The Ragas Live Festival

WOW! Thanks to a community of over 30 world class artists,  WKCR-FM  broadcast 24 hours of live, in-studio performances of Indian Ragas on June 21 on the airwaves in NYC and streaming on the net. We got a HUGE response from around the globe.  The complete festival can still be enjoyed online here and at the NYC Radio Live iTunes podcast.  Many thanks to our curators HarmoNYom, Brooklyn Raga Massive and to our artistic directors Arun Ramamurthy, Sameer Gupta and Veronique Lerebours. Thanks also  to the Make Music NY festival and the WKCR team (Ahmet Ali Arsalan, Sriharsha Aradhya, Lakshmi Gopal, and Kevin Crowley).

Kiran Ahluwalia, Rez Abbasi, Nitin Mitta – Ragas Live Festival #24 (Podcast 47)


Kiran Ahluwalia (vocals),  Rez Abbasi (guitar), Nitin Mitta (tabla). Ragas Live Festival #24

11 pm-12 am during our 24 hour Ragas Live Festival.

Expressing her muse through ghazals and Punjabi folk songs, Kiran Ahluwalia explores the language of the heart with beautiful artistry and smoldering intensity. Born in India, raised in Canada, and now living in New York City, her enchanting and seductive music has garnered glowing praise from critics around the world. Her’s is “a voice destined to enchant more than one generation” (fROOTS) and she possesses “a deep spirituality and tranquility that borders on the mystic” (Sing Out Magazine). But most of all, Kiran Ahluwalia is a unique and inspiring performer and composer, who’s legion of fans continues to grow with every captivating performance and each new recording project.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, removed at the age of four to relocate to Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, as well as a pilgrimage in India under the tutorial of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres.

Making New York home for the past 18 years, Abbasi has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist and is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players the world over. He has honed his skills with performances through out Europe, Canada, the U.S., Mexico and India. He has performed and recorded with many jazz greats including, Grammy winner Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, Tim Hagans, Marc Johnson, Billy Hart,  Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smith, Gary Thomas, Rick Margitza, DaveDouglas, DD Jackson, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Tony Malaby, George Brooks, PanditRonu Majumdar, Pandit Kadri Gopalnath, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, MarilynCrispell, Greg Osby, Howard Levy and a host of others.

Arun Ramamurthy, Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, Nitin Mitta – Ragas Live Festival # 23 (Podcast 46)


Arun Ramamurthy (violin),  Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (mridangam), Nitin Mitta (tabla). Ragas Live Festival # 23

8-9 pm during our 24 hour Ragas Live Festival.

Arun Ramamurthy is a gifted violinist who is making his mark in Indian Classical and World music in the United States. Disciple of Dr. Mysore Manjunath & Sri Mysore Nagaraj, he has become one of the most sought after violinists in the US.  Arun has carved a niche for himself in the Indian Classical music scene in NYC as a versatile musician, playing together with artists from both Carnatic and Hindustani styles.  Born and raised in the US, Arun utilizes his Carnatic training to collaborate with western musicians, recording & performing with artists from various genres. Arun released his debut Carnatic CD “Geethanjali” with percussion stalwarts Thiravarur Bakthavatsalam and Giridhar Udupa.  His newest project, the Arun Ramamurthy Quartet, presents fresh arrangments and improvisations of classic Carnatic compositions, including some original music.  Arun curates the innovative series, “Carnatic Sundays” at Cornelia Street Café in New York City, a concert series dedicated to presenting Carnatic music to wider audiences. –


Vivek Rudrapatna, Sriram Raman – Ragas Live Festival # 22 (Podcast 45)


Vivek Rudrapatna (violin),  Sriram Raman (mridangam). Ragas Live Festival # 22

5-6 pm during our 24 hour Ragas Live Festival.

Vivek Rudrapatna is a seasoned Indian Classical violinist who has played a central role in the Indian Classical music circles of the tristate area and New England for over 10 years.  He began study of the violin under Ms. Jennifer Curran, a passionate music teacher in the New Jersey Public Schools who taught him Western Classical technique and guided him from elementary through high school.  Around the same time, he was fortunate to discover the Carnatic Violin under the guidance of Mysore Sateesh, an inspired violinist from the prized “MSG” lineage.  Since 2001, he has performed as both a soloist and in collaboration with many talented local and international artists in a variety of prestigious venues including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Egg in Albany, and the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University.  Over the years, Vivek has honed his skills under the guidance of renowned artists such as Anantha Krishnan, the Mysore Brothers, and Dr. L. Subramaniam.  Vivek’s long standing interest in world fusion led to the creation of his successful college group “Saptaswara”, a melting pot of Gypsy, Bluegrass, Western, and Indian music.  In his other life, Vivek is an MD/PhD candidate at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Shanti Shivani, Peter Fagiola – Ragas Live Festival # 21 (Podcast 44)


Shanti Shivani (vocal),  Peter Fagiola  (pakhavaj). Ragas Live Festival # 21

11 am-12 pm during our 24 hour Ragas Live Festival.

Shanti Shivani is one of the few Western pioneers bringing the sacred traditions of Nada Yoga and Dhrupad, the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music, to the West. She brings a wealth of vocal, meditative, movement and experience to her classes and performances. She had the great fortune to be accepted as a paramparastudent of the premier family of the Dhrupad lineage, the Dagar family. Her first teacher was Dr. Ritwik Sanyal before continuing her studies with his gurus, the late rudra veena maestro Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and his brother Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar. Their family has been passing on the Dhrupad tradition for nineteen generations. Her studies with Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar enriched her understanding of Nada Yoga.

Samarth Nagarkar, Anirban Roy Chowdury, Andrew Shantz – Ragas Live Festival # 20 (Podcast 43)


Samarth Nagarkar (vocal),  Anirban Roy Chowdury (tabla), Andrew Shantz (harmonium). Ragas Live Festival # 20

8-9 am during our 24 hour Ragas Live Festival.

Samarth Nagarkar, a hindustani classical (North Indian classical) vocalist, is a disciple of Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar and Pandit Dinkar Kaikini. A former scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, he was head of the K. K. Kapoor Sangeet Research Academy, Lucknow as Founder Faculty. Pursuing a full-fledged career as a performing vocalist, Samarth is hailed as one of the most promising young artistes of today.