Various Artists | Ragas: Live Retrospective

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Ragas: Live Retrospective

by Various Artists

Highlights from the first 6 years of the 24 hour Ragas Live Festival, an event recognized for expanding the audience of Indian Classical Music and documenting what the New York Times would ultimately call “A Raga Renaissance - Flowering in Brooklyn."
Genre: World: Indian Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tarana Chaturang (Live)
Brooklyn Raga Massive's Ravi Shankar Tribute
7:01 $0.99
2. Pahadi Dhun (Live)
Jay Gandhi
11:50 $0.99
3. Twilight Lake (Live)
Go: Organic Orchestra
9:31 $0.99
4. Raga Hemant (Live)
Anupam Shobhakar
44:48 $0.99
5. Changes / Vanotamba (Live)
Afrika Meets India
23:38 $0.99
6. Rag Bihag / Pilu Thumri (Live)
Mitali Bhawmik
40:42 $0.99
7. Conception / Dhanasri / Walk as One / Simple Joys / Sri Valli / Revati (Live)
Arun Ramamurthy Trio
43:05 $0.99
8. Radhavanti - A Whole Tone Raga (Live)
Krishna Bhatt
26:10 $0.99
9. Little Road Song /Your Passing Touch / Song That Floats on the Breeze (Live)
20:57 $0.99
10. Raga Bhatiyar (Live)
Samarth Nagarkar
29:00 $0.99
11. Mind the Gap / Sadjam / Mohana Blues / Urban Krithi (Live)
40:51 $0.99
12. Lissajous Curves (Live)
Unstruck Sound
26:30 $0.99
13. Raga Lalit (Live)
Deepal Choudhari
34:50 $0.99
14. Raga Sri Ranjini / Raga Poorvikalyani / Raga Revati (Live)
Roopa Mahadevan
40:34 $0.99
15. Raag Kirwani (Live)
Recalling the Valley
30:18 $0.99
16. Raga Charukeshi (Live)
Snehasish Mozumder
20:00 $0.99
17. Ganesh Paran (Live)
Pradhanica Dance and Music Company
8:51 $0.99
18. Raga Nat Bhairav / Raga Bhairagi (Live)
Steve Gorn
44:48 $0.99
19. Raga Valachi / Raga Hamsanadam / Raga Sankarabharanam (Live)
Arun Ramamurthy
42:22 $0.99
20. Tabla Solo in Tintal (Live)
Vivek Pandya
39:51 $0.99
21. Raga Hamsadhwani / Raga Poorvikalyani (Live)
Rajeswari Satish
14:36 $0.99
22. Komal Rishav Asavar (Live)
Anirban Dasgupta
47:37 $0.99
23. Raga Nattai / Raga Keeravani (Live)
Ashvin Bhogendra
39:27 $0.99
24. Raga Hamir Bilawal / Raga Bhairavi (Live)
Abhik Mukherjee
55:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Ragas Live Festival Story:

Seven years ago a community of over 50 musicians descended upon the WKCR 89.9 FM studio to bring New York City and listeners around the world through a 24 set, 24-hour cycle of sound.

With each ensuing year the Ragas Live Festival grew—expanding the audience of Indian classical music and documenting what the New York Times would later call “A Raga Renaissance Flowering in Brooklyn.” We soon outgrew the radio station and started performing 24 hours of music from live venues such as PIoneer Works and The Rubin Museum of Art, still broadcasting live and partnering with stations as far as Timbuktu(!) What you are hearing is a retrospective of special moments from our journey, moments that capture a dynamic musical movement underway in New York City. It’s happening right now. When you show up to a concert, you are part of it.

There were a few factors that made this all coalesce in 2011. Previously in New York City it was difficult to find concerts of Indian music if you were not connected to certain communities in Queens. The one notable exception was the inspiring all-night concerts produced by the Chhandayan organization. By 2011, however, the rise of social media connected the individuals that were inspired by Indian classical music. A group named HarmonyOm started listing all these concerts going on in New York City, and simultaneously a group of Indian classical musicians in Brooklyn hit a critical mass and declared themselves “Brooklyn Raga Massive.” Suddenly, for those interested there were now several concerts a week. I had been on the radio on and off in New York City since 1997, but now when a young student suggested I produce a 24-hour broadcast, this ambitious event became possible.

