May 2, 2014 |
Since his start in the late 1970s on the Los Angeles creative improvisational music scene, guitarist Nels Cline has moved among avant-garde jazz, noise rock, and crepuscular ambient sound. He may be best known for joining the alt-Americana ensemble Wilco in 2004. But his wide-ranging explorations continue, including Brazilian esoterica and dissonance with the CD Macroscope by the Nels Cline Singers. Cline has an especially close relationship with Mark Christman's Ars Nova Workshop (ANW)
December 12, 2012 |
Ravi Shankar, 92, the sitar player and composer described as the "godfather of world music" by Beatles guitarist George Harrison, has died. Mr. Shankar, who first performed internationally as a child, devoted his adult life to Indian classical music. His audience widened after Harrison, who introduced the sitar into rock music by playing the instrument on the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," sought out Mr. Shankar's tutelage. "It's with a very heavy heart that I confirm this sad news," his manager, Earl Blackburn, said in an e-mail Wednesday.
December 19, 2008 |
A renowned Indian musician has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl who had been taking music lessons at his Montgomery County home. A jury deliberated seven hours before finding Shafaatullah Khan, 42, of King of Prussia, guilty of corrupting a minor, indecent assault, and unlawful contact with a minor. "The family trusted him so much, the daughter played keyboard at his wedding," said James Zoll, assistant district attorney, who prosecuted the case. Zoll said the abuse happened while the two were practicing for a concert that was held at the Kimmel Center in 2007.
August 30, 2007 |
Ravi Shankar's name is synonymous with the popularization of Indian classical music in the 20th century. One of his daughters, Norah Jones, has become hugely successful in pop. Another, 26-year-old Anoushka Shankar, followed her father's path more closely and became a sitar virtuoso. There may just be room in pop for that as well. On her new album, Breathing Under Water, Shankar shares billing with tabla player, producer and songwriter Karsh Kale, a product of New York's underground electronica circuit.
June 4, 2007 |
With members of alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's band pounding out their names in Morse code, the intelligence and musical adventurousness of this group of New Yorkers was evident. The Friday night Ars Nova workshop show at International House was supposed to feature Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer, as well as old free-jazz warriors Billy Bang, Barry Altschul and Joe Fonda. Due to delays, Mahanthappa opened the show, and he had a chameleonic presence. Depending on the music's emotional contexts, he could either sound open and reedy or tough and steely.
March 12, 2004 |
The concept that spawned the percussion group Spoken Hand came from a moment of spontaneous collaboration. It was in 1996, at the AfricAmericas Festival at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Drummer Daryl Kwasi Burgee, one of the preeminent djembe artists in the area and the country, asked Lenny Seidman, an expert in the North Indian tabla tradition, to play with his group. Despite the lack of history - disparate West African-derived and Indian traditions had not often mixed or melded - Burgee's group and Seidman's ensemble found common ground.
October 18, 2002 |
In the beginning there was a hand on a drum, a foot stomp, and a universal message. Down through generations, primal rhythms have laid the foundation for techno beats by scratching DJs, and dancing feet flipped upright as b-boys spun on their heads. But the drum remained steady and the message never changed. So it makes perfect sense, this convergence of hand drumming and hip-hop dance at the Painted Bride this weekend. "Flammable Contents: ZH/RH/SH" reunites three dynamic performers: tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, hip-hop choreographeridancer Rennie Harris, and the Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra.
April 21, 1997 |
It's easy to pick apart Kula Shaker, the British four-piece that played Theatre of Living Arts Friday. The band relies on a two-man vocal attack that recalls Lennon and McCartney, while its rhythms owe a debt to the steady backbeats of James Brown. Several of its songs conjure the contemplative atmosphere of Indian classical music, and more than a few lyrics emulate the mystic ravings of the Doors' Jim Morrison. Yet there's something more than simple appropriation going on. When Kula Shaker connects, as it did regularly on Friday, it is the rare Brit-pop band capable of wringing astounding vitality out of the most obvious, overused source material.
May 7, 1993 |
Those who see Jim Dragoni performing with his trio might understandably conclude that the guitarist has thoroughly mastered his instrument. Check out his technique, the effortless speed, and it would seem there's not much more for him to learn about his craft. Dragoni doesn't view it this way. He began music lessons as a teenager, and now, at 41, he's still studying. "Oh, I tried to stop a few times," he said. "But then I would find myself getting back to the same old thing - standard riffs and so on. I really feel that I have to make the music as interesting as possible.
March 28, 1989 |
Ali Akbar Khan, renowned master of the 25-string North Indian sarod, performed before a hugely appreciative capacity crowd at the Zellerbach Theater last night. Arguably India's greatest living musician, Khan, through 30 years of indefatigable touring and educational work, has made himself better known to Americans than any of his musical compatriots, save Ravi Shankar. The sarod provides part of the appeal. Structurally similar to the banjo (though musically much more serious and imposing)