Rudresh Mahanthappa Brings “Gamak” to San Diego

Rudresh Mahanthappa

The La Jolla Athenaeum’s jazz program returns in 2013 with a group led by renowned alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Best known for his ability to fuse seemingly disparate influences, Mahanthappa is in town to support the 2013 release of Gamak, an enthralling modern jazz album that features fellow innovators like electric guitarist David Fiuczynski, bassist François Moutin, and drummer Dan Weiss.

On Gamak, Mahanthappa takes John Coltrane’s experiments with South Asian music and Miles Davis’ interests in rock guitar and merges them with his own South Indian roots. At the Winter Jazzfest in New York, Mahanthappa and his band turned more than a few heads — and he’s expected to do the same thing in San Diego.

According to JazzTimes, “Mahanthappa’s music is cutting, sleek and heavily rhythmic…his biting attack pairs a Coltrane influence with an incisive, exacting articulation, which absolutely soars.”

Similarly, NPR’s Patrick Jarenwattananon sees Mahanthappa hitting a kind of stride with Gamak: “At the end of the first track, ‘Waiting Is Forbidden,’ the microphone picks up a bit of studio chatter from Mahanthappa. He knows the band has hit a sweet spot; a convergence of redline intensity, driving funk and a distinct way of expressing a blues inflection. ‘That was pretty smokin’,’ he says. ‘Let’s listen to it.'”

We encourage you to do the same. Rudresh Mahanthappa and his ensemble will perform at the San Diego studio of the Athenaeum School of the Arts (4441 Park Boulevard) on Sunday, March 3. To reserve tickets, call (858) 454-5872.

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