Steve Gorn met his guru, Sri Gour Goswami in 1971. He remembers the gifted young disciple, Gopal Roy, who became Eric Fraser’s guru 25 years later. Together, Steve and Eric deeply embody the gayaki vocal way of their gurus, who are descendants of thelineage of the legendary Pannalal Ghosh.
Together their jugalbandi of two flutes seamlessly evokes the emotionof rasa, space and
essence of raga. Joined on tabla by Shivalik Ghoshal, this ensemble carries tradition forward with interactive spontaneity and heart.
Grammy winner, and five time Grammy nominee, Steve Gorn is creating a new idiom, a music that combines the essence of classical Indian tradition with a contemporary world music sensibility. The strength of this music arises from a virtuoso mastery, generating a vibrant fusion, alive and accessible to western ears. From Indian classical music to world music and jazz projects with Paul Simon, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Winter and others, 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. He investigated modal music and listened to Bismallah Khan who played the shenai, (Indian oboe), and to Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan who were then only beginning to become known to Western audiences. 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.
In Benares, Steve studied shenai with a local teacher and then traveled to Calcutta where he was invited to meet the Bengali bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami.
Returning to the U.S. he continued his study of Indian music with Pandit Raghunath Seth, and brought his elegant bansuri sound to American pop music, influencing a wide range of musicians, recording with Paul Simon, Richie Havens, Paul Winter, Jack DeJohnette, Glen Velez, and many others. Deepak Chopra, Krishna Das, Coleman Barks, Jai Uttal, Jerome Robbins, and Julie Taymor are among those who have sought out his virtuoso bamboo flute. He has composed for film, television, dance and theatre, and performed in concerts and festivals throughout the world, drawing from classical Indian, jazz and world music to create a distinctive signature sound.
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 has said, “Steve Gorn’s concert was widely appreciated for its outstanding musicianship…. and has won him a host of admirers.” In 1998, Steve returned to India performing to enthusiastic audiences at The Nehru Center, NCPA, and the Dadar Matunga Music Circle in Mumbai.
Eric Fraser is an exponent of a unique vocal style of North-Indian flute playing and has been learning intensively through annual trips to Kolkata, India from his guru Pandit Gopal Roy since 2003. Eric's playing rings with authenticity and pure tone, imbibing the soul of Indian classical music.
Eric is a Fulbright senior research scholar for Indian music and has performed with renowned maestros of Indian music including Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Pandit Ramesh Mishra, Steve Gorn and Bollywood composer A.R Rahman at Carnegie Hall, including radio performances (NPR morning edition and WKCR New York). He has a diverse background playing for Indian classical dance, as well as in projects ranging from Jazz, World, India and more. A founding member of the Brooklyn Raga Massive, Eric's involvement in the musical community is far reaching. Aside from playing Indian classical flute, Eric is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music therapist (MA, MT-BC).
Shivalik Ghoshal performed all of the tabla drumming for the soundtrack of Academy Award-winning documentary Born into Brothels (2004) as well at Lincoln Center with santoor maestro Sri Satnaam Singh. He has accompanied many maestros including Pandit Manilal Nag, Smt Girija Devi, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Phalguni Mitra, and Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain and numerous visiting Indian artists. He has received grants from New Jersey Council of Arts (NJ), Namashkar Foundation (CT), and Asian Arts Initiative (PA), as well as a citation from the New Jersey state legislature. He is currently working with Mary Zimmerman and Doug Peck on reorchestrating the jazz/classical Indian-based music of The Jungle Book for productions at the Goodman Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company. He is a student of tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri and comes from a renowned musical family.