Steve Gorn & Friends

A Twilight Concert of Indian Classical Music

Steve Gorn, bansuri flute
Samarth Nagarkar, vocalist
Samir Chatterjee, tabla

Friday, August 8, 2014, 8:30 pm

program

The program will be announced from the stage.
There will be an intermission.

 

this weekend

Saturday, August 9, 11 am
Young People’s Concert


Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf,
with the Amernet String Quartet

Saturday, August 9, 8 pm
Perry Beekman & Friends

Jazz at the Maverick

American Landscapes VII: The George Gershwin Songbook



Sunday, August 10, 4 pm
Amernet String Quartet; Jon Klibonoff, piano


American Landscapes VIII: Cherish the Émigrés
Music of Dvořák, Mahler, Korngold, and Schoenberg

next week

Saturday, August 16, 6:30 pm
Actors & Writers


Speak, Memory: An Evening of Memoirs by Writers and Performers Past and Present

Sunday, August 17, 4 pm
Trio Solisti


American Landscapes IX: Piano Trio Landmarks
Music of Beethoven, Brahms, and Lowell Liebermann

 


LOGO


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Steve Gorn is a master bamboo flautist and saxophone player. Gorn has performed Indian classical music, jazz, and new American music on the bansuri bamboo flute and soprano saxophone in concerts and festivals throughout the world. A disciple of Sri Gour Goswami of Kolkata, and Pandit (Pt.) Raghunath Seth of Mumbai, he is well known to audiences in India and the West. He has been praised by critics and leading Indian musicians as one of the few westerners recognized to have captured the subtlety and beauty of Indian music. He also has composed numerous works for film, theatre, dance, and television, and has recorded and performed with a wide range of artists including Paul Simon, Tony Levin, Jack DeJohnette, Glen Velez, Karl Berger, Alessandra Belloni, Layne Redmond, Simon Shaheen, and Mick Karn.

Steve Gorn is creating a new idiom, a music that combines the essence of classical Indian tradition with a contemporary world-music sensibility to create a distinctive signature sound. The strength of this music is grounded in a virtuoso mastery, generating a vibrant fusion, alive and accessible to western ears. Steve infuses great mastery with a haunting, lyrical sweetness to
bring the healing breath of the sacred to our demanding contemporary lives.

Steve’s first steps on this path were taken as a young jazz musician studying composition at Penn State. He noticed how John Coltrane and Charles Lloyd had begun to incorporate aspects of Indian music into their playing. Drawn by these sounds, he found himself in Benares, India, in 1969, in a boat on the Ganges listening to classical raga float out over the water in the evening light. “I suddenly saw how this music went beyond notes, beyond what we think of as music. How it is, in truth, a yoga, a form of meditation, devotion, a form of love.”

Steve then traveled to Kolkata, or Calcutta as it was known then, where he was invited to meet the Bengali bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami.

“We went to Hedwa in North Calcutta, passing through narrow lanes lined with sweets shops, tea stands, and sari merchants. Bells were ringing from small neighborhood temples, and the air was thick and pungent with everything from sandalwood incense to cow dung. We were directed to a doorway that led along a corridor into a small courtyard. A servant motioned to a room on the south end of the courtyard and we entered the stone compound.

“Seated on the floor, in a circle, were six men, all dressed in white. In the center of the circle was a robust middle-aged man, his feet tucked under his dhoti, his lips red from the betel-nut he was chewing. A cup of tea was at his side and a harmonium and flute case lay on the floor before him. This was the teacher I had heard so much about.

“I was introduced in Bengali (although I learned later that these men spoke fluent English) and they proceeded to talk about me at length in a language I couldn’t understand. I wanted to play for him and show him what I knew, but they continued to sip their tea, conversing endlessly in Bengali. Finally, they asked me to play a raga for them. I was very nervous by then, but managed to play. When I finished, Gour Goswami said, ‘You have a good sense for this music, but you have not been taught properly.’ He then took out his flute and played for me. The tone was deep, warm and velvety, utterly weightless. The raga unfolded and time stopped. It was breathtaking as the passages came faster and faster, ending in a flourish of cascading sound that reverberated through the stone room. And then it was over and everyone was once again drinking tea. I just sat there, stunned. I looked at him and stuttered, ‘May I come back?’ He smiled and said, ‘Yes.’”

 

 


 


 

Returning to the US, Steve continued his study of Indian music with Pt. Raghunath Seth, and brought his elegant bansuri sound to American pop music. His landmark world music recording Asian Journal and the unique Wings and Shadows have become cult favorites, and his acclaimed CD Luminous Ragas was named one of the top ten recordings of the year by Los Angeles Reader.

