascinating blend of classical and jazz styles with ingenuity, authenticity, and unpredictability. Ritter’s master study with Mary Lou Williams at Duke University led to a faculty residency at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Ritter and collaborator greats Dave Holland, Houston Person, Steve Swallow, Ran Blake, and Ricky Ford have showcased a unique style in festivals and recordings such as the Thelonious Monk Institute, American Women Composers, Soul Note, and Hat Hut Records, and European museums. Claire Ritter’s discography includes 11 recordings.
photo: Olivia Jordon
"Compositional goals include a performance and recording opportunity to present the world premier of Opus 17, Southern Symphonic Suite for Modern Dance, "CASTLES IN THE AIR". The suite was recently composed for a future Modern Dance setting, and was inspired by the classic Arabian Horse and my homestead place in Weddington, North Carolina. I would like to feature this 5 movement suite in a new 2000 CD recording entitled, "CASTLES IN THE AIR", which will also include other recent compositions which I have composed since my return to North Carolina. The grant will be used to hire musicians, provide ample time to rehearse and develop the music, and to perform and record the material in a professional setting."
Claire Ritter received a BA degree from Queens College in Charlotte and studied with jazz great Mary Lou Williams at Duke University. Since, she has worked and studied extensively with composer Ran Blake at New England Conservatory in Boston, and taught on the faculty. Her compositions have been performed and recorded in US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and represent an artistic quality which weaves a unique blend of classical-jazz styles into one of distinction.
Claire Ritter now teaches and composes in Charlotte and is artistic director of "JAZZart: Composers and Performers Concert" at Queens College.