For the InDIGenous music series, Pawan will present a trio featuring multi-instrumentalist Sameer Gupta on both tabla and drumset, as well as bassist Nick Moran. The trio will weave their way through Nepali folk rhythms and mountain melodies, Indian Classical Ragas, as well as modern electronic sounds, all in the spirit of improvisation and pursuit of the unifying spirit of music.
Pawan Benjamin – Bansuri flute, saxophones, keys
Sameer Gupta – Tabla, drumset
Nick Moran – Acoustic and electric Bass
As both an accomplished Saxophonist and Bansuri flute player, Pawan Benjamin stands at the intersection of profound musical traditions. Rooted in Jazz and Improvisation, his pursuit of learning later led him to the Bansuri Flute and a deep study of Nepali Folk and Indian Classical Music. His unique perspective into these legacies of music has allowed him to work with a myriad of world-class artists, and perform and teach around the world. Pawan has performed alongside artists such as Roscoe Mitchell, Reggie Workman, Bill T. Jones, Ranjit Barot, Taufiq Qureshi, Rez Abbasi, Marc Cary, and others.As a student he has learned from Roscoe Mitchell, Richard Davis, Hanah Jon Taylor, and Bob Minzter, among other great jazz educators, and has also studied bansuri from the legend Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia at his Vrindaban Gurukul in Mumbai, India. Performance credits include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Newport Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Blue Note, Lincoln Center, the Mondriaan Jazz Festival, the Bimhuis, the NCPA in Mumbai, Goa International Jazz Festival, and many more venues across the globe.
Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset, and Indian Classical music on tabla. Originally a Jazz drummer, his own interests and love of tabla brought him to the great maestro Pt Anindo Chatterjee, of whom he is now a dedicated disciple, though his first few years were spend under the guidance of Ustad Zakir Hussain. Sameer is also a co-founder and an Artistic Director of the non-profit artist collective Brooklyn Raga Massive. Sameer has had the pleasure of working with many great musicians including 2019 NEA Jazz Master Reggie Workman, Harry Belafonte, Marc Cary, Casey Benjamin, Wallace Roney, Martha Redbone, Karsh Kale, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Pandit Chitresh Das, Pandit Ramesh Mishra, and Mysore Manjunath among other luminaries.