Friday 17 September 7.30pm
Transcender: Najma Akhtar & Gary Lucas + Parvathy Baul
Produced by the Barbican
Concert at LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old Street London EC1V 9NG
Two very different, but equally transporting, takes on Indian vocal traditions. Najma Akhtar’s music-making springs from a love affair with the Ghazal tradition of South Asian mystical poetry: here she teams up with legendary rock and blues guitarist Gary Lucas. Parvathy Baul is a young performer of ancient and hypnotic Baul songs.
Akhtar has been at the forefront of the World Music scene for the last two decades. Born and raised in England she has nonetheless remained rooted in the music of India, her ancestral home. Her first (1987) recording with Triple Earth, Qareeb, was a groundbreaking fusion of jazz and Indian Ghazals based on Urdu poems. She has gone on to prove herself as an extraordinarily versatile artist, using modern jazz influences with Indian vocals to create a haunting fusion of eastern and western styles. Her current collaboration with guitarist Gary Lucas is a thrilling example.
Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer Lucas has more than 20 acclaimed solo albums to date, and is a soundtrack composer for film and television. Cited as one of the ‘100 Greatest Living Guitarists’ in Classic Rock magazine, his 2009 collaboration with Indian vocalist Najma Akhtar, Rishte, was a major hit in World Music charts. Lucas also co-leads Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, devoted to the music of rock visionary Captain Beefheart, in whose band Lucas first put himself on the musical map.