World-renowned Indian-jazz quartet Ahimsa makes its California debut
in a concert of enchanting and daring improvisational music played by master musicians.
Thurs. Aug. 21, 2008 at 8:00pm
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Tel: 310-440 4659
Matthias Mueller (Guitar)
Sooraparaju Radhakrishna (Double-neck Violin)
Udai Mazumdar (Tabla)
Ramanathan Yogaraja (Mrudangam, Ganjera)
More about Ahimsa:
Often compared to pioneer group Shakti (which used similar instrumentation but a somewhat different style),
in Ahimsa’s compositions the complex rhythmic structures and raga improvisations are balanced
with the harmonic diversity of western classical music and the unlimited expression of jazz.
The group was formed out of a musical friendship between the German jazz guitarist Matthias Muller
and South Indian (Carnatic) violinist Neyveli S. Radhakrishna. Adding two percussionists versed
in both Carnatic and Hindustani (North Indian classical) music, they formed Ahimsa in 1999,
and the band has dazzled audiences with its endlessly creative group improvisations.
The members individually have collaborated with a who’s who of music from maestro Yehudi Menuhin,
Pandit Ravi Shankar, Stephane Grappelli, Dr. L. Subramaniam, V.M. Bhatt, John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain.
Ahimsa is the Sanskrit word denoting nonviolence, compassion, love and reverence for all beings and all forms of life.
That feeling is imbued in the quartet’s music even at its most fiery best.
Neyveli S. Radhakrishna - Double violin
Radha has played the violin since he was 8 years old. At the age of thirteen he won first price
in a national Indian Violin competition and also won the ‘Krishna Gana Shabha-Award’
in South India for young performing artists. Recently he was honored with the prestigious
‘Kanchi Kama Koti Peeta Asthanam’ award.
Radha is well-versed, playing classical Indian music as well as contemporary styles.
He plays a unique double neck five strings violin. His captivating, unusual style have led him to play
with some of the worlds greatest, such as: Pandit Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar,
Jonas Hellborg and V. Selvaganesh to name a few. He also played in the album ‘Soukha’
with John McLaughlin, Ustad Zakir Hussain and mandolin wizard U. Srinivas.
Matthias Müller – Guitarist, Composer, Arranger
Matthias is a music graduate from the ‘College of Music Sulzbach-Rosenberg’,
‘Munich Guitar Institute’ and the ‘Grove School of Music’ in Los Angeles.
He studied Classical & Jazz Guitars, as well as conducting, composing and arranging.
During his long carrier as a musician and composer Matthias has played concerts all around the world.
He has played with some of the top Indian musicians of our generation, such as; Dr. L. Subramaniam,
Sivamani, Salil Bhatt and Tanmoy Bose along with many others. Recently, Matthias has recorded
a new guitar trio album with Grammy Award Indian guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.
Udai Mazumdar - Tabla
Udai hails from a family of fine musicians of Allahabad (north India). His father,
the Late Partho Sarathy Mazumdar is among the first-generation of Indian Classical guitarists.
At 6 years old Udai started his vocal training in classical Indian music and a year later
he picked up and started to play the Tabla (most popular Hindustani/North Indian percussion instrument).
In 1989 Udai moved to Delhi to further his musical experience and he became one of the six disciples
of Pandit Ravi Shankar. He has played with some of the most noteworthy Indian masters such as;
Pandit Ravi Shankar (performing before the Royal Families of England and Sweden),
with Ustad Zakir Hussain (in a concert to mark Pt. Ravi Shankar's 75th birthday),
with Hariprasad Chaurasia, Siv Kumar Sharma and Ustad Ashish Khan to name a few.
Currently he is based in Basel, Switzerland, engaging in performances, composing and teaching;
and he continues to spend time and learn with Pandit Ravi Shankar during his regular visits to New Delhi.
R. Yogaraja-Multi percussion -Mrudangam, Ganjira, Morsing
At a very young age, Yoga was trained in Mrudangam (main south Indian Carnatic drum comparable to Tabla)
by his father, the Master A.S. Ramanathan. To further his education he studied at the ‘Annamalai University’ in Chidambaram.
During that time he adopted and mastered his technique with other percussion instruments such as the Kanjira
(small hand-drum with a huge range of pitches), Ghatam (Clay pot), Mosring (traditional south Indian mouth harp),
as well asTabla, African and Latin American percussion instruments.
Yoga has accompanied many famous musicians including maestro Yehudi Menuhin, Stephan Grapelli and Dr. L. Subramaniam.