Nov. 18, 2022
With Joe Lastie, Kobi Arad, Falsa, Justin Lee,
Jay O'Brien, Haruna Fukazawa, Noshir Mody
BOOK OF RAGAS
VOL. 1 (FOUR HANDS)
Raga No. 1 (Afternoon)
(Morning, but usually played to end a concert)
(Morning raga, but sung at all times)
Bhairavi Blues (Raga Bhairavi with blues)
Bageshri (Late Night)
Aaj Rang Hai
(from Book of Ragas vol. 2)
Ragas & Waltzes (album)
Waltz for My Father
Floating (Raga Kalyani)
Nature (Raga Hemant)
FOLLOW US @CHARUSURIMUSIC / @CHARUSURITRIO
CHARU SURI is a pianist and composer who blends genres, bridging the East and West.
Born in South India, she was a piano prodigy performing in various concert halls at an early age. Her latest album, Ragas & Waltzes, dedicated to her late father, debuted September 2nd, 2022.
With mood-invoking ragas (to be played according to the time of day) for many of her compositions, she weaves techniques and sounds from several places including India, Europe and Africa.
She is a voting member of the GRAMMYs (Recording Academy). She received seven nominations in the International Singer Songwriters Association (ISSA) Awards in 2022, and won a Silver for Band Single of the Year for her original, "Bluesy." In 2022, she won two Intercontinental Music Awards for Raga Jaunpuri (in Asia Jazz), and Keep Dreaming (North America Jazz).
She also became the first Indian artist to collaborate with Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans in her latest album, RAGAS & WALTZES, that features drummer Joe Lastie. Previously, she has released "The Book of Ragas" and "The New American Songbook" at Carnegie Hall.
She is an educational partner with Steinway & Sons, and she also teaches piano to many students throughout New Jersey and New York. Her work has been performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band among others.
Sufi Vocalist Umer Piracha performs for Voice | Meditation | Transcendence | Conversation under the banner "Falsa Music" (falsamusic.com, @falsamusic). Featured on NPR, with sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Little Island NYC, and Brooklyn's Barbès among other venues of note, he's rooted in 14th century Sufi music (Indian classical mysticism similar to Rumi's elevating poetry) with contemporary arrangements transcending genre-specificity and cultural preconceptions, in collaboration with a diverse array of improvisational world musicians.
A Falsa experience can range from Minimalist Meditative to Raga Jazz Fusion to high energy World Improvisation that gets you moving, to a more explosive Ritual-Communitas oriented one featuring dancers and immersive visuals. But ultimately, Falsa is about normalizing the transcendent experience.
It originally emerged as a collaboration between long-term friends and has since evolved into an exploration of what's possible when people are moved collectively by the pursuit of the intangible aspects of a communal gathering. There's a mystical culinary connection here: Falsa gets its name from a tropical berry native to India and Pakistan. And Sufi music is about a state of separation that longs for union. There was a decade in Umer's (vocalist, Falsa) life that he couldn’t return home to Pakistan from the US due to Kafkaesque immigration bureaucracies. When he finally returned and had the fruit again, it "broke through all the intellectualization and numbness I realized I had cultivated to cope, and in the process of giving myself over to the majesty of feeling I realized that home is something you cannot take with you, you have to return to it"
In his music, he wants to revere and dignify the most magical aspects of experience that are gifts and not acquisitions, like reclaiming a half-remembered dream, by cultivating musical experiences that aren't about means to ends, but about meaning and transcendence, about healing a wounded alienation we feel in our very highly mechanized, and in the ways that matter, poorly connected society, one performance at a time.
JOE LASTIE (Drums | Preservation Hall Foundation Hall Fellow Honoree)
Receiving his first drum set at age eight, Joe Lastie was destined to carry on the traditions of his highly musical family, which included his mother, both grandfathers, his aunt Betty, and his uncles Melvin, David, and Walter “Popee.” Born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward, Joe’s grandfather was a minister and is credited with popularizing the drum set in church music. As a youth, Joe would set up a small drum kit at the foot of his grandparents’ bed and practice on whatever drums were available. “It didn’t matter if it was just a snare drum and cymbal,” he remembered, “I’d always find a way to make it work out.”
Lastie played his first job with a rhythm section backing the Desire Community Choir. He also studied jazz with Willie Metcalf at the Dryades Street YMCA, where his classmates included the young Wynton and Branford Marsalis. In 1969 he moved with his family to New York, where he took lessons from Clyde Harris through the public schools. His drumming improved enough to earn him a gig with the pit band for the New Orleans Broadway musical One Mo’ Time. Lastie returned to New Orleans after high school and picked up a steady gig with bassist Richard Payne’s band. On a tip from trumpeter Gregg Stafford, Lastie was invited to substitute at Preservation Hall in 1989; he has been a regular drummer with the band since then.
NOSHIR MODY is an award-winning composer and creative fusion guitarist displaying a beautiful tone, versatility, and inventive ideas on his picturesque originals. Throughout his career, he has recorded and performed consistently rewarding and thought-provoking sets of original music.
