International Guest Artists
Sandeep Das, Tabla, Creative Director- HUM
Nominated twice for the The Grammy Award, Sandeep Das is considered one of the leading tabla players in the world. Sandeep has now carved out a niche for himself throughout the musical world.One of the favorite disciples of the legendary Pt.Kishan Maharaj ji of the Benaras Gharana, Sandeep went to school at St. Xavier’s Patna and then did his intermediate from Patna College, Patna University. Further education took him to Banaras Hindu University and he is a Gold Medalist in English Literature.
At the age of sixteen he had already performed with Ravi Shankar and subsequently with all the stars of Indian music. He was three times the all India drumming champion and was the youngest drummer ever to be graded by All-India radio.
“A very impressive resume for someone that young” as mentioned by BBC in their interview.
He has cut discs for more than 30 labels including Virgin, Sony and Makar Records, Music Today, Magnasound, T-Series etc.. In 2005 and again in 2011 his recordings were nominated for the Grammy Award.
This successful intertwining of Music and Education brings forward an immediate connect with his audience world wide!!!
Some of his many achievements are listed below:
- Grammy Nomination in 2005 and 2011
- His composition available as ring tone for cell phones in the USA, by iTunes and sony
- Composition “Mohini” used as theme music by NHK (Japan’s no.1 channel) for 10 episodes on the Silk Road.
- Composition “Tarang” used as theme music for film made on first ever Everest climb by Blind Climbers called “Blindsight”
- Performed at Hollywood Bowl in front of a 85 thousand full house
- Performed his piece “Tarang” at the world famous music fest BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
- Performed at the “Concertgebouw” (Oldest in the world thus extremely prestigious) theater in Amsterdam.
- Performs regularly at world famous Carnegie hall and Lincoln centre in New York
- Performs at Kennedy centre Washington DC
- Performs with Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pt. Debu Choudhury, Smt. Shubha Mudgal, Dr.L.Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurty, Ustad Shujaat Khan to name a few regularly
- Performs with Yo Yo Ma, (17 Grammy winner), the leading cello player in the world
- Has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Performed for many visiting country heads including Queen Elizabeth and Queen of Thailand
- Invited for residencies at Rhodes Island School of design, UCLA, Stanford, Chicago Musuem of Art to name a few)
- Performed at the opening of the Special Olympics at Shanghai, China
- Awarded Significant Achievement Award by St. Xavier’s High School(First Xavier’s in the country)
- Awarded “Patna college Blue” by Patna College
- Awarded “Chatra vibhusan” by Banaras Hindu University
Amit Sharma, Vocals
Honored by former President of India, Amit is pursuing Ph.D in Music and a performer for last 13 years. He is
adept at playing several instruments including Keyboard, Harmonium, and Sitar.
Amit’s classical music training comes from Pt L.K. Pandit. In his initial years, with Ustad Barkat Sidhu, he picked up Sufi Music. He has been bestowed with several national and international awards.
His classical vocal skills leave the audience spell-bound every time. Currently he is a member of Susmit Sen Chronicles. He is also a part of the band Samarpan.
Anil Chawla, Keyboard
He chose music over everything else at the age of 9 and has not regretted his decision since then. His love for the keyboard is seen in skill full renditions of almost any genre, while he performs on the drums and guitars with equal ease. Having played for bands like Parikrama, World Fusion Band feat, Sitar maestro Shri.Prateek Choudhary, Tochi Raina, Five’8, Work In Progress, Shwaas, Sky he yet again proves his mettle in the futuristic sounds of Vedanta..
He hails from the small town of Jamshedpur, where he grew up in an family without any sort of musical background. He started on the keyboard in the fourth grade and joined MUSOC, the music society of Kirori Mal College. He soon got involved in musical experiments ranging from choir, fusion, rock, Indian classical and many more. His influences include A.R. Rahman, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Trilok Gurtu and a number of International composers as well. Having performances at Delhi International Arts Festival, IIT Delhi, KIITS Bhubhneshwar, BITS Pilani, IIT Powai, IIT Kanpur, AIIMS Delhi,XLRI and at numerous DU fests.
