SEATTLE, WA: Anindo Chatterjee, maestro of Tabla drumming, joined by award-winning vocalist Srivani Jade, will perform at Jet City Improv near the University of Washington campus in Seattle on September 25. The concert, preceded by workshops on Saturday September 24, is part of the NEA funded Access to Ustads Project.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced in January a $10,000 Art Works award to the Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla Seattle (ACIT Seattle), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting tabla drumming and Hindustani music through educational programs, concerts and classes.
The funding will help to support ACIT’s 2016 Access to Ustads Project, an effort to bring four Indian maestros to western Washington for public performances and to provide accompanying educational workshops and lectures.
“This means more music education and accessibility, especially for kids, young people and local musicians in King County,” said ACIT Seattle Board President Priya Marita Diaz. “It’s a chance for performing artists and the public to study one of the world’s greatest musical traditions, and offers opportunities to learn that are rarely seen in the United States, thanks to the support of the NEA.”
ACIT Seattle is one of 64 recipients nationwide who were awarded $1.3 million in Art Works grants in the Folk and Traditional category. These awards were part of $27.7 million awarded by the NEA in its first 2016 funding round. In its first 50 years, the NEA awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so.
“The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society,” commented NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from ACIT Seattle offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
The Access to Ustads Project will take place in between April and November 2016, in King County. Four master guest musicians – including tabla master Anindo Chatterjee – will demonstrate, engage and share techniques of their art form in the oral tradition with the public, including student and professional musicians of all ages. Each performance will feature one of the artists on a traditional Southeast Asian instrument: bansuri, sarod, sitar and tabla. In addition, each master will also give a lecture and interactive workshop to engage children, musicians and the general public.
“It is a significant opportunity to have musicians of this caliber presenting and teaching in this area,” said ACIT Executive Director and Co-founder Ravi Albright, who is also a professional tabla player and percussionist. “We hope both for those familiar with, and new to, the melodic beauty and rhythm of Hindustani music will come to enjoy and participate.”
In April sitarist Prof. Nayan Ghosh performed and gave workshops for the first events of the Access to Ustads Project of 2016, followed by sarodist Tejendra Majumdar in May. This Fall, in addition to Anindo Chatterjee in September, Rakesh Charausia will perform and give workshops on bansuri flute November 5th & 6th.
“ACIT is collaborating with many local community organizations and partners to promote and produce the concerts,” he added. “Each of these talented musicians will engage in lecture demonstrations and performance workshops. In the demonstrations, music students, professional musicians and the general public will have a chance to observe and learn about the history and evolution of the music from the master musicians. Subjects will include the tala (rhythmic) and the raga (melodic) systems.
The workshops and master classes will include student performances with a live public audience, including discussion and feedback sessions with the master musician, assisted by a panel of volunteer professional music instructors and academics.”
India Post News Service