| 28 Nov 2023
Marathon Festival of Indian ragas live on New York's WCKR FM station

NEW DELHI: More than sixty musicians will take part in a marathon 24-hour festival of Indian ragas is to be broadcast live on New York’s WKCR 89.9 FM Radio Station from 20 June featuring Indian and international artistes.

The event has been conceived by David Ellenbogen, who is Executive Producer at WKCR, and who says he is fascinated by the respect Indian musicians give to ragas.

According to a press release on the station’s website, the Fourth Ragas Live Festival will have the artistes performing live at studios around the city and broadcast on WKCR midnight to midnight. This will be followed on 21 June by free concerts in Central Park Dairy Lawn.

The event is produced by WKCR, in collaboration with 13 leading organizations- Afro Roots NYC, Anindo Chaterjee School of Tabla, Brooklyn Raga Massive, Carnatic Sundays, Chhandayan, HarmoNYom, Krishna Bhatt’s Gurukul, Navatman, NYC Radio Live, Shastra & Taalim School of Indian Music.

Ellenbogen said, “We are experiencing a raga renaissance in New York City. There are so many amazing musicians collaborating within and beyond the genre. This festival is a result of that and has gained a growing international audience. From what I understand, even in India, they have not produced in-studio broadcasts on this scale.”

Artistes coming from India include Pandita Tripti Mukherjee, Ustad Aashish Khan, Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Sanghamitra Chatterjee, and Pandit Samir Chatterjee.

Alongside will be emerging performers in the city with classical and new genres such as Yacouba Sissoko, a Kora player from Mali will perform with bansuri player Jay Gandhi representing the monthly Africa/India collaboration concerts produced at Brooklyn Raga Massive events. Chamber Raga, a form being explored by musician Karavika will be featured.

Prodigy Vivek Pandya who made his Ragas Live debut with a 45 minute solo will perform with maestros Samarth Nagarkar (vocal) and Abhik Mukherjee (sitar).