The OM Gam ensemble turned it out at Studio 487 last night! Another packed house and inspiring music.
The was the third concert in out Africa/India series, co-presented by NYC Radio Live, Brooklyn Raga Massive and Afro-Roots Tuesdays.
Om Gam ensemble takes it’s name from the mantra for the Hindu deity Ganesh – “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha.” Ganesh is often referred to as the “remover of obstacles” and in reference to this, Om Gam ensemble seeks to remove musical obstacles, specifically by bringing together musicians from Indian Classical and Traditional African musical backgrounds, while also drawing upon the more modern influence of Jazz music. This group features Kane Mathis (kora), Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Pawan Benjamin (saxophone), Shiva Goshal (tabla), and is led by Michael Gam (bass & composition).
Michael Gam is a sought after upright and electric bassist/composer living in New York. As a versatile musician skilled in many styles of music, Michael has performed with cutting edge jazz musicians like Ambrose Akinmusire and Tigran Hamasyan, top classical virtuoso Hillary Hahn, and Indian classical stalwarts Subash Chandran and Ganesh Kumar. Michael has also been studying Indian classical music since 2010, and is a budding sarod performer of the Maihar gharana.
Juan Ospina of M.A.KU. Soundsystem joined me on the radio last night.
M.A.K.U. is an exciting and eclectic band which hails mostly from Colombia. On stage MA.K.U juxtaposes traditional Colombian percussion, drum-set, synthesizers, electric base, guitar and sizzling horns, creating an explosive performance filled with unshakable grooves. Lyrically M.A.K.U talks about the realities of everyday people, encompassing love, hardships, culture, and the immigrant experience, but with a positive, spiritual and sometimes humorous spin.
Check out their new vinyl release M.N.D (Music Never Dies).
Robert Browning, New York City’s most prolific producer of World Music events shares his personal recordings, highlights from his concerts from over the last 30 years.
We’ll hear rare recordings from Abida Parveen of Pakistan, Dimi Mint Abba from Mauritania, Noura Mint Seymali of Mauritania, Said Shanbehzadeh-bagpipe from Bushear Iran a; Village group from Luristan (South West Iran), Hassan Hakmoun of Morocco, Farid Ayaz, Abu Muhammad & Brothers Qawwal from Pakistan and a rare recording from India’s master of the Rudra Veena, Ustad Asad Ali Khan.
Robert Browning has produced over 1,500 concerts of World Music, including the Musical World of Islam (1993-94, 1995-96) concert series that featured artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Pakistan), Simon Shaheen (Palestine), Sabah Fakhri (Syria), Necdet Yasar (Turkey), Alim Qasimov (Azerbaijan), the Master Musicians of Jajouka (Morocco), Shahram Nazeri (Iran) and Dimi Mint Abba (Mauritania). The Festival of Greek Music & Dance (2000-2005) which included rembetika music as well as regional styles from throughout mainland Greece and the islands; and the New York Flamenco Festival(2001 – 2011), which featured many of Spain’s greatest musicians and dancers. Artists from Africa and the African diaspora played a major role in his concerts and included Kandia Kouyate, Oumou Sangare and Toumani Diabate (Mali). Ladysmith Black Mambaso (South Africa), Les Ballets Africains (Guinea) and Los Munequitos de Matanzas (Cuba) and the Skatalites (Jamaica).
His Festival of India featured some of India’s must celebrated classical artists, including Lalgudi Jayraman, Maharajapuram Santhanam, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma, and Zakir Hussain. The festival continued the following year with a concert at Carnegie Hall with some of the finest Rajasthani folk musicians opening for the celebrated sitarist Nikhil Banerjee.