Monthly Archives: November 2014

Sachal Jazz Ensemble collaborates with Jazz at Lincoln Center

You might know the Pakistan-based Sachal Jazz Orchestra from their famous video of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five that received over 800K views on YouTube. This summer, Sachal took it one step further, in a new collaboration with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

“In this ground-breaking collaboration, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the Sachal Jazz Ensemble will perform new arrangements, blending the sonorities of modern and ancient instruments and using the jazz form to integrate American values of blues and swing with sophisticated and highly-evolved Eastern music traditions.”

The concert took place at the Barbican, in London — we’re hoping they take this collaboration to other countries around the world, too! Read more about their collaboration here.


Sachal Jazz Ensemble collaborates with Jazz at Lincoln Center at The Barbican


Payton MacDonald on Relevant Tones

payton-macdonald-pic4-460x300Shastra Co-Artistic Director Payton MacDonald speaks about his multifaceted relationship with Hindustani classical music in an hour-long interview on 98.7 WFMT’s Relevant Tones. Hear about Payton’s influences as well as excerpts of some of his work here.

Payton also speaks about his experience building Shastra and his vision for the organization towards the end of the interview, around 57:00 – take a listen!

Fulcrum Point premiers Param Vir’s “Raga Fields” and more

Fulcrum Point New Music Project, based in Chicago, put on an exciting evening of new Indian/Western crossover music on November 1, 2014. The performance featured the premier of Param Vir‘s new sarod concerto, Raga Fields, with soloist Soumik Datta. Soumik checks in from Rio:

Vir says of his work:

“The diverse sides of the mix uniquely stretch the comfort zones of the different traditions to reach to the ‘otherness’ of their counterpart, and to both reflect and confront each other in brilliant and sometimes jagged exchanges. Modal, tonal and atonal harmonic fields embed and merge into fleeting Raga­‐like allusions, all of them encased in rich western contemporary counterpoint and orchestration.

“The work is a mirror to the contemporary world where monolithic cultures have given way to a melting pot of possibilities drawn from everything and everywhere. In this distorting mirror of ever-­‐present otherness, we are sometimes challenged to view one another in new light, thereby discovering our common ground and embracing our differences.”  (read the full article here)

Vir’s concerto was featured as part of a diverse array of approaches to Indian/Western collaboration, from ‘Himmat’/Mingus in Miyanki Blues performed by Kalyan Pathak’s Jazz Mata, the Midwest Premiere of Shirish Korde‘s Lalit, a duet for flute and tabla, as well as the World Premiere of Mara by Pranita Jain and Kalapriya Dance.