Eighth Annual Ragas Live Festival Will Feature Reggie Workman

The crosscultural Brooklyn event lasts a full 24 hours

Reggie Workman at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival
Reggie Workman at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival (photo: Marek Lazarski)

The eighth annual Ragas Live Festival, a marathon 24-hour event, will be held at Pioneer Works in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn on October 19 and 20. The program, featuring more than 70 performers, begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday the 19th and ends at 7 p.m. on Sunday the 20th. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s performers will include bassist Reggie Workman, sitarist Anupama Bhagwat, percussionist and flautist Kaoru Wantanabe, percussionist and composer Adam Rudolph, Malian kora master Yacouba Cissoko, and a 20-person ensemble from Brooklyn Raga Massive, among many others. 

“The fact this festival has attracted an artist of the caliber of Reggie Workman, a musician who made his name with artists like John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, and Art Blakey, is a testament to the vitality of this crosscultural, inclusive, musical movement happening in Brooklyn right now,” David Ellenbogen, the festival’s founder, says in a press release. 

The festival is so named because its unique flow is influenced by the melodic patterns of Indian classical music.

“As curators, we honor the ragas’ connections to nature and program classical artists at the opportune times,” Arun Ramamurthy, the festival’s artistic director, says in the release. “But what makes this festival so special is that we balance classical sets with innovative raga-inspired projects that interpret traditional material in a highly creative way. This balance over the course of 24 hours allows the listener to traverse a wide spectrum of sound, going deep into traditional ragas while also experiencing more experimental interpretations and reimaginations of the Indian classical form. It’s a cathartic experience.”

The event will be broadcast in real time on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY and also streamed online at wkcr.org

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Pioneer Works website.

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