BRM’s Coltrane Raga Tribute – Podcast 234

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Brooklyn Raga Massive’s Coltrane Raga Tribute are about to drop their New Album – and the release party will be a free concert in Prospect Park at Celebrate Brooklyn June 23rd with Pharoah Sanders headlining!

We hang with Sameer Gupta, the tabla upstart, drummer and musical director of the project and listen to a live performance from Pioneer Works. If you want to hear it all you’ll have to get the album though!

This podcast will air on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY on Sunday June 18th at 7pm.

The all-star ensemble in the set we hear includes:
Sameer Gupta – Drumset/Tabla (musical director),
Brandee Younger – Harp,
Jay Gandhi – Bansuri,
Arun Ramamurthy – Violin,
Pawan Benjamin – Sax,
Trina Basu – Violin,
Neel Murgai – Sitar,
Ben Tyree – Guitar,
Rashaan Carter – Bass
Michael Gam – Bass

Special Guests:

Roopa Mahadevan – Vocal

Pyeng Threadgill- vocal

Anupam Shobhakar – Sarod
Jessica Lurie – Sax
Ken Shoji- Violin
Dawoud Kringle – Dilruba
Giancarlo Luigi – Chekere and Percussion

Recorded by James Clark and mixed by Sameer Gupta

Brooklyn Raga Massive: Raga Cubana feat. Roman Diaz – Live at the Art Cafe Podcast 217

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The original lineup of the group heard on the recording here. Pictured at Pioneer Works

Just before we left for Cuba to record for this podcast, Brooklyn Raga Massive’s  Raga Cubana feat. Roman Diaz, had an intimate concert to get ready for our sold out concert a month later at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Here we are trying new things and feeling the hometown energy and love from the Raga Massive Jam Session at the Art Cafe

With

Román Díaz (conductor, batá: iyá )

Giancarlo Luigi (shekere)

Clemente la Tierra (batá: okónkolo)

Melvis Santa (vocals)

Folasona Olorunsola (batá: itótele)

Ehren Hanson (tabla)

Jay Gandhi (bansuri)

David Ellenbogen (guitar)

Arun Ramamurthy (violin)

Michael Gam (bass)

Camila Celin (Sarod)

Raga Cubana at the Rubin Museum of Art last Week with Sandy Perez and Vanessa Ayaba Irawo sitting in for Melvis Santa.

Tomchess Podcast 211

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As NYC and the world woke up to the results of an election, we gathered, as always, on Wednesday night, our inclusive, diverse music scene taking on a new meaning.    Tomchess and his quartet rose to the occasion and captured the moment with stunning soulful maquam based compositions informed by the free jazz improvisations of of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane.  Hear the beauty and the promise from this set at the Art Cafe.

Tomchess – Oud, Ney Morsing, Composer
Zachary Swanson – Upright Bass
Abraham Faure Mennon – Tenor Sax
Dan Kurfirst – Drums/percussion

NYC based Multi-instrumentalist/improviser/composer Tomchess has played and recorded with some of the heaviest players in the improvisational scene (Dewey Redman, Butch Morris, Pharoah Sanders, Drew Gress, Ronald Shannon Jackson), as well as Morrocan Sintarist Hassan Hakmoun. Having deeply studied the Near Eastern, and North African traditions he incorporated the tonal palette, rhythms, and forms of these traditional musics while never losing sight of his American roots and the importance and freedom of improvising. He has performed in Africa, Canada, Holland, India and Italy. He has performed at Lincoln Center, The David Rubinstein Atrium, The Turkish Embassy, The Pakastani Embassy, the Asian Society, The Natural History Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Himalayan Museum of Art and The United Nations among countless other venues in NYC and the United States.

“…Chess is a superfine improviser with total command of his instrument…Chess leads the group through a buoyant assortment of song-forms as they sustain a high level of interest amid a suspenseful sequence of progressions…. They also mix it up in a jazzy sort of way. …one of those magical efforts….They hit all the right spots while kicking out the proverbial jams via a fresh slant that yields gratifying results. ”

-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz.

Zachary Swanson is a double bassist residing in Brooklyn, NY. Using gut strings and a personalized technique, Zachary has developed a conception of the double bass that heightens the integrity of various musical environments. Zachary attended Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with double bassist Michael Formanek and saxophonist Gary Thomas.

Abraham Mennen is a South African saxophonist, improvisor and composer currently living in New York. He mostly plays free jazz, improvised and experimental music. Abraham has worked with Louis Moholo, William Parker, Joe Morris, John Lockwood, Herbie Tsoaeli, Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan and many others.

Dan Kurfirst is an NYC based percussionist, composer and improviser. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, His playing incorporates aspects of Middle Eastern, West African and Indian music, while being clearly rooted in the American traditions he grew up with. He regularly performs with top musicians in NYC’s world-music scene including Tomchess, Matt Darriau, Gabriel Marin, Brian Prunka, Brandon Terzic and Kane Maths. Dan currently serves as creative director of the American Sufi Project, a cross cultural, interfaith ensemble dedicated to re-interpreting traditional Sufi music in a modern context.