The new year looks bright as he continues to rock his listeners with fresh sounds and compositions and a number of shows already lined up.What he personally likes to say is “stick around…I wont disappoint you.”
Bivakar Choudhury, Percussion
Mayank Raina, Flute, Sitar
Born in the family of musicians, Mayank started his initial training in music with his grand father Pt. O.N. Raina and later from his father Shri Sunil Raina and uncle Shri Anil Raina
He is Presently learning sitar from great guru Padmabhushan Pt. Debu Chaudhuri and studying B.A. Music Hons. from Hindu College, Delhi University.
At this young age, he has already played flute at various prestigious events as a solo performer as well as with various renowned musical groups and bands.
Rajib Das, Percussion
Rajib has learnt tabla under the tutelage of Pt. Govind Chakravarty. He has also mastered many percussion instruments like Tabla, Djembe, Cajon, Darbooka, Conga and Shakers. He has a Masters in Business Administration degree from NILM, New Delhi and a Bachelors Degree in Commerce from Delhi University.
Besides playing with HUM, he is also a percussionist in Carnatic fusion group, led by Renowned Malayalam playback singer Shreekumar Vakkiyl. He works as a professional freelance percussionist with various bands and artists.
In 2010, he formed a band named Nitya with Indian classical session players from various Gharanas who have performed in prestigious platforms like Coke Studio, GIMA (Global Indian Music Awards). Nitya’s music has a feel of the Sufi and pop-fusion.
He has a passion for teaching and helping young people grow as musicians. He hopes to instill a lifelong appreciation of music in his students.
Saurabh Suman, Bass Guitar
Saurabh is one of the most sought after bass players in New Delhi. Atop the Independent Music Movement that is currently gaining momentum in India, Saurabh has been an essential part of many independent bands that helped create this wave of change. He has also performed and recorded with leading mainstream artists like Ranjit Barot (Music producer of MTV Unplugged and Drummer for John McLaughlin), Louiz Banks etc. and for the well known Coke Studio.
Having played in every reputed live venue and music festival in the country, his work with various bands and artists has received abundant accolades across media – Print, Television and Radio. He was also sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations on a tour of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam subsequent to his performances at the Delhi Jazz Festival, Baaja Gaaja Festival, Delhi International Arts Festival, Jazzmandu etc.
With an additional B.A. (Hons) Degree in Hindustani Classical Music at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Delhi University, a Grade 5 in Trinity Guildhall Theory, diploma equivalent in Electronic Music Production and Music Performance from Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, Saurabh’s education in music has been extensive.
In addition to very frequent performances, Saurabh Suman has also taught at various Music Schools across Delhi and currently mentors and trains young promising bass players.
Suhail Yusuf Khan, Sarangi, Vocals
A stellar classical sarangi player who has already toured the world, Suhail’s greatest quality is his interest in and ability to adapt to musical styles from all kinds of musical cultures and traditions, including an avid interest in electronic music. Suhail, an eighth generation sarangi player from the Moradabad gharana, and grandson of the great Ustaad Sabri Khan & nephew of Kamaal Sabri Jee began performing at the age of eleven. He is a dynamo of a performer on stage!
He loves – jamming with different musicians and has been inspired by musicians like his uncle and grand dad ofcourse who are also his teachers other than that ,Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, U.Sriniwas, Jeff Beck, Sultan Khan, A.R.Rahman, Talvin Singh and last but not the least this beautiful world and the people living in it.
Ahsaan Ali, Sarangi
Born in a traditional musical background of Kirana Gharana, Music was in his blood. Ahsan is an upcoming talent on the sarangi. Ahsan began his training from his father & his Guru Ustad Asif Ali Khan, a renowned Sarangi Maestro.
He has been accompanying many world renowned vocalists and singers including Ustad Rashid Khan, Abida Parveen, Ahmad Hussain Mohammad Hussain, Talat Azeez, Penaz Masani, Suresh Vadekar, and many more. He has participated in several prestigious events and festivals such as Shankar lal festival, Khajurao festival, Tansen festival, Basant festival, Taj Mohatsav, Qutub festival, Jahan-e-Khusro, Mirza Galib, Hrbhallab festival, Haridas Sammelan, among others.
