Morning Raga brings an evening full of bliss to New Jersey fusion lovers
The confluence of two genres Jazz and Carnatic music, can be extremely tricky to pull off.
Morning Raga, a fusion ensemble lead by Padmashri Smt. Sudha Raghunathan along with Amit Heri and 4 others did exactly that. They treated the New Jersey music lovers with a fast paced 3 hrs of East meets West, musical extravaganza. I have heard Sudha many many times performing classical concerts, Jugalbandhi’s and even singing film songs. But, today she certainly showed her flair for fusion too. Ofcourse she admitted that her foray into fusion did raise plenty of eyebrows in the conventional circuit, however judging by the crowd of youngsters, it seems clear that to preserve history, culture and legacy, change is inevitable.
Morning Raga during the evening? Certainly had people talking, but Sudha was quick to start the concert with the reason behind why it was called so. She explained that the concerts are based on the theme of the popular motion picture ’Morning Raga’ where the bollywood star Shabana Azmi gave a beautiful performance with the theme being the fusion of Indian and Western music.
I must complement the entire team of artists, who excelled in every way possible. The artists ensemble included;
– Sri. B V.Raghavendra Rao: Electric Violin
– Sri. Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan: Mridangam
– Sri. Keith Peters: Base Guitar
– Sri. Arun Kumar: Western Drums
– Sri. Guruprasad: Ghatam
The tempo was well maintained by each artist and the tani avartanam by the percussionists was simply electrifying.
Fusion music if not carefully composed can be disastrous, and Amit Heri along with others brought the fine nuances and delicate blends to complement Sudha’s vocal singing. The pieces were chosen carefully and woven very well with the western instruments.
The concert was organized by Jana Seva’s to raise funds for work with orphanages and old age homes in India. The interesting touch by organizers was the post concert dinner, where they had each artist sit in different tables so that music lovers could interact with them. Very good idea indeed.
To add to all this excitement, it was Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan 50th birthday, and a beautiful cake was cut, so that Vaidyanathan could celebrate this loved day with us.
An unusual Jugalbandhi captivates audience
A less seen instrument the Veena, with a table accompaniment from no less then Zakir Hussain was truly a beautiful experience. The combination of Tabla, Veena & Voiln just brought in energy to terrific levels as the audience listened spell bound.
Veena Meets Tabla to bring a unique experience
Jayanthi Kumaresh who today is undoubtly the best veena player along with Kumaresh on Voiln and led by the maestro Zakir Hussain was certainly a rare treat.
To top it all the venue at Annenberg Center was perfect, as it had one of the best sound systems for this unique event.