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Saturday April 6th at 8pm
South Indian Classical & Jazz
- VidyA is an adventurous group that merges the virtuosity of Jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuance of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music. Led by critically-acclaimed saxophonist, Prasant Radhakrishnan along with David Ewell (bass) and Sameer Gupta (Drums), VidyA has emerged with a soulful, penetrating sound that pushes the labels of "fusion" or "world music."
These three artists have an almost telepathic interplay, incorporating the forward motion of both Indian Classical and jazz rhythms while elaborating Carnatic ragas infused with melodic richness. The group weaves in and out of the two genres while all the time merging them into one. VidyA translates the language of Carnatic music into the idiom of Jazz.
--...Pioneering trans-cultural terrain." - San Francisco Chronicle
--Imagine ragas and American blues folded into a single moment. It's a fusion of Indian classical and jazz, and the leader, Prasant Radhakrishnan, 24, points the way for a number of Bay Area improvisers." - San Francisco Chronicle, "Year in Jazz"(January 2007).
--VidyA's music breathes at the very center of a cultural crossroads between the North American jazz idiom and the Carnatic music of South India. VidyA's music is a new vein of North American music... present tense, present location, new culture in the making." -Todd Brown, Red Poppy Art House
"A style that's madly percussive and sparkling...combines jazz's sweet dreaminess with the Indian form's insistent rhythmic and tonal changes." -SF Weekly
--when these patterns are played on saxophone, violin, string bass, and jazz drums, there is a build-up of emotional energy and intellectual complexity which seems to recreate the energy that was present at the birth of bebop in 1940s New York. In fact, if Charlie Parker or Dizzie Gillespie had heard VidyA at that time, I think it would have never have occurred to them that VidyA's music was Indian. They would simply have wondered where these cats had found a sound that was so mercilessly free of the standard melodic and rhythmic clichés." Teed Rockwell, India Currents
- Prasant Radhakrishnan is VidyA's saxophonist, founder and composer. A senior student of Carnatic saxophone pioneer, Kadri Gopalnath, Prasant has performed solo internationally in both the Carnatic and Jazz traditions and released three critically acclaimed Carnatic saxophone albums.
- David Ewell is one of the most sought after bass players in the Jazz and contemporary music scene. His innate sense for improvised music has made him a inseparable part of VidyA's intense sound. David has travelled the world playing with jazz greats while performing regularly with Marc Cary, Howard Wiley, Lavay Smith and many others.
- Sameer Gupta has established himself as a powerful voice in percussion and improvised music. His background in Indian classical percussion combines with his powerful drumming to create a dynamic soundscape for VidyA. Also a composer, Sameer has worked in several succesful ensembles, including the Supplicants and Kosmic Rennaissance
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