Our first budget was just enough to cover chai and samosas, but the artists, engineers and community organizations all shared a vision. Indian classical music is unique in that the music doesn’t only harmonize sonically, it harmonizes with the time of day; the mood of the music matches the devotional essence of sunrise or the romance of twilight. Inspired by this system we were going to beam 24 hours of harmony and community into the universe. All night concerts were a tradition in India, but a 24-hour broadcast was a completely novel idea.

Most artists central to the movement are ambivalent about the term “Raga Renaissance,” citing other historic times where maestros brought the music to new heights and development. But something is happening here. I believe this renaissance is rooted in an open, inclusive spirit that has led to the growth of diverse, new audiences and cross-cultural collaborations that continue to explore new and exciting territory. You will hear some of these new directions on this compilation, such as the music of Afrika Meets India or the Go: Organic Orchestra with Brooklyn Raga Massive.

These recordings are moments that the musicians, live audiences, radio listeners and international audiences shared in real time. I am honored and thrilled that this music will now be shared with many more people. One of the most exciting things about this musical movement is that we are in the middle of it right now.

The best is yet to come!

My Story:

“If I try to make money, they’ll block me, but they can’t stop me from losing money” — Sun Ra

Before information flowed like electricity to every home, the discovery of music required action.

Some people were friends solely because one or the other had a great collection of music — networks developed where bootleg recordings were sent airmail over oceans.

As a kid I had a boombox with a cassette recorder. If anything on the radio, (WKCR-FM or WBGO) sounded promising I’d hit record. I learned about Charles Mingus, Fela Kuti and Yusef Lateef that way. By the time I was in college, I came up with a scheme to take summer classes at Columbia University just so I could get into WKCR and its legendary record library. It worked: I finally had the keys to the castle and, ultimately, I never left!

I had a theory that there was a connection between Indian classical music and jazz but, even in that library evidence was sparse. Don Cherry, Alice Coltrane, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar all had made inroads, but many collaborations lacked a depth of understanding about the other musical culture. I interviewed the tabla maverick Badal Roy who had played with Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis about Indian music and jazz, but he was dismissive of the concept: They are both improvised, he agreed, but the similarities ended there. Years later when I started attending the weekly Brooklyn Raga Massive jam sessions, I realized that the music I was searching for in the record libraries was happening in real time. The current generation of Indian classical musicians in NYC at this time are what Sameer Gupta would call “Children of Spock.” They are of two worlds: often born in the United States, but with ties to India, and the music reflects a level of integration that was less possible in earlier generations.

A masters degree brought me back to Columbia (and WKCR), but music had a greater pull on me than what I was studying. Columbia was starting a Center for Jazz Studies, and I put on a suit and showed up to the professor’s office hours and asked for a job. My first gig was promoting a Max Roach/Cecil Taylor duo, and I wandered all around Harlem giving out flyers to everyone in the street. I was hooked and soon figured out how to produce concerts like the Sun Ra Arkestra Halloween Haunt and an annual John Coltrane Birthday tribute with Ravi Coltrane, Mixashawn, Pherroan akLaaf and Rashied Ali (who gave me early encouragement, introducing me as “one of the young people with a lot of energy, who is taking care of the music and us older cats who made it”). A screening of a Louis Armstrong documentary led to a job with the legendary producer of the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein. Working with George gave me some producer chops and his insight into what a festival is (“an illusion!” declared the great man). When we parted ways (for a while, we’d work together again later), I had enough saved up to travel. Following my ears and a lead from my guitar teacher Kenny Wessel led me to Calcutta where I studied daily with the Hindustani slide guitar maestro Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya.

