Zakir Hussain – Podcast 277

A freewheeling interview with Zakir Hussain, widely hailed as one of the greatest percussionists of our time.
Zakir Hussain is the son of Alla Rakha, the charismatic tabla player who helped Ravi Shankar capture a Western Audience (hint: you’ve seen him if checked out the Woodstock movie.)    By the time Zakir was 11 he was touring and soon made a name for himself accompanying the legends of Hindustani music such as Ali Akbar Khan,  Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Shiv Kumar Sharma and Ravi Shankar himself.   After he came to the United States in 1969  Zakir began a career that transcended traditional musical barriers – he is now a singular global music force.   Beyond his prolific Indian classical music career he blazed new ground with the band Shakti, created Planet Drum with the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, explored adventerous jazz with Sangam,  and worked with George Harrison, L Shankar Yo-Yo Ma, Giovanni Hidalgo, Jan Garbarek, Van Morrison…the list keeps going…better to just check out the music and our conversation.

Reggie Workman – NEA Jazz Master

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This was an incredible chance to sit down with a living legend of music: Reggie Workman.

Reggie will be celebrated at the the 2020 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute concert tonight. Watch here

In 1961, Workman joined the John Coltrane Quartet, replacing Steve Davis. He was present for the saxophonist’s Live at the Village Vanguard sessions, and also recorded with a second bassist (Art Davis) on the 1961 albums, Olé Coltrane and Africa/Brass. Workman recorded frequently through the 1960s and performed with such icons as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Eric Dolphy, Gigi Gryce, Booker Little, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter, Red Garland, James Moody, Abbey Lincoln, Alice Coltrane, Booker Ervin, Horace Silver, Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Curtis Fuller, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Mann, Archie Shepp, Clifford Jordan, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Fortune, Billy Harper, and David Murray.

Reggie continues to push boundaries and create great work with Trio 3 and his own ensembles, with the top artists in Jazz and new music.

We got this lucky chance to speak with him because the Brooklyn Raga Massive performed A Love Supreme with Reggie Workman on June 9th as part of their Wall to Wall: John Coltrane Event.  

Saraswathi Ranganathan: Ragas Live 2019 #316

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This is the first podcast release of a set from Ragas Live Festival 2019.  The event was broadcast live on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY in front of an enthusiastic audience at Pioneer Works at midnight on October 20-21st.

Saraswathi Ranganthan is performing the veena here and was joined by her Raghavan Sai on Mridangam.  In a spontaneous decision Swaminathan Selvganesh who had played an amazing set earlier in the evening sat in on the set.

Ragas Live Festival is a 24 hour annual broadcast with over 60 musicians.  We will return in 2020 – stay tuned!

Saraswathi brings with her a legacy of firsts. She is the first Indian woman and Veena artiste to win a Chicago Music Award in its 35-year history, the first Veena artiste to perform as an orchestra member of Disney’s Jungle Book production and the first Veena artiste to receive a $10,000 grant from the Logan Foundation in Chicago. She attributes her path-carving success to the inclusive energy in her music and in her life. Her goal? Bring artists and listeners together as one community united in music and understanding. – worded by Stephanie Jones, Jazzspeak.org

Saraswathi constantly endeavors for sounds of the Veena to reach a cross cultural global audience. She learned Veena from her mother Shantha Ranganathan and from Karnataka Kalashree EP Alamelu in Bangalore.  She has been performing and teaching for over three decades now.

Saraswathi also has the distinction as being the first Veena artiste whose original multi-lingual song “Ennai Azhaithaen – I embraced me” was commissioned by the Chicago Humanities Fest.

Saraswathi is the first Veena artiste to perform live music for Chicago International Moves & Music Fest with original score for screening of the movie Buster Keaton’s Seven Chances.