Ahsan has accompanied the legends of INDIA like Pt, Birju Maharaj Pt, Kishan Maharaj, Sitara Devi ji
He has been playing sarangi with instruments players like famous Sarod Brother Amaan Ali Khan & Ayaan Ali Khan, Sandeep Das and many more.
Ahsan also plays Guitar to perfection. He has learnt Guitar from Guru Ratan Prasanna.
Rajesh Prasanna, Flute
Rajesh Prasanna is the latest young signature in the realm of flute playing in the country. Born & hailing from a renowned family of musicians of Varanasi who have traditionally played & nurtured the shehnai for over two & half centuries, he has taken to music by inheritance.
He is the son of Pandit Rajendra Prasanna who is one of the great flute & shehnai player of the country. It was under the tutelage of his father Pt., he learnt the finer skills and artistic intricacies as also the advanced techniques that helped him blossom as concert player of great merit.
Major Concerts :-
Rajesh participated at the prestigious ‘Tansen Samaroh’ (Gwalior), 50th SwamiHaridas Sangeet Sammelan (Mumbai), Swarjagar Festival (Nagpur), Sankat-Mochan & Ganga-MahotsavShree Mataji Nirmala Devi’, Yuva Mahotsav organized by Sahitya Kala Parishad (Delhi), Pt. Raghunath Prasanna Smriti Sangeet Samaroh, Gharana Utsav, Pt. Vishnu Prasanna Smriti Sangeet Samaroh, Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan Smriti Sangeet Samaroh, Saptak Festival, (Ahmedabad), ITC sangeet Samellan ( Kanpur), Arpan Festival (Delhi) and Delhi International Art festival, Doverlane Music festival (Kolkata). festival (Varanasi), played for
Rajesh has toured U.K. with Amaan & Ayaan Ali Khan and Grammy Award winner Evelyn Glennie for concert at Rythm Stick festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall (London) & WOMAD Festival (Reading).He also visited Philippines under the auspices of ICCR with his father Pt .Rajendra Prasanna. He has also participated at International Folk Music Festival (Ethno) in Sweden.
Suchet Malhotra, Percussion
Suchet plays instruments from the world’s rhythm cultures–the tabla from India, darbouka & framedrums from Egypt, the Kurdish def, djembes from Ghana & Gambia, the Peruvian cajon, bongos from Cuba, the Congolese ududrum and the aboriginal yidaki/didgeridoo from Australia. With a diverse collection of native and ambient instruments at hand, this repertoire covers the inhabited continents and continues to grow.
Suchet started learning the tabla while in school at Chandigarh. He moved to Delhi in 1991 and trained for the next eight years with Ustad Chhamma Khan in the tradition of the Dilli gharana. When given a darbouka, Suchet—unfamiliar with the traditional playing style—began to apply what he had learnt on the tabla to the classical drum of Egypt. With some adjustments in playing technique (the bass is played by the right hand in darbouka, left in tabla), the result was close to what a traditional player might achieve; there were even some advantages emanating from the dexterity tabla-playing provides. Work with the djembe followed, then the didgeridoo. After spending time in Australia learning both making & playing the instrument, Suchet returned to India, where, under the guidance of Pandit Kishen Maharaj, he developed a playing style for didgeridoo based on tabla thought & expression.
Today, he is a percussionist playing a wide variety of traditional instruments and contemporary styles. He is based out of New Delhi, India.
As a soloist, Suchet performs Stories through Sound, a showcase of world percussion, native and ambient instruments. As a percussionist, he plays latin-jazz with the Wanny Angerer Quartet, oriental fusion with Mystique, world music with Sristhi, and groove-pop with electro-acoustic outfit Da-Saz.
He performs with artistes covering a wide spectrum of genres, from chamber music (Chamber Soloists Lucerne, Switzerland) to Folk (Ethno Sweden) and Electronic music (David Scrufari/Da-Saz). He composes music for contemporary dance & theatre, is a sessions artist on demand and creates soundscapes for documentaries & animation films.
2009,WANNY ANGERER LATIN JAZZ QUARTET,Bolero Namaskar
Hindustani and latin-American music mix in a heady cocktail of fusion—bansuri & percussion, tabla & piano, voices from both cultures.
