The seventh set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works. Neel Murgai (sitar), Sameer Gupta (tabla). Neel and Sameer will be performing at the Raga Massive Concert and Jam Session at the Art Cafe (885 Pacific Street, Brooklyn) this Wednesday, Jan 4th 8pm.
Neel is a multi-instrumental performer, composer and teacher in New York City. He graduated with an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College. His life long journey into the depth and beauty of sitar and Indian classical music began in Benares 20 years ago with Ravindra Goswami. Neel has studied sitar for the past 14 years with his guru and mentor Pt. Krishna Bhatt. Neel has studied and plays a variety of instruments ranging from the Persian frame drum to the kanjira, as well as the voice. Neel is interested in creating music that draws from not only Indian Classical Music, but other various traditions as well.
The ninth set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works. Roopa Mahadevan (vocal) Anjna Swaminathan (violin), Bala Skandan (mridangam), Kabilan Jeginathan (kanjira).
Roopa Mahadevan is a versatile vocalist rooted in the South Indian (Carnatic) classical tradition. Born and raised in San Jose, California, Roopa underwent her major formative training in Carnatic vocal music in under Asha Ramesh, disciple of the late Sangeetha Kalanidhi D.K. Jayaraman and Sri Nanganallur Ramanathan. In 2007, Roopa was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State to receive advanced Carnatic vocal training in Chennai, India under Suguna Varadachari, a senior guru of the Musiri Subramania Iyer tradition.
Roopa has been a regular performer of Carnatic vocal concerts in the U.S. and India. She has been performing in all of the major “sabhas” in Chennai, India during the December music season, including the prestigious Music Academy. She has received praise from the Carnatic music fraternity and notable press, including The Hindu. She has also performed at the well-known Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, which awarded her the title ‘Kala Ratna’ for her commitment to the pursuit of Carnatic music as a young American. Roopa is also an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer who has performed her arangetram under the training of the Indumathy Ganesh, disciple of Padmashri Chitra Visweswaran. Roopa is a regular vocal peformer for several of the leading Bharathanatyam and contemporary dancers of the South Asian Diaspora.
Roopa is the artistic director of the NYC-based Navatman Music Collective, an Indian Classical Vocal ensemble. Roopa received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Master’s degree in Cognitive Science from Stanford University. She is based in New York City, where she balances a career in public health policy with the passionate pursuit of her art
The thrid set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works. Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Sameer Gupta (tabla), Perry Wortman (bass).
The Arun Ramamurthy Trio (ART) performs Jazz Carnatica. Rooted in the style of the virtuoso violinist Dr. Mysore Manjunath, Arun brings a fresh approach to the age-old South Indian classical repertoire. The trio’s collaborative sound is driven by the propulsive rhythm section of drummer Sameer Gupta & and bassist Perry Wortman. The Carnatic canon is remixed in this seamless integration of styles as the group expands on the traditional compositions in explosive, improvisational flights of fancy. Arun’s original compositions pay homage to Carnatic rhythmic structures and rich tonalities while expanding the music with a modern jazz backbeat.
The second set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works. Akshara (lit. imperishable, immutable, inalterable) is comprised of: Bala Skandan (mridangam), Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Trina Basu (violin), Jay Gandhi (bansuri), Kabilan Jeginathan (kanjira), Max ZT (dulcimer), Shivalik Ghoshal (tabla).
Akshara is an exciting dynamic percussion group rooted in Indian classical musical traditions. Comprised of virtuosic performers in Carnatic and Hindustani classical genres, Akshara performs an energetic blend of classical Indian melody and rhythm highlighted with solo and scale-based improvisations. The group performs original compositions by Bala Skandan, demonstrating the powerful and complex rhythmic structures inherent in South Indian classical music.
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.
Recorded a few days ago at Brooklyn Raga Massive’s weekly concert and and jam session at ShapeShifter Lab, this set of music suggests new directions in the between raga and jazz.
It will be broadcast in New York City, on Sunday Dec. 6 on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY 7-9PM and stream at www.wkcr.org
In the 1960’s, led by the Art Blakey, The Jazz Messengers led the movement of hard bop which returned the music to its blues and gospel roots. The Raga Jazz Messengers too are exploring soulful territories, blues, swing and different emotional spaces which are not often associated with Indian-Jazz collaborations.
The Jazz Messengers are, Sameer Gupta, drums; Jay Gandhi, Bansuri, Pawan Benjamin – Saxophone, Sharik Hasan, Piano and Michael Gam, Bass.