Ragas Live Festival to
be reimagined as an epic 24-hour live broadcast, 11/21–11/22

PHOTO: KENNY MATHIESON | The world music festival, which began in 2012, is planning an unprecedented global event featuring world music icons Terry Riley, Zakir Hussain, Toumani Diabate (pictured at top), Betsayda Machado and numerous others. Artists in thirteen cities from Mysore to Madagascar will contribute to a celebration of “Community, Unity, and Harmony.” Raga is the classical music of the Indian subcontinent.

In a sense, the festival, which began as a radio event and eventually began producing live shows around the New York area, is returning to its roots on the air. Performances will be live streamed on the site of one of the sponsors, Pioneer Works and on radio station, WKCR-FM 89.9 FM from 7 PM Friday evening until 7 PM Saturday evening (eastern time).

Some of the cutting edge cross-cultural performances include Terry Riley performing raga-based improvisations from Japan preceded by Brooklyn Raga Massive premiering a 24-person performance in homage to Riley. Amir ElSaffar will be collaborating with the Brooklyn Raga Massive as well as with Raga Maqam, a 14 piece ensemble that explores the intersections between maqam, the tonal language of Arab, Turkish, and Persian traditional music, and raga. Andy Statman, the legend of klezmer and bluegrass will be exploring both Jewish doinas and ragas from the 200-year-old synagogue B’nai Jeshurun.

Other highlights include Zakir Hussain performing a tabla solo from San Francisco, Toumani Diabate performing kora from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo performing from El Clavo, Venezuela.

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