2008, DA-SAZ, Jet Lag
A stunning mélange of acoustic and electronic music with vocals in the four Indic languages of the Sufis.
2007, DRUM DIMENSION, First Master
Gonga Sain and Mithu Sain from Pakistan on dhols and Suchet on didgeridoo and Iranian def—a trance-inducing drum journey.
2004, MYSTIQUE, Melodies of the Orient
Instrumental oriental jazz music with eight different musicians.
Lavanya Sundaram, Vocals
Lavanya is a formally trained artiste in the classical traditions of Bharat Natyam and Carnatic/Hindustani music in addition to being a devoted performer of Bhajans, Bhavgeets and Abhangs. She is also a graded artist of Doordarshan and All India Radio. She hails from a family of musicians.
Hailing from India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, Lavanya was initiated into Carnatic vocal music by her grandmother late Smt. K.Rajam at the tender age of 4 and continued with her training from her maternal uncle Shri.R. Seshasai. It was Shri Raman Shankar who inspired Lavanya and trained her in Hindustani Classical music as well as Abhangs. Lavanya was groomed into an accomplished dancer by iconic Guru, Smt Rajee Narayan (Mumbai) under whom she took lessons in Bharata Natyam for over 20years.
After moving to Delhi in the year 2001, Lavanya continues to take her vocal training from Prof. Arun Kumar Chatterjee and Shri Sarathi Chatterjee in Hindustani Music and from the legendry Padmashree Guru Kanaka Srinivasan in the Vazhuvoor style of Bharatha Natyam.
She has performed in various music conferences in Delhi and has given innumerable performances in prestigious venues like The Shanmukhananda Sabha ,The Chembur Fine Arts Society,The Mulund Fine Arts, The National Centre for Performing Arts(NCPA) and the Nehru Centre in Mumbai and also at The Chinmaya Mission Delhi. She has also been invited may a times to present The Impact of Music on the Elderly by The Alziemer,s Society.
She has also lent her voice to a number of Bhajan Albums.
Anxo Pintos, Hurdy-Gurdy – Spain
Anxo Pintos is a versatile musician and a star at playing the Hurdy Gurd. The hurdy gurdy is a stringed musical instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to a violin.
The first time Anxo Pintos sat on Organ, he was was six years old and could not reached the pedals. His father adicábase music and traditional dance and his mother was lyrical singer. The two then tried to instill the love of sounds in all children.
After a brief stay in any academy and conservatory of Vigo, in 1983 came the workshop of traditional instruments Antón Corral Popular University of Vigo. This workshop functioned as a catalyst and nexus of musicians and artisans from all over Europe. They recorded an album of didactic character: Traditional Instruments Gallegos . This was a key moment in the career of Anxo Pi and he began his career founding group Matto Congrio with several colleagues in this workshop. Matto Congrio recorded single in 1993.
He is founding member of the band Berrogüetto and also participates in Lizgairo , a project carried out with José Rodrigo Romaní and Liz Dinner. Together they recorded diacronía (2008).
He is the composer of numerous instrumental pieces , some of which appear as part of prominent contests and competitions of bagpipe soloist. In addition, international groups the likes of Broderick, The Relick and harpist Rachel Hair made versions of some of their songs. His Other significant collaborations with groups such as The Chieftains, Milladoiro, Los Piratas, and Susana Mercedes Peon.
Simultaneously Anxo carries out a remarkable educational work in E-Trad, Municipal School of Music Folk and Traditional Vigo.
Under the E-Trad participated in the development of the first Galician folk orchestra, Son de Seu, a musical experience since 2001.The project has been growing with the creation of the Foundation Son de Seu, of which he is President.
