The Hope College Great Performance Series will feature Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition on Wednesday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
Rudresh Mahanthappa, a Guggenheim Fellow and 2009 "Downbeat" International Critics Poll winner, is considered one of the most innovative young musicians and composers in jazz today. Named Alto Saxophonist of the Year for 2009 by the Jazz Journalist Association, he has incorporated the culture of his Indian ancestry and has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision.
As a performer, he leads or co-leads seven groups to critical acclaim. He is joined in the Indo-Pak Coalition, which debuted at Joe's Pub in January 2006, by Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi and rising tabla star Dan Weiss. The ensemble released a CD, "Apti," in November 2008.
Synthesizing jazz with the astutely improvised musical forms of South Asia, the Indo-Pak Coalition transcends any preconception of Indo-jazz fusion and has earned critical acclaim.
David Fricke of "Rolling Stone Magazine" said of "Apti," "In this stark, dynamic trio of alto sax, guitar and tabla, Mahanthappa's horn does heavy lifting, fusing the raga-sitar aspirations of late-period Coltrane and the vocal flight of Karnatic hymns. Guitarist Rez Abbasi and hand drummer Dan Weiss chase the holy with their own joyful purpose, darting under and through Mahanthappa's graceful impatience like daredevil pilots showing him the long, wild way to nirvana."
Mahanthappa's recent release for Pi Recordings, "Kinsmen," featuring Carnatic saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, has been named one of the top jazz CDs of 2008 by numerous news sources including the "New York Times," NPR, BBC, "Boston Globe," slate.com, "Jazz Times" and the "Village Voice." His previous quartet release, "Codebook," was named one of the top jazz albums of 2006 by "The Village Voice," "Jazztimes" and "The Denver Post," and received rave reviews from "Downbeat," wired.com, and even "Science Magazine." In Europe, "Codebook" received the "CHOC DE L'ANNÉE" (album of the year) for 2007 in France's Jazzman, four stars in the UK's Jazzwise and the "Bollino di Marzo" from Italy's Musica Jazz.
As a saxophonist, Mahanthappa has achieved international recognition, performing regularly at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. As a composer, he has received commission grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts to develop new work.
Mahanthappa holds a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University. He now teaches at The New School University and lives in New York.
Tickets for the performance are on sale at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, and cost $17 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.
The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.
Additional information may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/gps.