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Aditya Prakash Ensemble

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Venue: Samueli Theater Tickets start at $25.00


Aditya Prakash, an award-winning vocalist known for his powerful and emotive voice, is a young virtuoso of Carnatic music, and one of the youngest musicians to tour and perform with Ravi Shankar at the age of 16. In 2010, Aditya founded the Aditya Prakash Ensemble, a group that frames Aditya’s highly ornamented, stylized and emotive Carnatic vocal style around jazz instrumentation. Indian classical music and jazz seem poles apart but on closer look they share very many similarities in their philosophy and approach. Both are centered around improvisation, dialogue and spontaneous “creative flow” to inspire the direction of the music. The Ensemble brings together musicians of different backgrounds to dialogue, crafting a profound result: a melding of seemingly disparate cultures coming together to create one unique language.

The Aditya Prakash Ensemble’s unique collaboration took root during the members’ ethnomusicology studies at UCLA, where their horizons for new cross-cultural musical explorations were vastly expanded. The group of imaginative young musicians, while bridging seemingly disparate styles of music, create a boldly innovative and dynamic mix of the deep-rooted tradition of Indian classical ragas, chants and rhythms with the modern sounds of brass band arrangement, jazz harmony, and hip hop-infused beats. They have established a space where Indian classical and jazz aesthetics intertwine in an engaging, contemporary way — a musical dialogue that is eminently accessible and playful yet powerful.

Prakash carefully selected 24 musicians — from the LA jazz scene and fellow maestros from the Indian classical tradition — to come together and make his vision a reality. One can hear the influence of both sides, but like all truly groundbreaking projects, we can identify with the result on its own, as an entirely new and wonderful experience. In this way the music mirrors Aditya’s experience and the experience of so many who are physically, but not spiritually, separated from their cultures.

Aditya Prakash Ensemble has released three albums — The Hidden (2012) and MARA (2016) and most recently, Diaspora Kid (2020) via Ropeadope Records. Diaspora Kid, its title a reference to the artist’s cross-cultural upbringing in Los Angeles, has gained critical acclaim from the press and award-winning, celebrated artists such as Anoushka Shankar and Tigran Hamasyan.

Audience Advisory: Fully vaccinated guests are not required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated guests are required to wear a mask for this performance.

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