LOGO

Steve Gorn, bansuri flute
Samarth Nagarkar, vocal
Ray Spiegel, tabla
Rohan Prabhudesai, harmonium

This concert ​is ​underwritten by a generous gift from Sally Grossman.

Saturday, July 25, 2015, 8 pm

program

The program will be announced from the stage.

There will be an intermission.

tomorrow


Sunday, July 26, 4 pm | Latitude 41 piano trio
Music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, an
d Daron Hagen

next week

Saturday, August 1, 8 pm | Fred Hersch, jazz piano

Sunday, August 2, 4 pm | Escher Quartet
Music of Haydn, Schubert, and Bartók

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

A disciple of Sri Gour Goswami of Kolkata, and Pandit Raghunath Seth of Mumbai, Steve Gorn is well known to audiences in India and the West. He has performed Indian classical music in concerts and festivals throughout the world. His bansuri flute is featured on the 2011 Grammy-winning recording, “Miho — Journey to the Mountain” with Dhruba Ghosh and the Paul Winter Consort, as well as the Academy Award-winning documentary “Born into Brothels.” Steve’s numerous recordings include Luminous Ragas, Rasika, (with tabla by Samir Chatterjee) Illuminations, (with the Nepali bansuri wallah Manose) the landmark Indian-jazz fusion recording Asian Journal, and Pranam, a jugalbandi with Barun Kumar Pal playing hansaveena and Samir Chatterjee on tabla. 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 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’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 followed the music east and found himself in Benares, India in 1969, in a boat on the Ganges with the famous sarangi master, Gopal Misra, listening to his 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 Calcutta, 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 sweet 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 Pandit 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. 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. He is acknowledged to be one of today’s foremost and prolific artists representing Hindustani classical music traditions. He is known for his eclectic, captivating performances reflecting 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. Samarth’s performance repertoire encompasses styles, ragas, and compositions of three prominent gharanas or lineages — Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur.

Samarth performs regularly at major music festivals and in prominent venues in India and the US, and is frequently featured on television and radio programs around the world. He performed at Penn State, at Stanford, Indiana, and Pennsylvania universities, at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California, and at the Chhandayan All Night Concert in Woodstock in 2012. He is a recipient of national awards including the President’s Award for the AIR competition in 2000, which also made him a graded artist of the AIR. The government of India awarded him a fellowship in 2009 for his research and documentation of the music of Gwalior gharana 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. He currently divides him time between the US and India, pursuing an active career as a performer, composer, teacher, and author.

Ray Spiegel began his study of tabla in 1970 at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California, under Pandit Shankar Ghosh. He continued his study with Sri B.S. Ramanna in New Delhi in 1971. In 1973 he began study under Ustad Zakir Hussain, and in 1975 became a devoted disciple of his father, Ustad Alla Rakha, and continued a close relationship with him until the Ustad’s passing in 2000. Ray has accompanied many Indian artists in concert and recordings, including Ustad Aashish Khan, Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas, Ustad Sultan Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Smt. Raka Mukherjee, Ustad Irshad Khan, Pandit Manilal Nag, and Barun Kumar Pal. Rohan Prabhudesai, harmonium, has been actively studying music for the past twelve years. He began his training in Hindustani classical music on the harmonium on one of his trips to India with Sri Gokuldas Rasaikar. He continued this musical pursuit under the guidance of Dr. Kedar Naphade, a senior disciple of Pt. Tulsidas Borkar. He has also periodically had the privilege of learning from Pt. Borkar. Aside from Indian classical music, Rohan also draws interest from Western classical music. He has been studying piano with Edwin Lopez for about ten years, and has given numerous recitals and fundraising concerts. Rohan works in the financial industry as a senior analyst at Charles Schwab.