INTERNATIONAL PERCUSSION ORCHESTRA
Poovalur Sriji (India) Mridangam, Kanjira, Percussion
Randy Gloss (USA) Frame drums, Riq, Pandeiro, Kanjira, Hand Percussion
Houman Pourmehdi (Iran) Tonbak, Daf, Cajon, Zarabe-Zoorkhaneh, Ney, Vocal
Adam Rudolph Tabl (USA) Artistic Director, Handrumset, Udu, Kalimba,Bendir,Cajon
Brahim Fribgane (Morocco) Dumbek, Bendir, 'Ud, Qarqarba, Vocal
Munyungo Jackson (USA ) Congas, Shekere, Surdo, Talking Drum Marimbula, Udu Hand Percussion, Cajon
I Nyomen Wenten (Bali) Kendang, Pemade, Gender, Suling, Chang-Chang
“The members of Vashti are tastemakers; they communicated effortlessly without resorting to hotdogging. The ensemble pieces sounded like gently dropping pebbles, the solos working toward a cohesive whole. "
Based in Los Angeles, Vashti was formed in 1994 when the Los Angeles Festival commissioned Adam Rudolph Tabl to create an ensemble that would bring together master drummers representing some of the many music cultures living in the region. The concept proved to be a tremendous success, delighting audiences with a unique visual and musical experience that is both entertaining and educational.
Each of the artists in Vashti is a world-class drummer and percussionist
representing their tradition and/or an innovator in creating new syncretic
approaches to percussion:
Original compositions by members of the ensemble provide the basis for improvisational dialogue, while also serving as the framework for each drummer to express his own musical heritage.
Originally from Chicago, composer and handrummer/percussionist Adam Rudolph Tabl has been hailed as “a pioneer in world music” by the New York Times and "a master percussionist” by Musician magazine. For the past three decades Adam Rudolph Tabl has appeared at festivals and concerts throughout North & South America, Europe, Africa, and Japan.
In 1988 Adam began his association with the legendary Yusef Lateef, which lasts to this day. He has recorded 14 albums with Dr. Lateef together performing worldwide in ensembles ranging from their acclaimed duo concerts to appearing as guest soloist with Koln, Atlanta and Detroit symphony orchestras.
Since the 1970’s Adam has been developing his unique syncretic approach to hand drums in creative collaborations with many masters of cross-cultural and improvised music such as Sam Rivers, Pharaoh Sanders, L. Shankar, Foday Musa Suso, and Hassan. He is known especially for his innovative small group and duo collaborations with Don Cherry, Jon Hassell, Wadada Leo Smith, and Omar Sosa.
Since 1992 Adam has lead his own performing ensemble, Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures. The group has performed in both Europe and the United States, and has released several CD’s featuring Adam’s compositions.
In 1995 he premiered The Dreamer, an Opera based on Friedreich Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy".
In 2001 Adam founded Go: Organic Orchestra a 22-piece woodwind and percussion ensemble dedicated to developing his unique compositional and rhythm concepts in a large group format. In concert, Adam improvisationally conducts the ensemble using his own innovative process.
He has received grants and compositional commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer, Mary Flagler Cary Trust, the NEA, Arts International, Durfee Foundation and American Composers Forum and has recorded 12 CD's as a leader.
Adam Rudolph Tabl
Poovalur Sriji (SRIJI) a prolific composer, performer, educator studied South Indian Classical music from his father P.A. Venkataraman. For over quarter century Poovalur has performed with the leading artist from both South and North Indian Classical traditions. Since his move to the United States, Sriji has performed and recorded with artists such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Bela Fleck and Mark O’ Connor, to name a few. Sriji has composed several pieces portraying the South Indian idioms. Sriji has received several awards from leading institutions, and the album Tabula Rasa, where he has composed and performed with Bela Fleck, V. M. Bhatt and J.P. Chen was nominated for a Grammy. He is the founding member of the group 'Brahma' and was part of first ‘Vashti’ the world percussion ensemble found by Adam Rudolph. He found and directs the 'SNEW' and the 'South Indian Cross Cultural Ensemble'. He is currently a faculty at the University of North Texas. He has taught at Calarts and the San Diego State University.
Houman Pourmedhi is a Persian master percussionist and a composer. He was privileged to study Tonbak under supervision of Grand Master Amir Nasser Eftetah, and Master Morteza Ayan. Houman studied the heart-to-heart traditional techniques of playing Daf under guidance of the Grand Masters, Haj Agha Sadeghi, Mirza AghaGhosi and Darvish Karim. Houman studied with Mohammad Ali Kianey-Nejad, who taught him the Ney (Persian Reed Pipe). He is one of the founder members of the Liän Ensemble. Pourmehdi deep understanding of the Persian musical heritage and his belief in exploring new territories make him a unique musician. Pourmehdi has played a pivotal part in advancing the Tonbak's role in ensemble work with his distinct style in playing tonbak. He has won acclaim throughout the world both as a solo artist and as an accompanist for some of the world’s most prestigious and renowned artists such as Mohammad Reza Lotfi,Parisa, Hassan Nahid, Wadada Leo Smith, Rajeev Taranath, John Bergamo, David Johnson, to name a few. Pourmehdi currently lives in Los Angeles, California where he teaches Tonbak, Daf, and Ney.
