I am currently staying in West Orange, New Jersey -overlooking the lights of that Babylonian metropolis, NYC- and working on a traditional raga music collaboration with friend and gurubhaai, Dr Payton MacDonald. A Classical Western percussionist, educator and tabla player, Payton has been studying dhrupad vocal music with the Gundecha Brothers for the last few years and took a 9 month sabatical at the Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal in 2013. We sing the traditional alaap (unaccompanied vocal improvisation) as a juggulbandhi (duet), and Payton also accompanies me on jhori tabla in the accompanied sections. We were also joined by tabla meastro Shawn Mativetsky from Montreal for 5 of the performances.
We have so far performed, and given workshops, at Rutgers, Rowan, Monclair State and William Paterson Universities, Queensborough Community College and the Vivekananda Vidyapith. Tomorrow we go to Shanti Mandir Ashram for a morning concert, then Queens College NY the following day. The last two performances will be at the Chhandayan Centre, Manhattan on 31st Oct and Haverstraw Library on 1st Nov.
I am grateful to Dhrupad Institute of America for their sponsorship of our tour this year. See their website: http://dhrupad.com/