A prolific alto saxophonist, composer and Guggenheim fellow, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s ability to synthesize South Indian concepts with a seemingly boundless range of influences characterizes him as one of the most important artists in jazz today. On this very special evening, we present the DownBeat International Critics Poll winner’s work in two contexts with two distinct sets and ensemble configurations.
Synthesizing jazz with the improvised musical forms of South Asia, the Indo-Pak Coalition transcends any preconception of Indo-jazz fusion. This trio with Pakistani-American guitar wizard Rez Abbasi and first-call percussionist Dan Weiss has turned heads internationally in both the jazz and world music scenes. Their debut album Apti (Innova, 2008) received excellent reviews from a variety of publications including the New York Times and Rolling Stone. Check out this scorching live set from Newport Jazz Festival two years ago.Gamak showcases the the stunning electric guitar work of David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, Rudresh’s partner in crime from Jack DeJohnette’s current group. Fiuczynski’s unparalleled versatility and virtuosity elevate the possibilities of this ensemble. Combined with Mahanthappa’s frequent bandmates, the ever-inventive Francois Moutin on bass and the expressive Dan Weiss on drums, Gamak is destined to reach great heights in presenting a contemporary American music that synthesizes Western and non-Western musical forms and concepts.