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Poughkeepsie songwriter uses her voice, piano to help friend with cancer

City of Poughkeepsie singer-songwiter and pianist Kiriaki Bozas will perform a sold-out show tonight at Alex’s in Poughkeepsie to benefit a friend who is battling cancer. Proceeds from the performance will help former Poughkeepsie resident Terra Sonora pay medical bills.

Bozas, a graduate of Spackenkill High School whose father-in-law owns Alex’s, has been performing around the Hudson Valley for years, delivering a unique brand of original music that reveals a vulnerability while maintaining an emotional edge. She recently released a CD, “Me & A Steinway,” and this week took some time to answer questions about tonight’s performance and her musical endeavors.

Although tonight’s show is sold out, donations for Sonora will continue to be accepted at www.kiriakibozas.com.

1 – Describe your relationship with Terra Sonora? (how do you know her, how long, where does she live, etc.)

I first met Terra after going to her for a psychic reading in 2002. She was working at the Dreaming Goddess Metaphysical store in Poughkeepsie during a psychic fair. We had an immediate connection and she offered me a job to work as her personal assistant. I took the job and worked for her for five years. Our relationship grew into much more than employer-employee. She took me with her on her travels to Sedona, Ariz., and Florida. She became a huge influence on me, regarding how to run a business and how to grow spiritually. Terra lived in Poughkeepsie for most of her life and moved out to Sedona in 2006. She has traveled all over the world offering spiritual workshops and learning methods of healing.

2 – Beyond raising money for Sonora’s cause, what else are you hoping to accomplish with this performance?

I am looking forward to bringing people together to celebrate the power of music and the healing abilities of kindness and love. Doing something beautiful for someone is extremely rewarding. To be able to do something beautiful while incorporating music is icing on the cake – it’s truly magical and extraordinary.

3 – Your music on tonight is quite likely to serve as a tool for healing, given the benefit concert you are staging. How has music served as a tool for healing for you personally?

I have always played music when I was in pain. During every heartbreak in my life, I have crawled over to my piano to write about it. In every instance, I walk away a new person with a new song.

4 – Will you be playing any new music Saturday?

I will be playing many new songs that I want to include on my upcoming album. I will be playing some covers and a couple of songs from my first and second albums as well. This performance is extra special because I will be accompanied by a violinist, bassist, drummer and guitarist.

5 – What do you enjoy about playing the piano?
Everything. The sound of every note resonates in my soul and always evokes some kind of emotional response. I love the keys and the freedom my fingers feel when they rest upon them. In my opinion, the piano is the most expressive and emotionally provoking instrument.

6 – What do you enjoy about singing?

When I sing, I feel like all the frustrations, pains, joys, excitements and sorrows in my life are pulled out of me and turned into something beautiful; it’s expression and the best way for me to communicate. It’s so much more powerful than talking. Every tone and every note I sing is like taking long sighs of relief.

7 – What do you enjoy about songwriting?

Songwriting is like giving birth. Every completed song is like a new baby. I look upon it with such gratitude and cherish it close to my heart. The biggest blessing to me is to have the ability to create. Even more amazing is that I’m creating something that is not necessary tangible matter, but tangible in so many extraordinary ways.

8 – Does Alex’s Restaurant provide any special ambience for a live musical performance?

Alex’s restaurant always does a great job at making me feel like a star. They dim the lights and add lit candles and fresh flowers everywhere, making it feel very intimate and romantic. It’s also great because they provide me with a piano.

9 – What new projects are you working on?

I’m working on my third album, which I’m co-producing with Grammy Award-winning Producer Pablo Ben Surman.

John W. Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal