Music For India: Terry Riley & Friends

Live Performances By:
Terry Riley
Kala Ramnath & Abhijit Banerjee
George Brooks & Utsav Lal
Chuck Johnson

Saturday, June 5
4pm PST / 7pm EST

Sunday, June 6
5pm UK BST / 6pm CEST / 9:30pm India IST

Music For India is a special live concert series to raise urgent funds for India Covid-19 relief. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations working on the ground in India to provide oxygen, food, and other needed supplies.

On June 5, join us for the first concert in the series — a very rare live streaming concert by the legendary composer Terry Riley. Riley, who turns 86 years old next month, will be broadcasting live from Japan, where he currently lives.

Riley has had a longstanding alliance with the rich musical cultures of India, going back to the 1960s. Like other prominent musicians of the time, including the Beatles and Ravi Shankar, Riley was key in forging an important bridge between Indian music and the West.

Riley first achieved international acclaim in the 1960s, when he launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his classic “In C.” In 1969, he released the album A Rainbow in Curved Air, an inspiration to many rock bands including The Who, who named their hit song “Baba O’Riley” in partial homage. In 1970, he became a disciple of the master Indian raga vocalist Pandit Pran Nath; Riley appeared frequently in concert with Pran Nath until Pran Nath’s passing in 1996. Riley’s visionary, wide-ranging music has had a huge impact on generations of artists and musicians, including contemporary composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and throughout all of popular music.

As India grapples with the greatest COVID outbreak in the world, we hope to raise as much funds as possible to support India, with GiveIndia, to ease the load on hospitals with oxygen and urgent care, support humanitarian aid, and provide meals to families fighting hunger across the nation. Tickets are on a sliding scale, with a suggested donation of $20. (If you are able to donate more than $20, that would be welcome.) Nepal, India’s neighbors, are also facing a serious crisis, and attendees are encouraged to donate to the America Nepal Medical Foundation. While no one will be turned away for lack of funds, please contribute what you can to help provide relief during this critical juncture of the Covid-19 crisis across India and Nepal.


Terry Riley

California composer Terry Riley launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic "In C" in 1964. This seminal work provided a new concept in musical form based on interlocking repetitive patterns, changing the course of 20th century music. His work has inspired prominent composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams and the music of rock groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine, Tangerine Dream, Curved Air and many others. Terry's hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated Eastern flavored compositions set the stage for the prevailing interest in a new tonality.

Kala Ramnath

Maestro Kala Ramnath with her ‘Singing Violin’ stands among the world’s finest, most inspirational instrumentalists. Her playing has been featured on the Grammy-nominated Miles from India project, compositions of hers have appeared on the Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces and the Kronos Quartet’s 50 For The Future. The UK-based Songlines magazine hailed Kala Ramnath as one of the 50 world’s best instrumentalists and selected album Kala as one of its 50 best recordings. She was the first Indian violinist ever to be featured in the violin Bible, The Strad. She was the subject of a solo essay in the third edition to The Encyclopedia- Rough Guide to World Music. Her contributions feature in Hollywood soundtracks like the Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond and many more.

Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee received his initial training in tabla from Tushar Kanti Bose and then from Manik Pal. Later on he became a disciple of the legendary tabla maestro, the late Pandit Gyan Prakash Ghosh. He represents the Farukhabad gharana of tabla playing. At present Abhijit is considered as one of the leading tabla players. He is recognized for his skillful accompaniment as well as for his solo performances. He has been on concert tours with most of the leading classical musicians of India.

George Brooks

George Brooks is a prolific and diverse saxophonist and composer, acclaimed for successfully bridging the worlds of jazz and Indian classical music. He is the founder of Indian fusion groups Summit with Zakir Hussain, Steve Smith, Kai Eckhardt and Fareed Haque; Bombay Jazz with Larry Coryell and Ronu Majumdar; the Raga Bop Trio with Steve Smith and Carnatic guitarist Prasanna and Elements with Indian violinist Kala Ramnath and Dutch harpist Gwyneth Wentink.

Utsav Lal

Utsav Lal is an Indian pianist, educator, composer, and performing musician. Based out of New York, his work on the piano has been deeply influenced by Dhrupad and Indian classical music. He has performed at numerous venues and is currently on the faculty at the Piano School of NYC.

Chuck Johnson

Chuck Johnson is a composer and musician residing in Oakland, CA. He approaches his work with an ear towards finding faults and instabilities that might reveal latent beauty, with a focus on pedal steel guitar, experimental electronics, alternate tuning systems, and composing for film and television. Recordings of his work have been published by VDSQ, Thrill Jockey, Temporary Residence, Kompakt, Ghostly, Trouble in Mind, Scissor Tail, Merge, and Three Lobed, among others.

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