"Much in the way of the Tirtha trio (featuring Swaminathan’s mentor, the pianist Vijay Iyer) and the Indo-Pak Coalition before her, Swaminathan lets jazz and Indian classical merge organically, through her writing and the skill sets of her improvising partners. On “Peregrination,” prominently featuring Swaminathan’s sister, the violinist Anjna Swaminathan, that means mixing passages of slithering mystery with sections of bristling, complex rhythm." - NYTIMES
RAJAS is a musical ensemble that explores the resonances among Indian music, jazz/creative music, and other improvisational traditions. Led by Maryland- raised mrudangam (South Indian percussion) artist and composer Rajna Swaminathan, the group is set to release their debut record, Of Agency and Abstraction April 26th, 2019, on Biophilia Records. Rajas is a Sanskrit word referring to the inner energy that compels us toward action, creation, and change. The Financial Times describes Rajna’s compositions for the ensemble as having "wedded beauty by courting chaos, with the methods of loose-knit latter-day jazz at the service of a recognizably South-Asian melody and pulse.”
Rajna Swaminathan is an acclaimed mrudangam artist and composer. She is a protegé of mrudangam legend Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, and tours regularly with renowned Indian classical musicians and dancers, most notably vocalist T.M. Krishna. Since 2011, she has been collaborating with eminent musicians in New York's jazz and creative music scene, experimenting and expanding the horizons of her instrument. Rajna performs extensively in projects led by Vijay Iyer, Amir ElSaffar, María Grand, and Ganavya Doraiswamy, and leads RAJAS, a unique ensemble of improvisers at the nexus of multiple musical perspectives. Rajna is currently pursuing a PhD in Music (Creative Practice & Critical Inquiry) at Harvard University.
The personnel for this concert will be: Rajna Swaminathan (mrudangam, compositions), Ganavya Doraiswamy (vocal), Anjna Swaminathan (violin), María Grand (tenor sax), and Stephan Crump (bass).
SUN JUN 16 | 7:30PM | $18, $15 MEMBERS (+$3 at the door)