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Cristina Pato,Galician Bagpipe, Piano – Spain
Cristina Pato has already opened historical new paths for the Gaita (Galician bagpipe). In 1998 Cristina Pato became the first female Gaita player releasing a solo album and since then she has collaborated with world music, jazz, classical and experimental artists (including Chicago Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, The Chieftains, Arturo O’Farril, World Symphony Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera). Her unique and powerful style full of passion and energy has been acclaimed by The New York Times as “a virtuosic burst of energy” or the BBC as “the Galician bagpipe diva”. Cristina Pato fuses the influences of Latin music, jazz, pop and contemporary music, and uses her artistry and unprecedented virtuosic skill to bring her musical vision to life. Pato is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.Internationally acclaimed as a Gaita master and classical pianist, Cristina Pato enjoys an active professional career devoted to both Galician popular and classical music. Her dual careers have led to performances throughout major stages throughout the world, including USA (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center), Jerusalem (Jerusalem Festival), Angola, China, Corea, Portugal (Festa do Avante), Brazil (Liszt Festival), UK (Celtic Connections), France, Italy (Etnofestival), Germany, Mexico (Palacio de Bellas Artes) and her native Spain.
An active recording artist and performer since age 12, Ms. Pato has released four solo Gaita recordings, two as a pianist and has collaborated in more than thirty recordings as a guest artist, including the Grammy award winner “Yo-Yo Ma and Friends; Songs of Joy and Peace” (SONY BMG 2008), the “Miles Español: New Skectches of Spain” album and the Grammy nominated Silk Road Ensemble album “Off the Map”(World Village 2010). Ms. Pato has given more than 500 concerts with her own band many of them recorded and broadcasted by television stations such as BBC, TVG, CNN and RTVE, and she has been praised by newspapers as The New York Times, El Pais, La Voz de Galicia or The Scotsman.
She is Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (NJ, USA), where she studied with a fellowship from Fundacion Barrie de la Maza. She was awarded with the Edna Mason Scholarship and the Irene Alm Memorial Prize for excellence in scholarly research and performance (Rutgers University, May 2008). She holds both a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and a Master of Music Degree in Music Theory and Chamber Music (with honors) from the Conservatorio de Musica del Liceu (Barcelona). She also holds also a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Arts (Computer Music) from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).
Cristina Pato is part of the Leadership Council of The Silk Road Ensemble collaborating closely with Harvard University, the ensemble’s residency. Cristina is also a faculty member (adjunct) at the vocal department of New Jersey City University.
During the 2011-2012 season Cristina Pato has toured Africa and Spain with her own band; USA, China, and Korea with Yo Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble and India with HUM Ensemble. She collaborated in the album Miles Español along with Chick Corea and Jack DeJonnette and participated at the Kennedy Center Honors Awards honoring Yo Yo Ma with The Silk Road Ensemble, Johns Williams and James Taylor.
She is the founder and artistic director of Galician Connection, a forum in world music celebrated annually at Cidade da Cultura de Galicia.
Haruka Fuji, World Percussion, JapanMulti-percussionist Haruka Fujii has become one of the most prominent solo percussionists and marimbists of her generation. She has won international acclaim for her interpretations of contemporary music, having performed premieres of works from composers including Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Akira Miyoshi, and Maki Ishii. She has frequently collaborated with composer Tan Dun, performing his Water Percussion Concerto, Paper Percussion Concerto, and opera Tea in major venues across the world.
Ms. Fujii’s passion for introducing audiences to new percussion music has put her on stage with diverse orchestras and ensembles. She has appeared as a soloist with the Munich Philharmonic, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Nationale de Lyon, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of Flexible Music and the Line C3 Percussion Group, two New York based ensembles which actively commission new compositions from young composers. Her world premiere recordings can be found on the Kosei, ALM Records, and Deutsche Grammophon labels. In addition to her career as a performing artist Ms. Fujii directs the percussion department at the University of Connecticut, and has been a guest instructor and competition judge at several international percussion festivals.
Born in Saitama, Japan, Ms. Fujii began her musical studies on the piano at the age of three. Influenced by her mother, noted marimbist Mutsuko Fujii, she developed interest in percussion instruments. She studied music at the Tokyo National University, the Juilliard School (where she was recipient of the Avedis Zildijian Scholarship Award), and the Mannes College of Music. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Fujii proudly endorses Korogi Marimbas.
John Hadfield, World percussion-USA
Percussionist John Hadfield’s dedication to bending genres has taken him from the jungles of Indonesia to concert halls and clubs across the world. This diversity has allowed him to perform with a broad variety of
ensembles including Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road ensemble, The Saturday Night Live Band on NBC, Bang on a Can, The Michael Gordon Band, the rock bands Amandla and Dead Heart Bloom, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Combo
Nuvo, MAYA, Phil Kline, The Bassam Saba Ensemble, Ethos Percussion Group and Gamelan Dharma Swara.
