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
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)
The Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars perform a live, in-studio performance of Terry Riley’s masterpiece, “In C” live on the airwaves of WKCR-FM NY. Riley was deeply influenced by his studies of Hindustani vocal music but according to the composer himself, as far as he knows, the Massive is the only group that performs “In C” with an ensemble of mostly Indian instruments. The group includes sitars, tablas, sarods, bansuri, vocals, cello, guitars, vibes, dilruba, and more.
Led by Neel Murgai, on sitar, the group’s lineup for this broadcast is:
Neel Murgai, sitar Camila Celin, sarod Eric Fraser, bansuri Sameer Gupta, tabla Ehren Hanson, tabla Andrew Shantz, harmonium, vocals Dawood Kringle, dilruba David Ellenbogen, guitar Michael Gam, bass Dana Leong, cello Christian VerHalen, guitar Vin Scialla, vibes Joel Harrison, guitar Timothy Hill, vocals Alan Rigoletto, guitar Timothy Hill, vocals Rima Fand, violin
Brooklyn Raga Massive began in the Fall of 2011 as a cooperative alliance between several Indian Classical Musicians in the Brooklyn, NYC area. Brooklyn Raga Massive is not a band, and it is not an exclusive club with members. The Massive is a platform for all lovers of Raga music, listeners and practitioners, to get closer to the pulse of NYCs live Raga music scene. The Brooklyn Raga Massive is managed by artists, and is meant to help bring the community of Raga lovers together. The Massive’s collaborative approach towards unifying and building the scene of Raga music in NYC leads its members towards each other, as well as provides the spark for the Brooklyn Raga Massive events and gatherings. The Massive is dedicated to presenting and representing Indian Classical Music in all its diversity of today.
A musician her whole life, Camila Celin began playing guitar at age 9. For the last 5 years she has been intensely studying the Indian Sarod. In Kolkata she learns from sarod player Sougata Roy Choudhury, and in New York she learns from sitar maestro Pandit Krishna Bhatt. In 2009 she was nominated for a Grammy for best world music album in a collaboration with slide guitar maestro Debashish Bhattacharya and has been a very active performer in her native Colombia, the US and in India. She has composed music for several films, theater, as well as commercials and currently lives between New York and Kolkata, India. Ehren Hanson has been playing tabla for over 17 years. A disciple of the great Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, he is an active performer as both a soloist and an accompanist. His recent review in the “Times of India,” Kolkata called his solo performace “enthralling.”
Together, the couple have founded the Anindo Chatterjee School of Tabla in New York, where they host some of the greatest maestros of our time, hosting classes, workshops, and concerts. Their performance is celebrated for its intimacy with the deep and fated connection between them felt in every beat.