October 1, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.-Shubhendra Rao, a leading sitar player; Biplab Bhattacharya, a rising star among classical Indian musicians; and jazz guitarist Freddie Bryant will present "East Meets West: An Evening of Indian Jazz-Fusion," on Friday, Oct. 15, on 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public.
Connoisseurs acknowledge Rao, a disciple of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, as a worthy successor to his guru's tradition. A reviewer for The Times of India wrote that Rao "has fully imbibed the style of his mentor and embellished his music with numerous innovative ideas."
A wonderful young player of tabla, or Indian drums, Bhattacharya had his initial training from his father, Kanai Bhattacharya, and has been under the tutelage of Pandit Shankar Ghosh for many years. He has traveled through Europe as an accompanist to many artists in many styles. On this tour he makes his American debut.
Bryant, a graduate of Amherst College trained in classical as well as jazz guitar, is now a "Jazz Ambassador." The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the United States Department of State are sponsoring "Freddie Bryant and Kaleidoscope-The String Project," on tour across North Africa, the Middle East and India, celebrating Latin jazz and its influence on American music. Freddie Bryant is the guitarist, composer and arranger for The String Project, a group whose sound is an eclectic blend of world rhythms with jazz.
Rao has a Website at www.shubhendrarao.com; Freddie Bryant at www.freddiebryant.com/itinerary.html.