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Claire Ritter Pianist Composer Educator
Photo by JoAnn Sieburg-Baker



Claire Ritter Soho Solo

Soho Solo Reviews

" .... wholly original"
Jazz Police
(Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MS, February 2016) by Andrea Carter

"Time-tested & unfailingly beautiful. 4.5 Stars"
AllAboutJazz by Dan McClenaghan (2015)

" intriguing solo album"
Jazz Weekly by George Harris

"...a unique, gifted, talent - played with spirit"
Jazz Journal, UK (August 2015 issue/Vol 68, No 8) by Derek Ansell

South Park Magazine (October 2015)
by Michael J. Sollender "...a unique and singular artist - this is the best yet of Claire Ritter"

Cadence Magazine Review (June 16, 2015) by Robert Rusch "Direct, succinct, & skillful - like the NC born pianist/! composer Thelonious Monk's style" – Owen Cordle (JazzTimes/News & Observer)

Click here for liner notes.


Stream of Pearls Project Reviews


Waltzing the Splendor Reviews

“…an unusual--and unusually fine--offering from an undersung jazz master”
- All About Jazz, Dan McClenaghan


Greener Than Blue Reviews

Best CDs of Year 2004 - Jazz Review

". . . an always enchanting melodic thread.” - all about jazz

…speaks to body and soul.” - ejazznews

- JazzReview Interview

“…the exotic and poetic“ - Charlotte Magazine Buzz Story

“Lush, sensuous, spare, adventurous…explorations that make Ritter’s work so intriguing.” - Boston Globe

"... an artist to watch." – Fernando Gonzalez, Boston Globe

"... a painter of the keyboard... an impassioned, melodious, idea rich
approach which grabs attention." – Nancy Ann Lee, Jazz Times

"... distinctly Ritterian lyricism." – Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe

" ... lush, sensuous, explorations." – Bob McCullough

"... a thourghly original hybrid." – Kevin Convey, Boston Herald

"... a crystaline, stunning approach." – Neil Tesser, Jazziz

"... each track yeilds new treasures...a positively exquisite touch." – Derek Taylor, Cadence

Claire Ritter Press Photo 2
photo by E.O. Kean


Claire Ritter Pianist Composer Educator




Claire Ritter Castles in the Air
Recording 'Castles in the Air', with Steve Swallow.


" impassioned painter"
click here for full review

"...a crystalline stunning approach"
click here for full review

"...focused poems, sophistication"
click here for full review

"...unconfined" (INTERVIEW )
click here for full interview

"...tantalizing, highly recommended"
click here for full review

"...a unique composer"
click here for full review

"...beautiful, eccentric, between Monk and Scriabin"
click here for full review

"...picturesque vistas"
click here for full review

"...distinctly Ritterian lyricism"
Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe

"...lush explorations"
Bob McCullough, Boston Globe

" treasures, an exquisite touch"

"...a thoroughly original hybrid"
Boston Herald

... A competent pianist who has established a distinctive style through her imaginative collaborations and engrossing compositions.
- Andrew Sussman, Fanfare Magazine

... A delightful surprise is the lush 'In Between'.
- Phil Garland, Stereo Review

... As many of her contemporaries are content with creating the past, Ritter is an artist to watch.
- Fernando Gonzalez, Boston Globe

... Joyously eclectic, whimsical, composed and improvised with a country charm.
- Michael Ullman, Boston Globe

... Singularly imaginative music of a high order, with the Eastern, Latin, popular, and classical influences...a true American original.
- R.C. Smith, Durham Herald - Sun

... A pianist whose modernized stride draws on Thelonious Monk.
- Francis Davis, Village Voice

... ingenious composer, authentic and unpredictable, one of the east coast's most innovative composers.
- Ran Blake, New England Conservatory of Music





Claire Ritter Equine Images

"Ritter compares riding to performing and composing, and states that she first experienced "that intuitive unspoken language" as a child, with her horse. "Working as a unit with the horse teaches risk, trust, and intuition," says Ritter. "Listening is key."

Claire Ritter Equine Images


...'River of Joy' has the singing quality that defines Ritter’s writing, while the commentary of her piano within the delicate yet sturdy arrangement makes every note for the title conceit, ‘Castles in the Air’, Ritter recalls that Thoreau, in the final chapter of Walden, advises that if you build castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That bit of New England philosophy is now shared by Ritter with her students in North Carolina, and through this and the rest of her glorious music-with listeners around the country and the world.’

Bob Blumenthal
Boston Globe


... Though Ritter's origins are Southern, there's something fitting about her long New England residence. In many ways, she's a kind of latter-day Transcendentalist, a clear-eyed mystic, a musician of fierce independence and visionary calm. She has taught at the New England Conservatory, home to many of the most interesting minds in American music, and this CD is one of the fascinating results of the significant Japanese presence there.
...This trio might be one of the natural headliners for a Jazz festival at Walden Pond.

Stuart Broomer
Cadence Magazine


... As articulated in a body of work that now encompasses five albums, the musical truths of Claire Ritter are both playful and challenging, cerebral as well as heartfelt, forward-looking, rather than rooted in the past. These qualities are rare in jazz today, and anyone who's seriously concerned about the future of music should give this disc a serious listen, especially if you're unfamiliar with the writing and playing of Claire Ritter. My guess is that you'll be pleasantly surprised, and that you'll find yourself smiling a lot as well.

Bob McCullough
Boston Globe


... Claire Ritter is rapidly developing a following as one of the east coast's most innovative composers. Like Duke Ellington, her music lends itself to a vast array of interpretations. The best things about Claire's music are her ingenuity, authenticity, and unpredictability. Her music is universal in appeal and will be part of tomorrow's music. Her music comes from the soul and goes to the soul.

Ran Blake
Department of Contemporary Improvisation
New England Conservatory of Music


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