Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Caffe Vivaldi @ Renee Weiler Concert Hall Presents The Neel Murgai Ensemble at Greenwich House Music

Neel Murgai Ensemble

Neel Murgai Ensemble

Caffe Vivaldi @ Renee Weiler Concert Hall is presenting The Neel Murgai Ensemble at Greenwich House Music, 46 Barrow Street, 2nd Floor in New York on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 8 p.m. With Neel Murgai (sitar), Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Sameer Gupta(tabla), and with special guests Dana T. Leong (cello) and Jay Gandhi (bansuri). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online.

The Neel Murgai Ensemble performs raga chamber-jazz, combining Neel’s sitar with violin, cello and tabla. The raga and tala of Indian classical music is the root of their sound, but they remain free to wander through other territories including jazz, minimalism and experimental music. Neel’s original compositions and rearrangements of traditional material are brought to life in their dynamic group improvisations. Innova Records has released their self titled debut CD to critical acclaim, including a feature on NPR’s Song of the day. They have performed to packed, enthusiastic audiences at Mexico’s 2012 Sinaloa Cultural Festival, the Sun to Stars Festival in New York, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Museum of Natural History amongst many others.

Neel Murgai is a multi-instrumental performer, composer and teacher. He has studied sitar for over 18 years, currently with Pundit Krishna Bhatt, himself a disciple to Pundit Ravi Shankar. Neel has performed around the world at venues ranging from the Blue Note and Kennedy Center to the David Letterman Show. He is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts. In 2014 Neel was a featured musician in the orchestra for a musical theater production of “Jungle Book” directed by Mary Zimmerman. He has worked with a diverse array of artists including Bill T. Jones, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Samir Chatterjee, Daniel Bernard Romain, Laraaji, Yuerba Buena, Baba Israel, Raz Mesinai, Mission on Mars, Akim Funk Buddha, Loren Conners, Suzanne Langille, Louis Bellogenis and Cosmo Vinyl. Neel has composed original music for the films “The Yes Men Fix the World”, “A Decent Arrangement” and “Crossing Lines”, as well as BBC and TBS televsion productions.

More details:

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Renee Weiler Concert Hall
2nd Floor, Greenwich House Music
46 Barrow Street
New York, NY 10014

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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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