Upon returning to the States I was back at WKCR with an open door policy to any Indian classical musician who wanted to come in and play live. I simply wanted to see these mystical instruments, and I’d learn recording in the process. I’d hear the gurus of these musicians were outraged: why were their students on the radio and they weren’t. Very soon some of the greatest musicians were coming by to perform.

An undergrad from Turkey Ahmet Ali Arslan admired what I was doing with the live radio shows and proposed the 24-hour festival. He said that while he would contribute, I was the only one that could do it, and I would be the one to “carry it on through the ages.” He had the vision much more clearly than I did.

This led to the Ragas Live Festival and my podcast NYC Radio Live which has now close to 300 hours of music and interviews with many of my heroes such as McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Yusef Lateef, among others. I eventually reached a level of competency on the guitar where I’ve been able to contribute musically and collaborate with the people who were once the guests on my shows. Now I spend my days creating, producing and documenting the music I’ve always been looking for.

The music you are hearing on this compilation reflects the generosity and passion of the hundreds of musicians and volunteers who have helped realize this idealistic, hopeful vision. It is indebted to the families that create these instruments and to the generations of musicians who have passed down the knowledge. They all have been inspired by something beyond money or popularity. I hope it is with that spirit that the music reaches you and continues on.

Happy travels.

David Ellenbogen


Beyond the amazing musicians heard here, there are countless people whose energy create these festivals. Special thanks to the current team of producers Artistic Directors: Arun Ramamurthy and Sameer Gupta (who suggested the idea of this album and lovingly remastered it); Producers Lauren Crump and Rajmani Sinclair, and the extended Brooklyn Raga Massive family.Many others played critical roles in bringing this festival to new heights including
Sriharsha Aradhya, Veronique Lerebours, Samir and Dibyarka Chatterjee, Manisha Brahmachary, Elke Dehner, Dawn Eshelman, Marco Orozco and Justin Frye.

Track Info

Brooklyn Raga Massive: Ravi Shankar Tribute
Tarana Chaturang
Neel Murgai (sitar), Sameer Gupta (tabla), Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Eric Fraser (bansuri), Trina Basu (violin), Michael Gam (bass), Samarth Nagarkar (vocal)
Ganga Publishing, BV
Jay Gandhi and Vishal Nagar
Pahadi Dhun
Jay Gandhi (bansuri) and Vishal Nagar (tabla)
Go: Organic Orchestra with Brooklyn Raga Massive
Twilight Lake
Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph
Arun Ramamurthy - violin (soloist); Jay Gandhi - bansuri, Neel Murgai - sitar (soloist); Charles Burnham - violin (soloist); Trina Basu - violin; Swaminathan Selvaganesh - kanjeera; Sameer Gupta - Tabla; David Ellenbogen - guitar; Mari Tanaka - Tanpura; Michel Gentile – c and alto flute, bamboo flutes; Sylvain Leroux - tambin, flute, bamboo flutes; Ze Luis – c and alto flute, bamboo flutes; Steve Gorn - bansuri flute, hichiriki; Sean Sonderegger – contrabass clarinet; Sara Schoenbeck - bassoon, sona; Julianne Carney-Chung - violin; Sana Nagano - violin; Sarah Bernstein - violin; Richard Carr - violin; Stephanie Griffin - viola; Gwen Laster - viola; Jake Carkey - cello; Leco Reis - contrabass; Kenny Wessel - electric guitar; Alexis Marcelo - electric keyboards; Damon Banks - electric bass; Dan Kurfirst - cajon, frame drums, percussion
Rogerio Boccato - pandero, zabumba, percussion; Joe Hertenstein- tiny kit percussion
Composed by Adam Rudolph Published by Migration Music, BMI
Anupam Shobhakar and Shankh Lahiri
Raga Hemant
Anupam Shobhakar (sarod) Shankh Lahiri (Tabla)
Afrika Meets India
Changes/ Vanotamba
Kevin Nathaniel (Mbira) Eric Fraser (Bansuri) Naren Budhkar (tabla) Salieu Suso (kora) Giancarlo Luiggi (Hosho) and Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury (Sitar)
©ⓟ 2018 Kevinmbira productions p (circle) 2018 Kevinmbira productions
Mitali Bhawmik
Rag Bihag / Pilu Thumri
Mitali Bhawmik (vocal); Shree Suresh Benegal (harmonium);
Dibyarka Chatterjee (tabla); Shankhadip Chakrabarty (tanpura and vocal support)
Arun Ramamurthy Trio
Conception / Dhanasri / Walk As One / Simple Joys / Sri Valli / Revati
Arun Ramamurthy (violin); Perry Wortman (bass); Sameer Gupta (drums)
Krishna Bhatt and Nitin Mitta

