The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble: Hindustani and Indo-Jazz Fusionas part of the Masala World Music Series at 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, in Sharp Concert Hall. Accompanying the concert are two workshops, the first is set for 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, and the second is at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, both workshops are in Pitman Recital Hall and both are free and open to the public, seating is limited.
This program is a special opportunity to hear a combination of classical North Indian music marked by the exciting sounds of the long necked string instrument, the sitar, made famous by Ravi Shankar, accompanied by the saxophone and Indian tabla drums. To hear the saxophone play the slides and oscillations so characteristic of Indian music will be both familiar to jazz fans and wonderfully new. The group will also blend the two styles together creating both a contemporary sound and one that resonates with earlier fusion groups like Shakti and the work of jazz great Ornette Coleman.
The Sangeet (San, as in sand; geet, as in eat) Millennium Ensemble was founded in 2006 and led by sitarist and ethnomusicologist Amie Maciszewski (Match-chi shev ski), the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble fuses traditional Indian music with jazz and other world musics. This work follows the precedent set by by her guru, Sarode (Sa road) Maestro Aashish (Ah-sheesh) Khan (Con), and his elders, in which players of diverse instruments collaborate to compose, arrange, and perform loosely structured pieces, often based on classical rags, allowing for considerable improvisation. The Sangeet Millennium Ensemble was selected among the Top Ten Best Performing Bands/World Music 2010-11 in the Austin Chronicle Readers’ Poll. The ensemble’s artistic work receives support from the City of Austin and Texas Commission on the Arts, among others. In tonight’s lineup, saxophonist/composer Paul Klemperer, tabla maestro and guru Pandit Shantilal Shah, join Amie. The Ensemble will be performing various selections from their 2010 CD, Sangeet Safar, as well as new selections from their soon to be released album.
As part of the festivities, Zoe Sherinian of the School of Music will screen her documentary film, This is A Music: Reclaiming an Untouchable Drum, from 6 p.m., to 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Pitman Recital Hall. This screening is free and open to the public.
All Masala Series performances are in OU’s Catlett Music Center, 500 W. Boyd, in your OU Arts District! Tickets for Masala Series events are $9 for adults and $5 for students, faculty, staff and senior adults. For tickets and up-to-date information call the Fine Arts Box Office at (405) 325-4101.
The concert is co-sponsored by the OU School of Music, World Literature Today and the Neustadt Festival of Indian Literature in English.