As we recover from our legendary 24 hour Ragas Live Festival this weekend, we share two great past episodes with talents that will be performing very soon. We’ll hear some of Awa Sangho and the BRM’s All Stars blistering set as the group is set to return to the Rubin Museum of Art on August 12th. Hear her full set Pioneer Works here. And we’ll revisit our chat with Lech Wierzynski
of the California Honeydrops who play the knitting factory tonight. More to come!
Wow! A chance to talk with a legend of African Music, King Sunny Ade! For me this is a dream come true, there are few musicians as influential as King Sunny Ade who brought the Juju music of Nigeria to the world. Here we speak with him in depth about his life and the roots of his music.
King Sunny Ade came on the scene in 1966 and made his first big record in 1967. He became an international star across Africa during the mid-1980s, touring and gaining a significant audience in the United States and Europe as well. He is known as “the Minister of Enjoyment” or “the King Of Juju Music.”
If you are new to the music, I highly recommend you start with his Juju Music or Synchro System albums. Also for the roots of this music search for “apala” music . Much gratitute to World Music Institute for arranging this interview! This episode is supported by the Rubin Museum of Art.
Eric Krasno is the amazing guitarist/producer with artists ranging from Soulive and Lettuce (both of which he co-founded)to Norah Jones, 50 Cent, Aaron Neville, Phil Lesh, Derek Trucks, and, well, the list keeps going!
To celebrate the upcoming release of his new album, Blood From A Stone, we got to hang with Eric at his home studio, hear him play some guitar and share what he’s learned so far in an incredibly prolific career.
In part 1 of this podcast we spend time at home with Jay Gandhi (bansuri) and Abhik Mukherjee (sitar) as they prepare for the a special evening of Monsoon Ragas at the Rubin Museum on June 15. The two perform live and share insights and legends about the malhar group of ragas, those that praise the monsoon rains. This episode was broadcast on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY on Sunday June 5th.
In part two we hope to share their performance with the virtuoso tabla player Suryaksha Deshpande as the trio perform at the Rubin and the following Brooklyn Raga Massive Jam session.
Last month, maestro Román Díaz brought a world class group of Afro-Cuban musicians to perform with the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars during the artist collective’s epic residency at Pioneer Works. We’ll share the recording of that innovative concert, where, for the first time, sarod, bansuri and Carnatic violin dialogue with Afro-Cuban vocals and the sacred Batá drums. This concert will air on WKCR 89.9 FM 7-9pm Sunday May 22nd.
Raga Cubana is:
Román Díaz ( conductor, Batá: Iyá )
Giancarlo Luigi (Shekere)
Clemente la Tierra (Batá: Okónkolo)
Melvis Santa (vocals)
Folasona Olorunsola (Batá: Itótele)
Camila Celin (Sarod)
Ehren Hanson Ttabla)
Jay Gandhi (Bansuri)
David Ellenbogen (Guitar)
Arun Ramamurthy (Violin)
Michael Gam (Bass)
I’ve never heard a radio show go off the rails like this one! Counterculture hero, ethnobotanist and “psychonaut” Dennis McKenna, in a freewheeling conversation with ethnomusicologist Alexandre Tannous and comedian Greg Barris. This was broadcast in NYC on the radio in 2013, when McKenna had just published his memoir The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss about his wild experiences with his legendary brother Terence McKenna, who has been called the Timothy Leary of the 90’s.” The conversation hovers around the spaces where comedy, sound and ethnobotany meet the legacy of Terrance.
Dennis McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He is the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna and is a founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.
Greg Barris is a staple in New York’s downtown stand-up scene and is the creator of Heart Of Darkness: a psychedelic showcase of comedy, live music and fringe scientists. Comedians who have appeared on Heart of Darkness include Reggie Watts, Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo, Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Greg Behrendt, and Chelsea Peretti.
Alexandre Tannous has been active as a musician, educator, composer, and as an ethnomusicologist. For the past eight years he has been researching the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound from three different perspectives – Western scientific, Eastern philosophical, and shamanic societal beliefs. He one of the leaders of investigating the sound mediation experience.
Debo band explores the rich and varied traditions of Ethiopian music with a dose of funk, punk and soul. With a large instrumental ensemble and a charismatic singer Bruck Tesfaye it all adds up to an undeniable party band. We got to hang with the leader of this amazing group, Danny Mekonnen and here excerpts of their upcoming album Ere Gobez (FPE Records; May 20, 2016). They’ll be playing in NYC with Antibalas May 18th at the Brooklyn Bowl.
A legendary percussionist, Román Díaz is a pillar of the New York City Afro-Cuban folkloric tradition and one of the music’s great innovators. He is considered an Olú Aña or “keeper of the sacred drum” Before his Raga Cubana concert with the Brooklyn Raga Massive (we hope to share that soon!) he gave this workshop where he spoke of the legends, history and musical foundations of Afro-Cuban Music.
The California Honeydrops are more than a band, they’re a traveling party. All stellar musicians they’ve earned their stripes playing with folks like B.B. King, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Allen Toussaint. We caught up with them as they were touring with Bonnie Raitt at NYC’s Beacon Theater and got to sit down with their lead singer, multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynski. We also got to hear some selections from their latest album, A River’s Invitation.