Describing his 1996 performance in Mumbai at the Sangeet Research Academy’s Indian Music and the West Seminar, SRA West Chairman, Arvind Parikh said, “Steve Gorn’s concert was widely appreciated for its outstanding musicianship…and has won him a host of admirers.”

Samarth Nagarkar is a Hindustani classical Indian vocalist. A prolific artist, he is acknowledged to be one of today’s foremost representing Hindustani classical music traditions. He is known for his eclectic, captivating performances, which reflect extensive training and an artistic vision encompassing tradition and modernity in a rare balance.

After years of rigorous training under the celebrated performer and guru Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, he graduated as a Grade-A scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, in 2009. By virtue of intense and extensive guru-shishya parampara training, Samarth’s performance repertoire encompasses styles, ragas, and compositions of three prominent gharanas—Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur.

Samarth performs regularly in prominent venues in India and the US, and is frequently featured on television and radio programs around the world. He performed at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California, at the Chhandayan All Night Concert in Woodstock in 2012, at Penn State, and at Stanford University, Indiana University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a recipient of national awards including the President’s Award in the All India Radio competition in 2000, which also made him an AIR graded artist. The government of India awarded Samarth a fellowship in 2009 for his research and documentation of the music of Gwalior Gharana lineage through the past century.

He has composed and continues to record music and soundtracks for international and cultural conventions and films. Samarth’s first book, Raag-Sageet,was published in 2013. He has two CDs, titled Pravah and Pranali, to his credit. Former head of the K. K. Kapoor Sangeet Research Academy in Lucknow, Samarth has been conducting very successful and popular lecture demonstrations and music workshops across India and the US. Samarth also spearheaded an Indian Music Choir, and he currently divides his time between the US and India pursuing an active career as a performer, composer, teacher, and author.

Samir Chatterjee is a virtuoso tabla player from India. He travels widely across the world throughout the year performing in numerous festivals as a soloist or with other outstanding musicians from both Indian and non-Indian musical traditions. Samir performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo in 2007. He also performed several times at the United Nations General Assembly. Samir is a firm believer in the transforming effect of music on society, and all aspects of his work reflect this conviction.

Chatterjee began his studies early with Pt. Bankim Ghosh, Pt. Balaram Mukherjee, Pt. Rathin Dhar, and Mohammad Salim. His later formation as a musician occurred under the guidance of Pt. Amalesh Chatterjee (since 1966) and Pt. Shyamal Bose (since 1984). All of Samir’s teachers have been from the Farrukhabad Gharana school of tabla playing, which he now represents.

Samir holds an A rating as an artist of Indian national radio and television. He can be heard on numerous recordings as soloist, accompanying many of India’s greatest musicians, and in collaboration with western musicians of outstanding caliber. In concert Samir has accompanied many of India’s greatest musicians, including Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ud. Vilayat Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee, Pt. V.G. Jog, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasial, and many others.

Samir Chatterjee lives in the New York-New Jersey area,
and has been a catalyst in the fusion of Indian and non-Indian music. He has performed with Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Douglas, Steve Gorn, Glen Velez, Bobby Sanabria, Benjamin Verdery, Dance Theater of Harlem, the Boston Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, Ethos Percussion Group, Da Capo Chamber Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, and other jazz, classical, and avant-garde musicians and ensembles. He is a member of the jazz trio SYNC with Ned Rothenberg and Jerome Harris, and the quintet Inner Diaspora with Mark Feldman and Eric Friedlander. He also collaborates with Sufi-Rock singer Salman Ahmad of Junoon, from Pakistan. He is the composer and director of Indo-Flame and Nacho Nacho, both blends of Indian and Flamenco dance and music, as well as Chhand-Anand, a world percussion ensemble, and the ensemble Dawn to Dusk and Beyond. He performs with Sanjay Mishra on his CD Blue Incantation featuring Jerry Garcia as guest artist.

Samir Chatterjee has been teaching for thirty-five years, and many of his students are established performers. He is the founder-director of Chhandayan, an organization dedicated to promoting and preserving Indian music and culture. He has authored a comprehensive 654-page book entitled A Study of Tabla and a guide book to Indian music titled Music of India. He is on the faculty at Yale University, the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Pittsburgh, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the University of Bridgeport. He also contributes to several newspapers and periodicals. He won a gold medal for his proficiency in a musical examination and has master’s degrees in English and History.

Since 2008 Samir has been working toward the musical revival of Afghanistan. He has made several trips to the country, working with different levels of the society and administration, and within a very short period of time he has been able to make a remarkable difference in the cultural life of the country.