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Jazz Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa Completes Music Residency

Jazz Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa Completes Music Residency

: Photo by Courtesy of the artist..

Jazz saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa completed his four-month teaching and performance residency at Cornish College of the Arts this past week with a special performance featuring Mahanthappa and a handpicked ensemble of Cornish music students on Saturday, April 7, 2012 as part of the Cornish Music Series. Listen to part of the concert here.

Cornish music students Jason Cairati, piano, Matt Williams, guitar, Ken Strong, bass, Kyle Doran, drums, and Michael Conklin, tenor saxophone, were fortunate to have worked with Mahanthappa since January learning the alto saxophonist’s compositions, an experience that culminated this past Saturday night with a 90-minute set performed before a large and enthusiastic audience at Cornish’s PONCHO Concert Hall.

Mahanthappa joins a long and distinguished list of jazz artists who have served as faculty members and visiting artists-in-residence at Cornish over the years, a list that includes such jazz luminaries as Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Jay Clayton, Gil Evans, Dave Holland, Art Lande, Nguyên Lê, Butch Morris, Gary Peacock, and Julian Priester, among others.

About Rudresh Mahanthappa
Guggenheim fellow and 2011 Downbeat International Critics Poll “Alto Saxophonist of the Year,” Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative composers and performers in jazz today, fusing the musical culture of his Indian ancestry and jazz with myriad other influences to create a groundbreaking artistic vision.

Mahanthappa leads/co-leads several groups including his award winning quartet, the Indo-Pak Coalition with guitarist Rez Abassi (guitar) and Dan Weiss (tabla) and the critically-acclaimed project, Kinsmen, featuring Carnatic saxophone legend, Kadri Golpalnath. His 2010 release, Apex, highlighted the highly influential alto-sax master Bunky Green, which Time Out Chicago called “a force, blowing with ferocious power, clarity and creativity.” Mahanthappa’s latest release, Samdhi, featuring an electro-acoustic quintet comprising David Gilmore (guitar), Rich Brown (bass), Damion Reid (drums), and “Anand” Anantha Krishnan (Mirdangam / Kanjira), named by several publications as one of the top jazz releases of 2011.

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 Bachelors of Music Degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and a Masters of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago’s DePaul University.

Above: Cornish music students (left to right) Michael Conklin, tenor saxophone, Kyle Doran, drums, and Matt Williams, guitar, join visiting artist Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone, in a concert of his music Saturday evening at Cornish’s PONCHO Concert Hall. Photo: Michelle Smith-Lewis.


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