While performing with jazz groups John has worked alongside Kenny Werner, Lenny Pickett, George Garzone, Gil
Goldstein, Andrew D’Angelo, Bobby Watson, Dominique Eade, Ben Monder, Satoshi Takeshi, Brad Shepik, Mike Richmond and Erik Friedlander. Currently, John lives in NYC and is on Jazz faculty of New
Josep Vicent, World Percussion- Spain
Josep Vicent is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of The World Orchestra and Balearic Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted international ensembles like: Orquesta del Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, Kiev Symphony, Orquesta Nacional de España, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, The Michael Nyman Band, Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, Orquestra de Barcelona Nacional de Catalunya, Xenakis Ensemble, King Singers, Nederlands Radio Metropol Orkest, Orquesta del Gran Teatre del Liceu, Orquestas de Valencia, La Coruña, Cordoba, Menorca, Girona. OEX, Amman Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo, Orquesta Sinfònica Illes Balears, KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 2004 he is Principal Conductor of “The World Orchestra” with whom he has toured 10 countries and performed in halls like: Konzerthaus Vienna, Philharmonie Berlin or Palau de Les Arts Valencia. He was also the Conductor, Music Director, named Cultural Ambassador for the Culture of Peace Foundation, in 2009.
Josep Vicent has more than 30 albums on his name. A collection of classical and contemporary repertoire recorded for: Deutsch Gramophone, Virgin Records, Columna Musica, Etcetera Records, Composers Voice, etc.
He Graduated with honours at the Conservatorio Superior de Alicante and the Amsterdam Conservatory and started an extensive career as a soloist and Artistic Director with The Amsterdam Percussion Group. He received the “Excellence in Performance Award of Recognition” in Los Angeles. He worked with The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and was Artistic Director of ”Festival Nits de la Mediterrània” and the “Xenakis-Festival” in Amsterdam. Started conducting new music ensembles and Chamber Orchestras in The Netherlands, Spain, and touring in Australia and The US. Vicent was also head of department at the “Conservatorio Superior de Castellón”. He was awarded the “Oscar Esplá Prize” of the city of Alicante.*Having composed extensively for film, theater, dance and percussion Ensemble, he is currently involved in tv and film projects like: “La Senda”, “Entre dos Reinos”, “Oroeg”, “Los Ojos de Ariana”,“Martini il Valenciano”, “Release” or “Behind the Sound”. In 2009/2010 he performed his own works at the “UN Global Summit” in Geneva presided by Secretary general Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.
He cooperates with several TV and RADIO channels in Spain for musical spreading and education. As well as writes a column “interiores” for one of the most well-known magazine of music in Spain.
Kojiro Umezaki, Shakuhachi- Japan-U.S.A
Kojiro Umezaki grew up in Tokyo, Japan where he began studying Western flute and the shakuhachi. His career encompasses both traditional and technology-based music and a range of electronic media. “My mother is from Denmark and my father is Japanese. My multinational background may be one of the reasons why I don’t limit myself to the traditional repertoire. In all my work, I try to put the shakuhachi in a more contemporary, musically diverse context. Hopefully this work can become part of the evolutionary process of the instrument.”Ko is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California, Irvine where he is affiliated with the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology group (ICIT) and holds a degree in Electro-acoustic Music from Dartmouth College. He performs regularly with the Silk Road Ensemble and has recorded on the Sony BMG, World Village, and Smithsonian Folkways labels.
The shakuhachi – Japanese end-blown bamboo flute – is played by blowing air across the beveled edge at the top of the instrument, while covering and uncovering the holes with fingertips. Introduced to Japan in the 7th century, it has been used to create music for Zen Buddhist meditation. The sounds produced by the shakuhachi range from soft whispers to strong piercing tones, often intended to reflect natural phenomena such as falling leaves, wind, and the cries and gestures of animals.
