The Shastra Festival 2015 was held on April 26, 2015 at (le) poisson rouge in New York.

For complete photo coverage of this event visit this page. Or visit the Shastra Facebook page.

For videos of this event, visit the Shastra YouTube Channel, where new videos from the festival are released weekly.

To download the PDF program of the entire event, click here.


Set 1: 4PM-6PM
The festival opens with a newly commissioned work for big band by jazz composer Aakash Mittal; Shawn Mativetsky’s tabla set showcases a broad range of new compositions for tabla; Payton MacDonald creates beautiful spacial music from a combination of Dhrupad singing and electronic processing; Rajna Swaminathan and Rafiq Bhatia share their new collaborations for mridangam and guitar.

Aakash Mittal: I. Sapna; II. Street Music II; III. Pooja*
World Premier by musicians of Face the Music
Samurai Mama Big Band
Vasudevan Panicker, conductor
Jonah Murphy, Rebecca Frank, Violet Marmur, flute; Sam Mellins, soprano saxophone
Ben Schaffzin, alto saxophone; Sam Hudson, Zach Schurr, tenor saxophone
Owen Carter, Jack Eisenthal, Taja Graves-Parker, trombone; Eoighan Gray, bass trombone
Deandre Desir, tuba; Sebastian Arias, Miles Hilger, Sam Friedman, Lauren Reilly, trumpets
Zachary Detrick, Elijah Valongo, keyboard; Marek Subernat, Francisco Garcia, guitars
Violet Jensen-Moulton, cello/electric bass; Juliana Maitenaz, drumset; Maxx Adorno, percussion

Bruno Paquet: Les arbres célestes
Shawn Mativetsky: Saat
Tawnie Olson: Something to Say
Shawn Mativetsky, tabla

Payton MacDonald, Dhrupad Trance set

Rajna Swaminathan, mridangam and Rafiq Bhatia, guitar

Set 2: 6PM-8PM
Michael Harrison’s Jaunpuri draws together the vocals of revered Hindustani vocal master Mashkoor Ali Khan and international concert pianist Kimball Gallagher in a meditative and soulful work; Shirish Korde creates vibrant counterpoint between tabla, cello and vibraphone in Lalit;an arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Hindu Lied from his opera Sadko paints a picture of India through a late nineteenth century French lens ; The Awaz Trio performs works at the intersection of jazz and Carnatic music.

Michael Harrison: Jaunpuri
Mashkoor Ali Khan, classical Indian vocals; Kimball Gallagher, piano;
Anirban Roy Chowdhury, tabla; Michael Harrison, tamboura

Shirish Korde: Lalit
Jan Muller-Szeraws, cello; Amit Kavthekar, tabla; Jonathan Hess, marimba

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Hindu Lied
Melanie Clapies, Jessica Oddie, violins;
Lucy Caplan, viola; Yan Levionnois, cello

Akash Mittal: Nocturne II, Nocturne IV, Nocturne V

Awaz Trio
Aakash Mittal, saxophone; Rez Abbasi, guitar;
Rajna Swaminathan, mridangam

Set 3: 8PM-10PM
Philip Glass’s Two Pages, written during his studies with Alla Rakha and Ravi Shankar; a Shastra-commissioned work for Face the Music by composer Asha Srinivasan incorporates Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi and Punjabi folk rhythms; Dan Weiss’s unique drumming techniques map a tabla onto a drum set; Reena Esmail’s mellifluous String Quartet draws from Hindustani melody and rhythm. The Shastra Festival closes with a large group improvisation, featuring a special guest artist, clarinetist Shankar Tucker.

Philip Glass: Two Pages
Payton MacDonald, marimba; Michael Harrison, piano

Asha Srinivasan: Samyukt*
World Premier by Face the Music Philharmonic
Jenny Undercofler, conductor
Nadira Novruzov, flute; Harry Wang, oboe; Joseph Gelb, clarinet; Cindy Baez, bassoon
Benjamin Korman, trumpet; Christopher Rush and Chelsea Jordan, horns; Ethan Brown and
Hao Wang, trombones; Deandre Desir, tuba; Elif Abali and Katie Clinch, percussion
Leina Sheehy, Paris Lavidis, violins; Amelia Krinke, viola; Javin Bose, cello;
Catherine Michetti, bass

Dan Weiss, drum set

Reena Esmail: String Quartet
Melanie Clapies, Jessica Oddie, violins;
Lucy Caplan, viola; Yan Levionnois, cello

Large Ensemble Improvisation (ft. Shankar Tucker, clarinet)
Rez Abbasi, guitar; Michael Harrison, piano; Shawn Mativetsky, tabla;  Aakash Mittal, saxophone; Rajna Swaminathan, mridangam; Dan Weiss, drums;


photo by Robin Miniter, House of Musical Traditions