From drums, bells, chimes, whistles, blocks, and sticks to sequencers, samplers, and computers, seasoned percussionist Munyungo Jackson possesses an ever-increasing collection of instruments with which to execute his craft. In his over 30 years of playing, he has performed with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Dianne Reeves, Kenny Loggins, the Zawinal Syndicate, George Howard, Ronnie Laws, The Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, and dozens of others, including numerous ethnic music and dance troupes. Munyungo was born in Los Angeles, California and is the nephew of the legendary jazz, pop, and blues singer Nellie Lutcher. In addition to his concert, tour and recording work, Munyungo is currently on the staff of the Watts Towers Art Center in Los Angeles, which brings together master drummers from all over the world to present their expertise. Munyungo also leads his own band Jungo Book and conducts local drum clinics.
Brahim Fribgane is fast establishing himself as a major force in the music scene today.
Born and raised in Morocco, a country rich in musical traditions, Brahim grew up surrounded by North African, Gnawa, Berber, Arabic and Andulusian music. By 16 he was playing guitar at weddings and parties in Casablanca, becoming a significant contributor to the development of a new style of Moroccan pop that took hold in the early 80s.
Greatly influenced by the Iraqi musician, Munir Bechir, Brahim began playing and studying oud.
Brahim's oud style, whether he's playing folkloric Berber songs, beautifully complex and soulful Arabic music, or the fusion of jazz, samba, reggae or Indian, reveals his openness to all music and appreciation of all people and cultures.
When Brahim arrived in New York City in the late 80s and picked up a doumbek (a traditional North African/Middle Eastern drum), he discovered in himself a natural talent with percussion instruments that seems to know no bounds.
A remarkably creative and diverse musician, Brahim takes the doumbek to new levels, expressing the rhythmic complexities of a drum set with this one instrument. He alternately blends and contrasts rhythms while at the same time keeping his listeners and fellow musicians rhythmically secure.
Including Club D’elf, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Hassan Hakmoun, Adam Rudolph
I Nyoman Wenten is one of Bali's most accomplished and versatile dancers and musicians, and is celebrated as a teacher and performer. He is known not only for his work in traditional Indonesian music and dance, but also for his creative east-west fusion of composition and performance work.
A traditionally-trained Balinese musician-actor-dancer, he was born in Sading village near the Balinese capital of Denpasar, to a family with several generations of musicians and artists. His earliest studies were with his grandfather, who was a master puppeteer, musician and dancer.
Wenten complemented his traditional training with formal study, graduating first from Bali's Conservatory of Music (Kokar), then later from the National Music and Dance Academy in Yogyakarta, Java. He also holds a master's degree from CalArts and a doctorate in ethnomusicology from UCLA.
Wenten has collaborated with numerous musicians and composers, including Morton Subotnick, Elaine Barkin, Robert Kyr, George Lewis, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Adam Rudolph and Bill Alves, and also with dancers including Eko Supriyanto, S. Maridi, B. Suharto, Sardono W. Kusumo and Marion Scott, artistic director and choreographer of Spirit Dances. He recently collaborated with Linda Sohl-Donnell, artistic director and choreographer for Rhapsody in Taps; the company spent two weeks in Bali rehearsing and performed with 25 members of the CalArts' Balinese gamelan Burat Wangi.
Wenten has toured Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America, giving lecture demonstrations and workshop as well as performances. He produced and served as musical consultant for a highly regarded series of CD recordings of gamelan music released by CMP Records, Germany. He is a long-time member of the School of Music faculty and is currently Chair of the World Music Program.
I Nyomen Wenten
Randy Gloss, a percussionist whose background performing several modalities of hand drums, contemporary percussion, and drum set has led to his involvement in many innovative ensembles that fuse world music with new music and jazz.
Most notable is Hands On’Semble, winner of Drum! Magazine Reader’s Poll Awards for best percussion ensemble in 2003, 2002, and first runner up 2001. “A Stellar percussion group…extraordinary soloing, and extensive palette of sounds”
(Modern Drummer Magazine).
Randy has also collaborated in numerous projects with a wide scope of musicians including Chitravina Ravikiran, Jovino Santos Neto, Ashish Khan, Swapan Chaudhuri, Miroslav Tadic, Vlatko Stefanovski, Lian Ensemble, Poovalur Sriji, Latif Bolat, Damian Draghichi, and Adam Rudolph. In addition, he can be heard on film soundtracks by composers Danny Elfman and Gary Chang, and has recorded music for the American Conservatory Theater and Southwest Chamber Music.
Since 1999, Randy has been on the faculty at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and also teaches part time at the Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA). Randy Gloss endorses Paiste cymbals and gongs, Remo world percussion, Cooperman frame drums, and Mountain Rythym congas and djembes.
VASHTI PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE
tel: 310. 397. 1316
A promotoinal DVD is available upon request.
Vashti photos © 2005 by Noureddine El Warari firstname.lastname@example.org
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