As a lifelong fan of Shakti, hanging with V. Selvaganesh was a dream come true. Here the master percussionist V. Selvaganesh talks about his music and shares his experience with John McLaughlin’s Remember Shakti and other great collaborations. He breaks down the South Indian rhythmic system and we hear selections from his album Souhka. Our friend Arun Ramamuthy joins the discussion.
Born in Chennai to Grammy-winning musician Vikku Vinayakram, a former member of the original Shakti, he is the grandson of T. R. Harihara Sarma, who founded the Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya (Sri JGTV school) in Chenna
Selvaganesh first gained world fame through tours with John McLaughlin’s group,Remember Shakti. His debut international solo album, Soukha, was released in 2006 featuring all other regular members of Remember Shakti including John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, U. Srinivas and Shankar Mahadevan, as well as sitar player Niladri Kumar and Selvaganesh’s father T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram. He has also formed a new group called dr JSM, with the UK-based Goan songwriter/producer dr.Joel and the young Carnatic singer Mahesh.Their Indo-Celtic album entitled Turn on the dreams was released in the UK in 2005.
In 2012, Selvaganesh made his film directorial debut with Bodhai, a short film in Tamil. He also composed the soundtrack which was released in digital format by Saregama.
Whoa! This one went viral. Here is the full hour podcast interview and below is a half hour of video interview with George Porter. As the bass player of the Meters, George Porter, Jr. defined one of the most influential styles of popular music. It’s now called “Funk.” Beyond that he’s on a million records including all the killer material coming out of the Sea-Saint studio in New Orleans with cats like Allen Toussaint, Earl King, Lee Dorsey, Johnny Adams, Irma Thomas, The Lastie Brothers and later with people like Paul McCartney and John Scofield, (check out Sco’s Piety Street Album!)
George Porter Jr. and his Funky Friends will be in performing in New York City
Here’s the full half hour of video from the second part of the interview where he teaches how NOT to play “Cissy Strut”
The opening concert of Brooklyn Raga Massive’s 3 month residency at Pioneer Works was a smash. For this special night, we had an ambitious triple bill, celebrating the full year of the Africa/India series collaborations that had been produced by NYC Radio Live, Afro-Roots Music night and Brooklyn Raga Massive. We featured the “golden voice of Mali,” Awa Sangho, with by the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars, the electro-acoustic Kora/Tabla duo Orakel with Kane Mathis and Roshni Samlal and the original band in this new genre Afrika Meets India, led by Kevin Nathaniel on Mbira and Eric Fraser on Bansuri.
Here we’ll hear Awa Sangho’s complete set with the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars the first time these artists came together. You can feel the energy from this explosive set! This was recorded live by James Clark and mixed with love by Sameer Gupta.
This video from Josh Adler at Treeline Pics really captured it! Check out his whole web series chronicling the “Raga Rennaisance”
This concerts was broadcast on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY 7-9pm Febuary 7th at 2016.
Awa Sangho, Vocals, percussion
Daniel Moreno, percussion,
Joshua Geisler, bansuri
Michael Gam, bass
David Ellenbogen, guitar
Arun Ramamurthy, violin
Jay Gandhi, bansuri
Kane Mathis kora,
Roshni Samlal, Tabla
Malick Koly, drumset
On the opening day of Brooklyn Raga Massive’s residency at Pioneer Works, perhaps the world’s greatest carnatic violin player, L. Subramaniam, came and joined us for a revealing interview. His son Ambi and he then treated us to a live performance right in our humble little container studio.
Yehudi Menuhin wrote, “each time I listen to him, I am carried away in wonderment.” A Grammy-nominated artist, Mr. Subramaniam has made more than 200 recordings and has performed with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau and Maynard Ferguson.
L. Subramaniam will be performing this Friday, Febuary 5 at 92nd Street Y, This is his first performance in New York since 2006 and is the only North American event in the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, which he founded and leads. He will be joined by his son, violinist Ambi Subramaniam, drummer Mahesh Krishnamurthy, and Ravi Balasubramanian, ghatam.
The concert is co-presented by World Music Institute and 92nd Street Y.
. Thanks to WMI for bringing L. Subramaniam to NYC Radio Live! And thanks to Sameer Gupta for mixing this.
Orakel is a brand new electro-acoustic project of Kora/oud player, Kane Mathis and tabla player, Roshni Samlal, who began their collaboration at the Brooklyn Raga Massive. Using electronic compositional elements of sound design, field recordings, and drones, they create a new context for traditional elements of Indian classical percussion and Kora repertoire.
They performed live at Shapeshifter Lab a few weeks ago in a dazzling performance and then joined me at WKCR for a broadcast.
This Wed Feb 3rd Orakel will be playing as part of the Africa/India Series. Brooklyn Raga Massive Shapeshifter Launch Party with Awa Sangho and the BRM-All-Stars and and Afrika Meets India.
Live Performance and Interviews with NY's Top Musicians