Syncing two worlds

Aditya Prakash Ensemble, a Los Angeles-based music group that includes Jazz, Hip-Hop and Indian Classical musicians, set to play here for the first time

  Aditya Prakash Ensemble will perform in Mumbai as part of the 9th edition of The New Park’s Festival 2015 curated by Prakriti Foundation. Prakash, its founder, is an award-winning Indian classical vocalist known for his powerful vocals and sharp music sensibility.

Aditya Prakash Ensemble in a performance. PICs COURTESY/ sheena Lad
Aditya Prakash Ensemble in a performance. PICs COURTESY/ sheena Lad

At 16, he was one of the youngest musicians to perform and tour with Pandit Ravi Shankar. “My mother was a classical dancer; I grew up in an environment where I was exposed to classical music. I was trained in the Carnatic style. For a large part of my life, that was the only music I knew. My taste in Western music developed much later at high school and college. My mother would also collaborate with Flamenco dancers and choirs. I loved to witness those experiments,” recalls 27-year-old Prakash
on the phone from Kolkata.

The Aditya Prakash Ensemble, a Los-Angeles based imaginative group of six musicians, create a powerful mix of the deep-rooted tradition of Indian ragas, chants with modern sounds of Jazz harmony and Hip-Hop-infused rhythms.

Aditya Prakash
Aditya Prakash

“We were studying together apart from being roommates. All of us have different backgrounds and diverse interests and tastes in music. We started the group in 2010. The group improvises a lot, plays up each other’s energies, and experiments with music,” reveals Prakash.

What’s on Mumbai’s playlist?
While Prakash has performed Carnatic and devotional Folk as a solo performer, in India before, acompanied Anoushka Shankar, Karsh Kale and Salim Merchant, it will be the band’s maiden performance in Mumbai. Their recent creation — The Colliding Worlds Project is a 90-minute musical journey that engages the audience in an exciting musical dialogue between Indian Classical, Folk, Jazz and Hip-Hop.

The ensemble will feature refreshingly contemporary arrangements of Classical compositions, bhajans, spiritual poetry and Bollywood songs along with original compositions. “I haven’t heard too much of Bollywood music. A few recent tracks impressed me so much that we decided to present our take on these,” he shares.

On: Today, 9.30 pm onwards
At: At BlueFrog, Mathuradas Mills compound, Lower Parel.
Call: 30151765

Meet the ensemble

Julian Le started playing classical piano when he was three, under the guidance of his parents, both graduates in music. He graduated on a full Jazz scholarship at UCLA under Kenny Burrell and James Newton and won numerous awards. Jake Jamieson is a freelance performer and educator in Los Angeles. He is a percussionist and drummer. A leading disciple of Guru Sreenivas Murthy, Mahesh Swamy is a renowned flautist, music composer, percussionist, vocalist and veena player. Praveen Kumar began learning the art of percussion when he was five under mridangam maestro, Sri Gurvayur Dorai. He is one of the most sought-after mridangam artistes in Carnatic music and has accompanied  stalwarts like Sri TM Krishna. Jonah Levine is a trombonist, pianist, composer and arranger.

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