Radhavanti - a whole tone raga
Krishna Bhatt, sitar; Nitin Mitta, tabla
Little Road Song /Your Passing Touch / Song that floats on the Breeze
Trina Basu, violin; Amali Premawardhana, cello; Perry Wortman, bass; Sameer Gupta, tabla
Samarth Nagarkar
Raga Bhatiyar
Samarth Nagarkar (vocal), Meghashyam Keshav (tabla), Rohan Prabhudesai (harmonium)
Mind the Gap / Sadjam / Mohana Blues / Urban Krithi
Bala Skandan (mridangam), Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Trina Basu (violin), Jay Gandhi (bansuri), Kabilan Jeginathan (kanjira), Max ZT (dulcimer), Shivalik Ghoshal (tabla)
Unstruck Sound
Lissajous Curves
Neel Murgai (Overtone Loops); Eric Fraser (bansuri); Arun Ramamurthy (violin); David Ellenbogen (guitar)
Deepal Chodhari and Shiva Ghoshal
Raga Lalit
Deepal Chodhari (santoor), Shiva Ghoshal (tabla)
Roopa Mahadevan
Raga Sri Ranjini / Raga Poorvikalyani / Raga Revati
Roopa Mahadevan (vocal) Anjna Swaminathan (violin), Bala Skandan (mridangam), Kabilan Jeginathan (kanjira)
Recalling the Valley - Max ZT, Jay Gandhi and Ehren Hanson
Raag Kirwani
Jay Gandhi (bansuri); Max ZT (hammered dulcimer) Ehren Hanson (tabla)
Snehasish Mozumder
Raga Charukeshi
Snehashish Mozumdar(mandolin), Shiva Ghoshal (tabla)
Pradhanica Dance and Music Company
Ganesh Paran
Jin Won (Kathak), Mike Lukshis (tabla), Kaumil Shah (djembe), and Vincent Pierce (cajon) Composed by Pandit Divyang Vakil
Steve Gorn and Eric Fraser
Raga Nat Bhairav / Raga Bhairagi
Steve Gorn (bansuri) Eric Fraser (bansuri) Shivalik Ghoshal (tabla)
Arun Ramamurthy, Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, Nitin Mitta
Raga Valachi/ Raga Hamsanadam/ Raga Sankarabharanam
Arun Ramamurthy (violin) Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (mridangam), Nitin Mitta (tabla)
Vivek Pandya
Tabla Solo in Tintal
Vivek Pandya (tabla); Kalpit Pandya (Harmonium)
Rajeswari Satish
Raga Hamsadhwani / Raga Poorvikalyani
Rajeswari Satish (vocals); Radhika Mani (violin); A.R. Balaskandan (mridangam); Arthi Suresh (vocals)
Anirban Dasgupta and Indrajit Roy Chowdhury
Komal Rishav Asavar
Anirban Dasgupta (sarod); Indrajit Roy Chowdhury; and Mike Lukshis (tabla)
Ashvin Bhogendra
Raga Nattai / Raga Keeravani
Ashvin Bhogendra (vocals), Arun Ramamurthy (violin); Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (mridangam)
Abhik Mukherjee and Shankh Lahiri
Raga Hamir Bilawal / Raga Bhairavi
Abhik Mukherjee (sitar); Shankh Lahiri (tabla)



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