Mark Suter, World Percussion, U.S.A
Percussionist Mark Suter appears as a chamber musician and collaborative artist in both Western classical and world music arenas. Currently Associate Principal Percussionist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Mark has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, Essential Music and various Broadway shows in New York City.
Suter has appeared at the Spoleto Festival USA, Spoleto Festival, Italy, Lincoln Center Festival, Caramoor Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival. He also appears on the Silk Road Ensemble’s albums When Strangers Meet, Beyond the Horizon, New Impossibilities and Off the Map. He also appears on kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor’s Silent City with Brooklyn Rider, released on Harmonia Mundi.
Suter has been avidly exploring his love of hand percussion, having studied and performed in Costa Rica, Brazil, Cuba and Kazakhstan. He has performed/toured with Yo Yo Ma, the Assad Brothers, Paquito D’Rivera, Kathryn Stott, Marcelo Zarvos, Dance Brazil, Proteus 7 and the New Power Trio.
An active clinician, Mark has presented master classes at the Villecroze Academie of Music in Villecroze, France, and as a member of the Silk Road Project, and workshops at the Weill Music Institute in New York City and the TED convention in Monterey, CA. Currently Mark heads the Percussion department of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore and continues his own studies with Sri D Rajagopal at the Temple of Fine Arts.
Mark studied at the University of Michigan with Michael Udow and Salvator Rabbio and at California State University, Northridge with Brian Kilgore and Luis Conte.
Matt Herskowitz, Piano, Canada-U.S.A
Uniquely combining the superlative technique of a classical virtuoso with his prowess in jazz, world music and free improvisation, pianist, composer and arranger Matt Herskowitz has carved out a unique and personal voice in music. Over the course of the last decade, Matt has produced a series of critically-acclaimed recordings, premiered his works in settings from New York’s Central Park to Germany’s Köln Philharmonie, collaborated with top classical, jazz and pop artists, and has performed at music festivals across the globe.
His newest release, for Justin Time Records, is Matt Herskowitz Upstairs, a solo outing ranging from Gershwin to Schumann to Dave Brubeck to originals by Herskowitz, including Bella’s Lament and “Bach à la Jazz,” his arrangement of Bach’s Prelude in C Minor which Herskowitz previously recorded for EMI’s Grammy-nominated soundtrack to The Triplets of Belleville. In naming the release “Solo Album of the Year,” Le Devoir declared: “Herskowitz deploys his art with a rare passion, but without ever sacrificing musicality. Exceptional technique, precise sense of nuance, Herskowitz here brilliantly fuses his mastery of jazz and classical.” And Downbeat magazine praised Upstairs in its Editor’s Picks: “Throughout these eight tracks, [Herskowitz] displays touch, power, artistry and chops along with a firm grasp of the daring needed for a great performance.”
His Juno-nominated world music fusion album Jerusalem Trilogy, also on Justin Time Records, which features the pianist’s original compositions and arrangements in his signature synthesis of contemporary jazz and classical styles, combined with a unique blend of Arab and Jewish grooves. Among the album’s fans was the late great Dave Brubeck, who commended Matt on the recording, saying: “Congratulations! You have transformed the concept of ‘world’ music as I conceived of it half a century ago. You have carried it further than I could imagine.”
His 2007 solo release, Matt Herskowitz Plays George Gershwin, featuring Matt’s original solo arrangements of the Concerto in F, Cuban Overture and Rhapsody in Blue, was nominated for Quebec’s prestigious Prix Opus, while his 2006 solo release, Gabriel’s Message, featuring original arrangements and compositions based on Christmas themes, was nominated for Québec’s Félix award for “Best Jazz Album.” Matt’s 1998 recording of Glazunov’s 2nd Piano Concerto with I Musici de Montréal (Chandos Records) was hailed by Strad Magazine as “by far the best performance on disc.”
Premieres of Matt’s compositions include his 2012 Concerto Grosso with The Knights, an eclectic New York-based symphony orchestra, in Central Park on the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts series. The concert was broadcast live on WQXR and Matt was praised in The New York Times for his “imaginative, virtuosic solo.” In 2008, Herskowitz premiered his piano concerto, Undertow, with Absolute Ensemble, a cross-genre chamber orchestra who commissioned the work, at Germany’s Bremen International Musikfest. He later performed the piece with Absolute Ensemble at the Köln Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany in a concert broadcast on WDR German television across Europe.
