Thursday, August 7, 7:30 pm
Neil Welch & The Narmada Project
Chapel Performance Space
Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N
$10 general admission
With its debut record, Narmada (Belle Records), released earlier this year, the Neil Welch group announced that it would be a force on the local scene.
Heavily influenced by Hindustani music and the spiritual music of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and Pharaoh Sanders, Narmada combines free improvisation, highly-arranged multi-meter composition, and traditional Hindustani musical forms.
Welch says: “I utilize what I believe will be an important part of the defining sounds of the second century in jazz music: the use of exotic scales, hybrid grooves (of different meters and musical traditions), and improvisational density (sound art, musical interplay, and pacing). My interpretation lies in hybrid, cross-cultural mediums such as the classical music of India, with its multi-directional scales, microtones, drones, and severe emotional depth.”
Each member of the ensemble is involved in an eclectic variety of music, including electronica, free improvisation, phase and minimalist music, rock opera, world music, swing, and classical Hindustani music.
Among the group’s members are some great veterans, like percussionist Tor Dietrichson and world-renowned sitarist Pandit Debi Prasad Chatterjee, and some of the most promising younger players in the region, including Welch and two members of the impressive Speak Quartet, Icasiano and Bergman.
Welch cites influences that include Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Miles Davis, and other artists “whose lasting artistic endeavors flowered from their willingness to extract the beauty in their own souls. The music of a new generation and a new century of musicians must be willing to accept influences from the past and the present, and use jazz as a reflection of our own endless search for new aesthetic depth.”
He adds: “The music I seek to create explores raw emotional depths, new aural sounds, and embraces where jazz has been without lying captive to its influence.”