Elements - George Brooks, Kala Ramnath, Gwyneth Wentink

Elements - George Brooks, Kala Ramnath, Gwyneth Wentink

Elements represents a new standard in global chamber music, combining the unique talents of Berkeley saxophonist and composer George Brooks, north Indian violinist and vocalist Kala Ramnath, and Dutch harp virtuoso Gwyneth Wentink. This distinctive trio performs George and Kala’s original compositions as well as contemporary settings of traditional Indian ragas, unifying the aesthetics of the European classical, Indian classical, and American jazz traditions. The brand new self-titled album features Gwyneth’s virtuoso harp, Kala’s haunting violin and soul-stirring vocals, and George’s sensual saxophone.

George is the founder of several important groups bridging the worlds of jazz and Indian classical music, including Summit with Zakir Hussain, Fareed Haque, and Kai Eckhardt, Bombay Jazz with Larry Coryell and Ronu Majumdar, and the Raga Bop Trio with Steve Smith and south Indian guitarist Prasanna. George has collaborated with minimalist composer Terry Riley, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Mark Morris Dance Company, Merchant Ivory Productions, and many of India’s most respected artists, as well as with such jazz, blues, and pop luminaries as Etta James, the Temptations, John McLaughlin, Jaki Byard, and Jackie Greene.

Kala comes from a long line of legendary musicians in India and is widely considered the leading Hindustani violinist of her generation. She has performed as a classical soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Palais des Beaux Arts, collaborated with such artists as Ray Manzarek of the Doors and Zakir Hussein, and founded the group Raga Afrika. Songlines Magazine gave her the “Top of the World” award in 2004, 2006, and 2008 and named her to their Top 50 World Music Artists.

Gwyneth began her harp studies at age five, played for Dutch Queen Beatrix at ten, and won the coveted Israel International Harp Competition at seventeen, the first of many international awards that have included the International Nippon Harp Competition, the Gulbenkian Prize, and first prize at the Young Concert Artists auditions in New York. She has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the Boston Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Philharmonich Orkestra of Bergen, Norway.

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