As an arranger, Matt has collaborated with many noted artists and producers. In addition to his hugely popular Bach à la Jazz, Matt and his trio were featured on Barry Manilow’s In The Swing of Christmas (Hallmark, 2007, Arista/Sony, 2009), which was nominated for a Grammy award for “Best Traditional Pop Album”. Matt’s 17-minute solo Piano Nocturne was featured on Lara Fabian’s album Nue (Universal, 2001), earning him many new thousands of fans in Europe.
A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Matt is originally from Albany, New York, and has made Montreal his adopted home since 1999.
Shane Shanahan,World Percussion-USA
Shane Shanahan has cultivated his own unique and highly sought after sound by combining his studies of drumming traditions from around the world with his background in jazz, rock and Western art music. His interest in other cultures has lead to extended visits to Turkey, India, and Tajikistan, among others. Since 2001, he has been touring around the globe performing side-by-side with Yo-Yo Ma as an original member of the award-winning Silk Road Ensemble. Shane’s playing can be heard on all three of the ensemble’s top-selling recordings for the SonyBMG label and the two most recent albums feature his arranging skills, as well. These arrangements have brought ecstatic audience to their feet in the top concert halls of North America, Europe and Asia. Shane can also be seen and heard on Mr. Ma’s Grammy Award winning holiday CD/DVD release Songs of Joy. The Silk Road Ensemble’s most recent album, Off the Map, was nominated for a Grammy.He is also a member of frame drum master Glen Velez’ Handance Ensemble and cellist Maya Beiser’s Provenance project. He has performed and/or recorded with Philip Glass, Alison Krause, Sonny Fortune, Fantasia, Chaka Khan, G. E. Smith, Simon Shaheen, Jamey Haddad, Cyro Baptista, Anindo Chaterjee, Sandeep Das, Shahram and Hafez Nazeri, Alim Qasimov, Kayhan Kalhor, Howard Levy and Steve Gorn, among others.
Shane has been seen/heard on TV and radio throughout North America,Europe, and Asia, including appearances on David Letterman, Good Morning America, the National Geographic Channel, NPR, PBS, NHK, and The Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics in Shanghai.
Shane has presented workshops and clinics in many of the world’s top universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, New York University, UC Santa Barbara and the Rhode Island School of Design. He has also performed and created outreach programs for many world-class museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museums of Japan in Kyushu and Nara, the British Library in London, the Rietberg Museum in Zurich and the Ruben Museum of Himalayan Art in New York.
In the spring of 2000, Shane was the director of the percussion department at The Hartt School, University of Hartford. In the fall of 2006, he was a Guest Artist in Residence at the Hartt School, focusing on multi-cultural hand drumming. He will return to Hartt for both semesters of 2011. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and his Master’s Degree from The Hartt School.
Born to a musical family in Beijing, Wu Tong has become his generation’s most visible proponent of traditional Chinese music. As a founding vocalist of the pioneering rock band Lunhui (Again), which merges Western and Asian traditions, a performer with the Silk Road Ensemble, and a soloist with the New York
Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Wu has achieved an unparalleled following for Chinese music on three continents.Wu began his musical studies at age five with his father, and soon won dozens of national and international competitions in the Chinese wind instrument category. Throughout his youth, Wu was showcased as a national star, playing for Chinese dignitaries and visiting leaders. He entered the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music’s pre-college program at age 11, and upon graduation from the Conservatory at age 19 became the youngest soloist of the China Central Traditional Music and Dance Company, which toured extensively throughout China and abroad.
In 1991, Wu and four Central Conservatory classmates founded Lunhui and began merging the energy of rock music with traditional Chinese form and aesthetics. After their 1993 hit On the Way to Wartime Yangzhou, which set the words of Song Dynasty poet Xin Qiji to music, JVC Japan immediately signed the
band. Subsequent recordings in 1995, 1997 and 2001 made Lunhui China’s premier rock band in sales as well as live performances. Lunhui became the first rock band to appear on Chinese national television in 2000, and is featured regularly on national broadcasts and pan-Asian cable television.