Steve Gorn - Bansuri
Samir Chatterjee - Tabla
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.
amir 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, Norway in 2007. He also performed a few times at the United Nations General Assembly. His compositions are widely acclaimed as well as his writings. Samir is a firm believer in the transforming effect of music on the society and all aspects of his work reflects this conviction.
Samir began his studies early with Pandit 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 is rated ‘A’ as an artiste of Indian national radio and television. He can be heard on numerous recordings featuring 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 Chaurasia, M. S. Gopalakrishnan, Ud. Amjad Ali Khan, Ud. Salamat Ali Khan, Smt. Lakshmi Shankar, Pt. Manilal Nag, Ud. Ali Ahmed Hussain, Ud. Aashis Khan, Dr. L. Subramanium, U Srinivas, Ud. Naseeruddin Sami, Smt. Veena Sahashrabuddhe, Ud. Shujat Khan, Ud. Saheed Parvez, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ud. Nishat Khan, Ud. Rashid Khan, Pt. Tejendra N. Mazumdar, Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya, Smt. Arti Anklekar, Smt. Kaushiki Chakraborty, to name only a few.
Samir Chatterjee lives in the New York-New Jersey area, and has been a catalyst in the fusion of Indian and Non-Indian music, in his own creations and others as well. He performs with Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Joshua Bell, Yoko Ono Lenon, David Liebman, Oliver Lake, Dave Douglas, Ned Rothenberg, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Jerome Harris, Eric Friedlander, Steve Gorn, Glen Velez, Boby Sanabria, Jin Hi Kim, Min Xiao-Fen, Dance Theater of Harlem, Boston Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Ethos Percussion group, Da Capo Chamber Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva and other jazz, classical and avant guard musicians and ensembles. He also collaborates with Sufi-Rock singer Salman Ahmad of Junoon from Pakistan. He is the composer and director of Indo-Flame – a blend of Indian and Flamenco dance and music, Chhand-Anand - a world percussion ensemble, RabiThakur – a ballet on the life of Tagore, Meghadootam – a feature program of music and dance on an ancient Indian poem, and Dawn to Dusk and Beyond – on the effect of music on humans and nature. He performs with Sanjay Mishra on his CD "Blue Incantation" featuring Jerry Garcia as guest artist.
Samir Chatterjee has been teaching for the last 35 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, a guide book to Indian music titled Music of India and Those Forty Days, a journal of an austere practice regimen. He is on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music, University of Pittsburgh and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He also taught at the Yale University, Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University, among many other major institutions in the USA, Europe and India. He also contributes to several newspapers and periodicals. He won gold medal for his proficiency in a musical examination and has two Master degrees, in English and History.