Arun Ramamurthy curated this month of collaborative trios at Brooklyn Raga Massive. This new group is his brainchild and what incredible musicians to work with! This has been one of the more exciting collaborations I've been a part of in years and a real antidote to all the cheesy fusion I've had to do in India. So fresh to approach Indian music as a vehicle for contemporary expression, still giving respect to the tradition.
Bearing strong roots in Indian classical grammar and aesthetics Utsav Lal (piano), Roopa Mahadevan (vocal), and Jake Charkey (cello) explore soundscapes in classical, jazz, soul, and experimental music. Simultaneously grounded and wild, they seek to reinvent themselves and their sense of musical home, eager to fulfill, heal, and uplift their audiences along the way.
In a new initiative for 2019, BRM will invite artists from the collective to curate select months of the Weekly Concert and Jam Session. April 2019 Thursdays are curated by Carnatic violinist and BRM co-founder Arun Ramamurthy.
Young Steinway Artist, Utsav Lal is an Indian pianist, improviser, educator and composer. At 26 years of age, Utsav Lal is recognized as a musician extraordinaire who has set a precedent in the world of music with his rendition of Ragas on the Piano. Utsav’s musical creativity draws from his advanced training in western classical and jazz with Bachelor in Jazz (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Masters in Contemporary Improvisation (New England Conservatory of Music) along with the exploration of Indian Classical Music under Ustad F.Wasifuddin Dagar, of the legendary Dhrupad Dagar family. Choosing to perform on an instrument that has traditionally been considered unsuitable for Hindustani Classical Music, Utsav has used his rigorous training in diverse genres of music -Western Classical, Indian Classical, Jazz, Scottish, Irish and Contemporary Improvisation to challenge commonly understood ways of improvisation and develop his own unique voice for the piano.
Roopa Mahadevan is known for her powerful and emotive voice. At home in many eras and styles, Roopa Mahadevan is versatile among Carnatic (South Indian classical) performers, bringing the art form and her explorations in genre, text, and theater to audiences in the U.S. India, and South Asian diaspora. Based in New York City, Roopa frequently collaborates with artists in jazz, creative/improvised music, and R&B/soul genres and has her own crossover ensemble Roopa In Flux. Roopa also directs the innovative Carnatic choir Navatman Music Collective and is an active member of Brooklyn Raga Massive. Through her creative endeavors, Roopa is driven by an instinct to find joy, build community, and celebrate difference.