Born and raised in Bombay, India, Mody is self-taught on guitar. He has stated that his early inspirations included Indian classical music, Al DiMeola's Elegant Gypsy, music from Bollywood, and rock along with the modern jazz guitar masters.
After moving to New York in 1995, Noshir Mody dedicated himself to creative music, regularly leading his own trio in clubs. His original conception to playing music was well showcased in his groups The EthniFusion Rock Ensemble and The EthniFusion Jazz Ensemble, where Mody had a who’s-who of the New York music scene as guest artists including Atila Engin (awarded Danish Composer of the Year ’85, established the World to World Drums and Percussion Festival in Copenhagen), Adam Armstrong (performed w Kenny Kirkland, Kenny Wheeler, Maria Schneider, Billy Cobham), Dan Jordan (performed w Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Arturo Sandoval, Natalie Cole), Dan Willis (performed w Michael Brecker, Roland Vasquez, John Hollenback, Kenny Wheeler), Bob Magnuson (performed w Whitney Houston, Patti Austin, B.B. King, Issac Hayes) and Mark Weinstein (performed w Eddie Palmieri, Cal Tjader and Tito Puente).
Mody’s impressionistic playing and colorful originals are documented in his solo guitar recording In This World With You, his trio set Union Of Hearts and by his quintet, sextet and septet ensembles on the albums Stories From The Years Of Living Passionately, A Burgeoning Consciousness and An Idealist’s Handbook: Identity, Love and Hope in America 2020, respectively.
Mody has received the World Songwriting Awards’ Best Jazz Song for ‘Illusions Grow’, Independent Music Awards Best Jazz Instrumental Album nomination (Album: Stories From The Years Of Living Passionately), three Global Music Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the ‘Composition/Composer’ category (Album: An Idealist’s Handbook: Identity, Love and Hope in America 2020) and the ‘Album’ and ‘Group’ categories (Album: A Burgeoning Consciousness) and has received the GASC award three times for Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting, Instrumental category for his compositions ‘Under A Starlit Sky’ (Album: An Idealist’s Handbook: Identity, Love and Hope in America 2020), ‘India’ (Album: Stories From The Years Of Living Passionately) and ‘Secrets In The Wood And Stone’ (Album: A Burgeoning Consciousness); among other accolades.
JUSTIN LEE is a versatile upright and electric bassist, who performs regularly in a wide variety of styles. He is currently a member of the New York City based Chelsea Symphony Orchestra, The New Jersey Capital Philharmonic, MRB Jazz Project, Charu Suri Trio, founding member of the Power House Big Band and Bob Page Jazz Trio, as well as co-owner of Allemande Ensembles, LLC.
Justin has performed with the BBC America's Blue Planet II Underground pop-up orchestra and recorded and performed for the KENZO/H+M 2016 Fall Fashion Show, an IZOD commercial, Broadway shows, and appears on two episodes of "Mozart In the Jungle" on Amazon Prime.
HARUNA FUKAZAWA is a New York-based flutist, improviser and composer originally from Tokyo, where she studied classical music at the Musashino Academia Musicae. She started visiting New York City regularly to study with Frank Wess, and shortly after, with his encouragement, decided to move to New York to play jazz full-time.
She has appeared in many albums, TV, and movie recordings as a side person, and her career continues to evolve as she works in a variety of groups. Of note is her involvement with Karl Berger’s Improvisers Orchestra, which won the Downbeat Critics Poll six times. She has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in New York City, among them the Blue Note, Carnegie Hall, The Stone, The 55 Bar, The Bitter End, Joe’s Pub, and The Rubin Museum of Art. She performed at Trieste Summer Rock Festival in Trieste, Italy in 2010. It was the first time for a Japanese band to perform at this festival.
The Haruna Fukazawa Quintet performs regularly; its first album was released from Summit Records in 2019. She was also featured on the cover of the Hot House Jazz Magazine. In 2021, the quintet performed at the National Flute Association Convention. Haruna also co-leads a chamber jazz trio called Jazz Triangle 65-77. The band released two albums in 2017 and 2021.
She is also a winner of the National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir competition in 2021 and Jazz Flute Big Band Audition in 2019 and 2021.
JAY O'BRIEN is a freelance percussionist and educator with an MM in music performance. He
has taught at the collegiate level since 2007, and recently orchestrated and played on the Off
Broadway musical CAMP! Last year he was invited to Independence Community College in
Kansas for a performance and teaching tour. As an artist he has performed with Mannheim
Steamroller, and at various locations such as Lincoln Center, as well as numerous other
venues across the tri-state area. He is a frequent clinician at schools and runs his own
percussion repair company that focuses on affordable and appropriate repair solutions. As an
educator, his students routinely place and take top honors in their respective ensembles and
December 31st: New Year's Eve Gala in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
January 13-15th: Jazz at the Castle, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Please join us for an after-party at Tanner Smith's, a three minute walk, at 204 West 55th Street